Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our equestrian lives.
Seriously. Why is it that there is so much drama in the equestrian world? My husband thinks it has something to do with the large amount of women involved. I think he is right. What is the point of the drama and who gains from the drama?
I think people like to create drama to feel important. It’s just like the hypochondriac horse owner in some ways. They are center of attention when there is a problem.
Create a problem, a story, something juicy. Poof, everyone is listening.
I feel lucky that the barn I am at now is…80% drama free (maybe 75%). Not too many people are talking behind anyone’s back. No one is trying to one up someone else. It’s great.
One of the reasons I got burned out showing was because of all the drama. Every time I was out at the barn, I was hearing about how so and so is sleeping with the trainer at this barn or that barn OR so and so’s horse is lame (always said with a giggle). Other days it would be what horse is stopping and why and this person that used to ride at the barn had this or that bad thing happen. All of it was crap.
It was even worse at the shows. You run into someone and they are trying to dig up dirt on someone in the barn or someone who used to ride at the barn. I don’t have dirt. I stay out of peoples personal lives AND no one really has any dirt. Believe it or not, most people aren’t that interesting NOR do they have anything going on that is worth talking about, in secret!
I didn’t want to hear about someone’s bad round and the reasons behind it because I knew it probably wasn’t true and honestly, I didn’t really care.
Even when I was confronted with information, good or bad, on someone I did have an invested interest it (rode their horse, didn’t like them, did like them), I gained nothing from talking about them without them around OR without the facts.
To became good at avoiding the equestrian soap opera star, I’ve developed myriad tactics. Example:
THEM: “Hey, did you hear about Nancy’s new horse?”
ME: “That’s a really great shirt you are wearing.”
THEM: “Oh, thanks, you like it? I got it from blah, blah, blah…”
…and that became that. If there is one thing horse people like to do better than gossip—it’s talk about themselves.
Another problem I have is I am terrible with peoples’ names, even people I see on a daily basis. I can remember horses names no problem. Maybe this was a learned behavior, because shrugged shoulders are very good at helping to combat a gossip queen. When they spot you and want to tell you something three people before her made up about someone else, they generally start out with that persons’ name. When I respond with “who?” and they try to jog my memory, and I respond continually with “who?”, they seem to get irritated and move on to someone who is going to help build the story the gossip group is working on.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of weird stuff that goes on in the horse world. People buy and sell horses for various reasons and for crazy amounts of money. People get screwed both ways. People have bad rides that can take a few months to get over. People make bad decisions, and, yes, people sleep with people. Riders change trainers, trainers change barns, horses change owners, championships change names, people hate people, people like people. Sure, it’s all very soap opera like. But not all that interesting to tell you the truth.
The people that make up stories or build on truths are definitely the saddest of the equestrian soap opera actors. Because their lives and their riding is really that pathetic and boring that they have to make up stuff about others just so they have something to talk about with their horsey “friends”. What they don’t realize is that it just makes them look stupid.