I am sure a lot of people have seen the article circulating around the horse side of Instagram, but incase you deleted all social media ( which is what I need to do), let me get you up to speed. Eventing Nation is a website for eventers by eventers where amateur and professional authors can voice their opinions on things going on within the sport, share tips and tricks, and even post fail videos or fail articles. Eventing Nation was a website I kept up with here and there in college, specifically since I was very involved with the eventing community in Alabama and around the southeast. Occasionally my friends would have their IG’s reposted to the website, get mentioned in an article after a horse show, or just send me articles to read. I have always been pretty neutral about the website, and eventing in general. I always thought the website had a negative undertone to it. In fact, every eventer I have ever met was always a negative nancy. There was no mental toughness within this community. It always seemed to be a “woah is me” mentality. I hated this. I hated it so much. In a sport that’s dangerous and exhilirating, its important to have a little mental toughness… seriously, like, just a little. I have another post about that… scroll down…. Anyways, I digress.
I have been to many different types of horse shows. I have been to Arabian shows, Saddlebred shows, open shows, western shows, stock shows, eventing shows, you name it, I have been there and I have seen it all. If not all of it, a lot of it. If I am being 100% honest, eventers were always the rudest of the bunch. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my college friends I met through eventing (well, some of them more than others) but their trainers were always so damn mean. And for what reason? Its not like getting ahead in this sport is easy. I worked my ass off for 4 years to get a 6th place ribbon my senior year of college. Was I mean or rude to anyone in order to do so?? NO! Did I step on toes to get ahead?? NOPE! Eventers have a perpetual chip on their shoulder. There is always the occassional good egg in the group, but for the most part, and in my experience. They all act like they have something huge to prove. They don’t ever seem to enjoy their sport or their horses. It’s a grudge like mentality, and it was defiantly illustrated in this LOVELY (sarcasm) article by Leslie Wylie for Eventing Nation.
She starts the article with saying that no eventers were nominated for the year end awards, and that Arabians took up a majority of the spots. But the way she said it: “No offense to Arabians, they have many laudable qualities including but not limited to great hair and very archy necks, but it does seem weird that exhibitors of the breed took five out of six of the Equestrian of the Year nominee list. “
EXCUSE ME?? NO OFFENSE?? Does the author know that when you say “no offense” it means you are intending to offend someone? How many times were Arabians left off the list and it was full of eventers? PROBABLY MORE TIMES THAN YOU CAN COUNT !! And yet, no Arab people have ever bitched about it once!!!
I also LOVE the fact that she says “great hair”. Like what the hell does that have to do with anything? Maybe your TB would have better hair, legs and a nicer neck if the breeding was better!!!
That “archy neck” Leslie, is something that can bend and arch in many ways, for example – saddleseat, hunter, western, sport horse, jumping, barrel racing…. you get the point. The list goes on. Sorry your event horse has a bad neck that can’t “arch” like my Arabs necks can.
She then goes onto say “Well, good to know that someone out there had a good 2020!” As in the Arabians. This just comes off as childish and immature. I am so sick and tired of these people from other disciplines treating Arabians like they do.
It would appear to me that she got a lot of backlash for her article, as she added not one, but TWO footnotes about how the awards are selected and about how she owned an Arabian for 26 years. Blah blah blah.
Leslie, shame on you. Shame on you for diminishing another breed different from your own. Shame on you for not taking the time to do your research and try to save yourself in the footnotes. Shame on you, and shame on Eventing Nation for posting this article. It is a disgrace to our beloved Arabian horses and the community that surrounds them. It shows that other breeds and disciplines do not care about other’s successes. It just goes to show that “eventers are superior” and the chip on their shoulder does in fact exist.
I have already submitted a compliant to firstname.lastname@example.org and urge my readers to do the same. Leslie should retracte her article and it needs to be deleted from Eventing Nation.
I also wanted to include what I wrote in 2018 below. I posted this in the “Promoting Positive Change for the Arabian Breed” facebook group. It got a lot of attention and it needs attention again.
If you or someone you know feels the same way as me, please feel free to DM me on IG @Call.My.Agent. I would love to get some sort of group going on this topic.
LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: I was just recently at an Arabian show in FL. I was at dinner with my trainer friend and we got into a great discussion about the versatility of the Arabian horse and how we couldn’t name another breed that could do all disciplines (saddle seat, hunter, western, sport horse, etc. the list goes on) that Arabians can do. Since coming to college, the majority of girls either ride hunters/jumpers, strictly dressage, or 3 day eventing. Because these were my only options to be involved in the equestrian community while at college, I decided to teach my horse how to jump/event. I enjoy challenging myself. It was a “anything you can do, I can do better” moment. I totally immersed myself in everything eventing. I learned who the “big name” riders and barns were. I learned the rules, got the correct gear, figured out how their “horse trial” shows worked, all while paying homage to the Arabian breed. However, I never felt that any of my “friends” did the same for me, an Arabian rider. They never seemed interested in my discipline, or wanted to learn about main ring hunter pleasure, native costume, or what a Park horse was. They seem so stuck in the eventing mentality, while I was totally interested in learning more about a different discipline. The great helmet debate always came up. They never understood that it was a breed thing. Take Morgans, Saddlebreds, and Quarter Horses as they other example. They never took the time to understand my breed, but the took the time to judge the helmet situation. They took the time to judge the clipping, the care, the upkeep. They couldn’t ever seem to look past these things and see the beauty and versatility of the breed. They never took the time to understand or ask questions about how Arabian shows worked, like I asked questions about horse trials. Call me curious, but I would be interested if someone was talking about how they need to order more stall drapes for shows.
My question is this– why do we, as Arabian owners and riders, [seem to] have more respect for other disciplines than they have respect for us? Does anyone else feel this way?
Note: This is just my observation. I have noticed these things over the past 3.5 years of college. I am just wondering if anyone feels similarly to me or has had a similar experience. I am in no way saying all hunter/jumper/eventing folks are like this. This has just been my personal experience.