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Re: [RC] barefoot trim - Diane Trefethen

One of the primary reasons Ridecamp has some hostile exchanges is that too often, we write a post and then send it off without reviewing it with an impartial eye. We are so upset by what another person has said or so enthusiastic about our own point of view that we can't seem to help writing a email with a few (or a lot of) snide jabs, insults, and/or comments deprecating the intelligence or demeaning the character of all the people who do not think as we think or do as we do.

To avoid this, before you push the Send button, it is a good idea to re-read your post from the point of view of those who do not see things your way. If you have written, "LD's are just training rides for beginners", imagine YOU are an LD rider who hasn't enough time to condition for a 50 or has a physical limitation and then you read that you're efforts are being dismissed because you are just a "beginner". How would you feel? Often it's not WHAT is said but HOW it is said. If you originally wrote, "It would be stupid to use a pudgy, muscle-bound Quarterhorse if you want to compete seriously in Endurance", why not say, "Although there are many exceptions, the larger muscle masses in a Quarterhorse make heat dissipation more difficult".

Steph asked a serious question in a straightforward way, expecting answers that would provide her with more information and a better understanding of the Barefoot Trim and what did she get? Two responses that are prototypes of the two approaches above. One response is informative with six major points, unemotional and devoid of sarcasm, clearly aimed at providing information. The other uses 3 times as many words to provide only four major points (one only a referral) but it includes a lot insults to those who use shoes on their horses and worse, implies that if you can't do it barefoot, you shouldn't have a horse at all. This I surmise from the fact that there is absolutely no advice given for those who do not meet the minimum requirements, as presented by this author, on how to provide good hoofcare. There are no less than 10 statements/comments that are offensive but could have so easily been informative instead. Two examples:

"Steel shoes hold the hoof together when the horse is being forced to live in the wrong conditions..."
Wrong? Right and wrong are moral judgments. A stall may or may not be the best way to keep a horse, depending on what that horse is expected to do, but stalling a horse is not immoral. Why not say,
"Steel shoes can hold the hoof together when a horse does not have access 24/7 turnout or pasture."

"By hiring a farrier to take responsibility for the horses feet, the owner only needs to know how to write a check."
An amazingly cruel slap at anyone who hires a farrier. Why not say,
"Some owners who hire a farrier to put shoes on their horses forget that it is their responsibility to monitor their horses' way of going."

So if you want to influence people, remember, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Phrase your advice clearly and dispassionately and avoid cleverly worded (you think) but insulting criticisms.


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RE: [RC] barefoot trim, Terry Banister