The Brilliance and Challenges of Competitive Equestrianism

Competitive Equestrianism is a sport that has enchanted millions with its elegance, strength, and the magnificent bond between horse and rider. However, as in any field, it also faces its share of challenges - from maintaining a healthy competitive environment to dealing with criticisms on social media. Let's harness these issues and gallop through the world of Equestrianism.

The Rise of Social Media Slander: A Threat to The Sport?

One major issue facing Equestrianism today is the rise of social media slander. Competitive riders, from amateurs to elites, often find themselves caught in the crossfire of online criticism. The standards held by online users are sometimes unrealistic, causing negative impacts on riders' morale. As astounding as the internet can be, it has unfortunately become a breeding ground for unfounded accusations and emotionally-driven diatribes.

It is important to note that whilst all equestrians must strive for excellence and consider the welfare of the horse paramount, drawing rigid conclusions from a split-second image or minute clip can be unwarranted and unconstructive.

A Plea for Compassion and Understanding

Revolutionary changes in any industry can often trigger disagreements and criticisms. However, these should be made with a spirit of empathy and mutual respect. To advance and evolve, there needs to be an acceptance of diverse perspectives and willingness to learn from each other's experiences.

Remember, a judgment cast from afar does not hold the experiential knowledge and familiarity shared between a rider and their horse.

A Respectful Space for Constructive Criticism

Despite the need for compassion and understanding, criticisms aren't inherently harmful. Judgments, when lodged constructively, can provide effective feedback for riders, aiding them in improving performance and horse welfare.

Above all, we should foster an environment oriented toward constructive feedback that promotes growth, rather than a punitive space that discourages and demoralizes riders.

Promoting Correctness: A Championing Effort from Judges

Another vital aspect in addressing criticism lies in the hands of judges. Their assessment profoundly shapes a competition's outcome and indirectly influences the community's perception.

Ensuring that correct training is accurately rewarded will not only mark a significant leap in demonstrating commitment to animal welfare but also reduce the backlash faced by riders from online spectators. In truth, a well-judged performance might not always align with public expectations but, success in equestrianism should never compromise the welfare and comfort of the horse.

Understanding and Appreciating the Complexity of the Sport

In conclusion, competitive equestrianism – like any sport – involves complexities that may not be apparent to the casual observer. From dealing with the individual quirks and personalities of horses to navigating the intense competitive environment, it requires tremendous skill, patience, and an undeniable passion for horses.

In a world where the love of horses brings us together, it is high time we apply compassion, understanding, and respect, not just to the incredible creatures we admire, but to each other as well. For competitive equestrianism to thrive, the equestrian community must saddle up and journey together. And that, my friend, is how we keep the bond stable!


Laura Tomlinson: 'Online abuse tears the whole sport down' – Horse & Hound

Credit: Horse & Hound