If you don’t have something nice to say…..
I was always taught from a young age that words have power and to careful how I use them. My son is not quite two, but will learn this same lesson.
We choose how to use our words and energy in this life. We can lift others up and make the world a brighter place, or we can choose to go down the rabbit hole of negativity and let our words do harm.
Recent equine industry cyber bullying has me shaking my head and wondering where is this world heading.
Groups are popping up in social media daily, simply for the purpose of attacking and bullying horses and owners in this industry. I get it, people are bored, but is this how they think time is best spent?
I saw a photo of the one of the greatest stallions of all time posted just so people could bash him. The photo was taken at 26 years old. This is an all time leading sire, and somehow these groups found ways to fault him due to a photo at advanced age.
People are posting images of stallions they find on the internet to lobby for them to be gelded. These stallions (and other horses) are loved by their owners. You do not stand a stallion to get rich. Someone raised that stud or bought him and has poured countless hours and dollars into building him.
These stallion owners pay for all the programs you get to show in. They are often the sponsors of classes at shows and year end awards. They are often the ones paying the bills so we get to play.
As these groups rise in popularity, they feel a power and right to their words. Yes we protect freedom of speech but can we start expecting some decency in our horse industry?
I was excited to see Terry Bradshaw’s Intuit announced as the newest Breyer model. The stallion is breathtaking, a champion, beautifully colored and owned by one of the biggest supporters of the industry.
To see the abuse that the Bradshaw’s received over what should have been a fun announcement has me disappointed and saddened.
You may not like halter horses, or pleasure horses or perhaps you don’t love Arabians. These opinions do not necessitate cyber bullying. If you don’t want to buy an Intuit model then don’t! Let others have their joy.
Instead the bullies won, Terry withdrew his phenomenal stallion from Breyer and now some little boy or girl will never fall in love with that stunning spotted model horse. She may have been a future ApHC president and he the vet that could have saved my horse many years from now. We will never know.
I am not against healthy debate, meaningful discussions and learning. Our forum was where I learned a lot about breeding as a young woman. I loved that opinions were shared and discussion ensued. The intent of these discussions was always education though and not pure boredom bullying. In the good ol’ days you would be called out a “troll” and punted for these actions deemed acceptable on social media.
This site has one of the largest social followings in the industry, and this is challenge for our fans. Why don’t we push to bring decency back to social media. If every one of our 690K fans made the choice to not join, share or support these groups we could make a difference. Don’t give the power to these groups of people who just sit behind their computers attacking others.
We can use our words to lift each other, educate those who ask for help and share in celebrations and even join together to lessen a loss.
I have always been so proud to own this site due to the people and readers that visit. We get the odd comment on controversial subjects but we maintain a stance that hatred is not tolerated on our pages. That is my right and choice as the page owner.
Mostly, I read the comments on our posts and am reminded of what I love in this industry. Good people who simply love good horses!
So today I would like to start a challenge in social media #ShowSomePositivity challenge. We would love to see you post a photo of a horse or rider with your message of positivity and support. It doesn’t need to be a famous horse or stallion, it can be your neighbor 4–H kid or local breeder. Tag us in it so we can share the love! Let’s give some love back to the people and horses in this industry and give people something positive to focus on!
Oh and if you need some tips for dealing with the cyber bullies check out Don’t Feed The Trolls – 7 Tips to Starve the Negativity out of the Horse World