This industry is insane.
I suppose when you throw society’s upper elite into a highly competitive setting, the claws will come out.
Still, nothing have ever prepared me for some of the stories I hear. Drugging, sex scandals, people nearly getting hit by cars, trainer’s houses getting burned down, the list goes on and on. Sometimes I feel like people forget they are indeed at a horse show and not on the set of Gossip Girl. I think we can all agree that a fairly limitless line of credit typically gives people the feeling of social immortality. I think money honestly does bring out the crazy in all of us because it makes us feel like we can do or say anything simply because of our means.
This is not an attitude I stand by however, to be entirely honest as a broke working student this doesn’t apply to me. If money is immortality I have a very short lifespan. Gotta love college.
Being that I don’t have the shield of money protecting me, I have learned when it comes to gossip and drama in the horse world, shutting up and looking down is the only way to survive. We exist in a tiny world. The horse world is a close knit, small community filled with competition, affluence, and gossip. The more you insert yourself in the gossip, the more you alienate yourself because no matter what you say, you will be offending someone. By engaging in this less than kosher side to our industry, you become part of the problem.
Being a blogger, I spend a disgusting amount of time on social media. I try to limit my screen time to the blog and an occasional #sratAF post on my personal account yet I still see all the drama. It actually amazes me how vicious the online equestrian community can be. If someone does something gossip-worthy, the twitter and tumblr anons attack like a pack of rabid dogs but instead of snapping teeth they shoot off snide comments, wicked memes, and vengeful rants. The accused is taken down in a blaze of subtweets and inappropriate pop culture references. People turn a scandal into a vicious joke and in doing so, they lower themselves to the level of the accused.
Do I think these scandals are justifiable? Absolutely not! Burning down houses, near automobile collisions, and sex scandals are not acceptable behavior. However, they are also not a joke. There is nothing wrong with politely saying you do not agree with someone’s actions however, using a scandal as justification for cyberbullying and vengeful gossip is not acceptable.
Someone else’s poor behavior just not justify your own.
We exist in a world that can be rather rotten so why we want to contribute to that is beyond me. How you choose to treat a person who has done wrong says far more about your character than it does about them.
If being a half way decent human being isn’t reason enough to stay out of the BS, remember how much reputation means in our world. In such a small world, one misstep can make or break your career. Trainers do not want to work with troublemakers and gossips. If you are like myself and are relying on jobs as a catch rider and working student, you cannot afford to have your reputation sullied by gossip and scandal. You cannot control the actions of others, you can only control how you react.
Those who are successful keep their head down and rise above the drama.
So, for the love of God, shut up and ride your horse.