These rules are for every post that is written in this forum - both in topics as in PMs. Please help us moderating this forum by sending a PM/mail to one of the moderators if a post is not according to the rules.
Thanks for reading them!
The AND Moderators
A lot of forums work according to the idea 'if you post pictures, photo's or stories about you and your horses, then you can only blame yourself for being critisised about them' .
Over here we don't.
At AND, we hold the posters responsible for their posts. Even if something terrible happens in a video, then that doesn't give you the right to kick somebodies backside for that (except of course when it means kicking them out of the way of an approaching train or something like that
). A post should not meant to ventilate anger or aggression or annoyance, but should be meant to help the person receiving it.
It's important to realise that what usually is understood as 'being critical' or 'just saying how it is', most of the time really means being unfair. You see 80% going well - but it's not perfect! - so you rush in to point out exactly what's wrong, forgetting to tell that actually these faults are very small as 80% is right.
If you're watching a video and just sum up everything that goes wrong, you're not helping. What would be helping, is pointing out the good stuff and give the rider the confidence and advice to become good in other parts too.
A similar thing goes for giving advice: you see something in a video that you don't agree with, and immediately write what the trainer should have done, and why, and why he's doing wrong now, and what he should do from now on to get it right. Forgetting that you probably don't know anything about the background, character, experience of this person and his horse, where he came from and what his goals are.
I once passed through an English forum where I read a topic in which someone had posted pictures of her riding her horse. She sat crooked in the saddle with her legs sticking out, working on travers and other high-level dressage movements. Immediately whole buckets of advice were poured out over her, ranging from 'You should sit straight, you're hindering your horse like this' to 'why on earth are you dabbling with such refined exercises when you don't even know the basics of a good seat?' and 'You should go back to the riding school and take a couple of months lessons on the seat on a lunge line, so you stop ruining your horse' to a whole range of stretching exercises she should do before she swung herself into the saddle in order not to hinder her horse. It turned out that she had a disease that had caused her spine to collapse in an S-shape to the side, meaning that she couldn't even straighten herself when standing on the ground. All that 'well-meant advice' really hurt her.
When you give advice, it's really good to keep in mind that you don't know anything about the poster. Maybe what she shows is only 30% right. Then of course you can bash her head for doing bad, but that won't help, especially not if she already struggled to rise to that level from 10%. Focus on what went well, and ask if she wants help in other sections too.
Also, it's good to keep in mind that the other poster isn't stupid. He or she probably does something for a reason (be it a good one or not), so most of the time advice like 'you should do a rising trot on your horse instead of sitting' is way off mark, because the poster probably is sitting for a specific reason that you don't know about. If you don't understand something, just ask a question about it (why do you sit during the trot all the time?). Don't jump to conclusions and think that the poster is an incompetent nincompoop. Sometimes they're not.
Another thing to keep in mind is that because you don't know anything about the poster, you won't know what will help either. You can't write 'you should do this and that'. Instead, you can only write what you
have experienced in a similar situation, what helped you
in the past, what you
have seen helping others. You need to put your advice into the right perspective: yours
. That perspective should be visible in your posts, in order not to be very rude by looking like your knowledge overrules all that the poster knows and does. A general guideline that you can use for giving your opinion or advice on something you see or read:
If you are interested/bothered/puzzled/intruigued by something you see, just ask a question about it. The answer will probably suprise you, and maybe can teach you something you didn't know too.
An added bonus is that it saves you from typing lots of unwanted advice - and the receiver from reading it!
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