Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Opinions Part 1 - Whose Matters?

I've been meaning to post this for a week now, but four letter words happen. Hey now, get your mind out of the gutter, I meant life. I had this nearly finished once and then it deleted when I was selecting font & color. Oh, technology.
My last little photo post was part of an ongoing point I'm trying to form. Having a thought or a commentary is easy, but getting it written down in a way that people can understand me is really hard, but here goes.
Looking at a photo like that thoughts can run the gamut from "really broke horses" to "really stupid owner". Which is right? I don't know. I think sometimes it boils down to who has the opinion or whose horses they are. Contextually, what if..
I told you they belonged to a well known trainer, would you think those horses are really well trained and their owner is qualified to do something like that?

I told you the horses belonged to Susie 1st time horse owner, would you think they are saints for putting up with a naive owner?
Who has the answer? I don't. It would depend upon which side you were on and its hard to be truly in the middle.
What qualifies someone to judge another person? Obviously nothing, subconscious and conscious judgments are made all day everyday. I think much of it is linked to survival instinct at some level, but I digress. So, if you have an opinion, does your opinion matter? I have kind of a mental checklist of what I think makes an opinion matter. Context surrounding the whole thing must be considered, but after that, here (in no particular order )is my short list of what I think about.

1. Age - If you're 15, I'm taking your advice with a block of salt.
2. Experience - How long have you been consistently involved with horses?
3. Rider or Ground Control - Both have insight to offer, and different points of view.
4. Horses' Appearance - Your horses should look healthy, happy, relaxed & well cared for.
5. Personal Appearance - Looking the part is good, but of course looks can be deceiving.
6. Your Stuff - A place, trailer, tack, etc clean & in good repair shows at least shows safety.
7. Accomplishments - Doing well usually equals doing something right. (well doesn't equal win)
8. Reputation - Respect of others, garners mine, unless I'm given a reason not to.
9. Prior Good Acts - If you've given me help before, then I'm likely to come back.
10. Original Source - Is the opinion from your actual experience, or a repeat of another's words?

Each point could easily be dissected into a post of its own. Taken individually they could seem presumptuous, but the idea is to take them as a whole. Look at the bigger picture and seek balance.


  1. I like what you put together here. Being involved in 4-H, I have seen 4-H LEADERS totally belittle a kid because they did not exactly like the bit they were using...I would say teaching the kid is one thing, telling them they cannot do anything right is another. Some people overestimate their own credibility. Everyone is a critic in their own right, I think it helps to get a variety of opinions from different types of people.

  2. Excellent points. I thought you had this in mind...
    Context is everything, as is substance..
    ThaT made no sense:)