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Re: RC: giving advice nicely

>  > what's a
>  >good way to approach someone without sounding
>  >like a "know-it-all" .

Heck, I'm a professional; in the business of giving advice ... and I get 
the same reaction!

IME, a good way to give unsolicited advice goes somewhat like this, and 
it ends up working pretty well in most circumstances:

Me:  That's an interesting way of fitting your halter - do you have a 
problem with rubbing, is that why you put it on loose like that? (you 
HAVE to say this as though your ASKING for advice ;))

Them:  This is just how I've always done it.  Twinkles likes it this way.

Me:  Oh, neat.  Do you ever have a problem with it falling off in the 

Them:  Nope.  Never.  Twinkles likes his halter.  That's why he doesn't 
lose it.

Me:  Hmph.  Cool.  You're lucky, wow.  I used to have a problem with 
losing Tuffy's halter in the pasture, but now I do it up a little 
tighter & I don't have any trouble with that anymore.  I thought it 
would rub him like this but it doesn't.  You know what else?  I used to 
have an instructor who was an absolute maniac about halter fit.  He 
always told me to fit it snugly so the horse didn't catch a shoe or a 
stick or something in it.  Well it looks like that's working for you, 
cool.  Hey, do you know anything about saddle pads?  I'm having a hard 
time with this one sliding.

... and little do they know but you just gave advice, and you pretended 
to be an idiot, and besides that your saddle pad doesn't slide at all 
because you just spent $200 getting you saddle custom fitted!

Whatever you do, DON'T give unsolicited advice that sounds like advice. 
  I think every distance rider who's ever boarded at a "straight" barn 
knows the feeling of well-intentioned people doling out bad advice.  If 
you give it out unsolicited, you will be assumed to be one of THOSE 
people.  If you sound like you're asking them for advice they'll be less 
inclined to give it out for free, and possibly if they get the idea that 
you actually know something, they might one day ask!

Good luck

-Abby B

* * *
Abby Bloxsom
ARICP Certified Instructor
Level III Recreational and Distance Riding
Colebrook, CT USA

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