Horse people are all over social media. We follow Facebook groups, search Instagram hashtags and read forums – all in the pursuit of knowledge, gawking and squeeing at fluffy ponies. Most of us are kind, fun and willing to help when asked.
And then there are those people. We’ve all seen them. They’re the ones who have become caricatures of themselves and unleashed 10,000 people’s worth of stereotypes with a few taps on the keyboard. Facebook horse groups in particular are full of these archetypes. Good lord, those groups can be a scary place.
From the lady who is obsessed with linking every known illness to ulcers, to that one OTTB nut that always goes overboard, let’s get a glimpse of every horse personality lurking on social media.
And just a reminder, this is all in good fun. Who are we, if we can’t make fun of ourselves from time to time?
The Ulcer Lady
“Have you checked him for ulcers?” is this person’s standard reply. Lame in the hind end? Ulcers. Eye swollen? Definitely the hind gut. Ripped his new blanket? Ulcer city. Threw a shoe? Yep, you guessed it. In fact, someone might want to check on this lady in case it’s some kind of coded reply as a cry for help.
The One-Woman SPCA
ABUSE! ABUSE! Riding your horse is abuse. Putting shoes on a horse is abuse. Cross-country riding is abuse. Stalling your horse is abusive. Feeding your horse treats is abuse (seriously, I’ve read that sentence). Teaching your horse tricks is condescending and unnatural. Your horse needs to give you PERMISSION to brush him. If he bites you, you deserve it. We should probably just release all the horses back to the wild right now. They’d do better on their own without our interference.
The Natural Horse Person
This person is all about natural everything, and any kind of modern veterinary medicine is either cruel or unnecessary. Using a whip is certainly not allowed either, even if it’s Satan the Pony himself. Other posters are chastised for using traditional training methods, shoeing their horses or putting feed in buckets that are not on the ground. Didn’t you know saddles are the devil too? And vaccines are clearly going to kill a horse in two seconds flat. Ulcergard? No, no. Just give him a candy cane and some weeds that have been blessed by a Shaman.
The OTTB Nut
OTTBs can be awesome horses. They really can. Some are quiet, some are hot, some are easy and some are… not. And then there are people like me who have zero business retraining even a mane to lay on the other side, let alone a living horse with hooves and athleticism.
Yet, there is that person who thinks each and every OTTB has been crowned with perfect sainthood. She thinks anyone who wants an already trained horse is wasting all of the planet’s resources and bringing about a humanitarian crisis single-handedly. A four-year-old’s first horse? Why, try a four-year-old OTTB! They can learn together. A terrified beginner adult ammy on a budget? Don’t get the 18-year-old packer. The OTTB in this video is perfect! Nevermind that he’s high as a kite and rearing, and you can see the reflections of your own fear in the whites of his widened eyes. He’ll settle down eventually!
The Self-Appointed Trainer/Killjoy
Sometimes people share videos or photos of their horses just for fun and to bond with others over our passion. And then other people come in and squash the warm fuzzies with the fury of an elephant’s rear end. These are not the helpful people who offer suggestions. They judge with scorn and fancy themselves to be the next George Morris. They probably hate puppies and food.
“OH MY GOSH, you are killing your horse! You have no business jumping. Your stirrups are half a hole too long, and it’s disgraceful. Did you even brush him? He’s not shining. Your elbows are bent 8 percent less than they should be. You should be riding a donkey.”
The Clueless One
And then there is the poor soul who — bless her heart — needs all the help. The halter is put on wrong. Her saddle is about three sizes too small, and her horse’s blanket is pony-sized. Literally. Clueless Lady doesn’t know why her horse won’t load when her trailer looks like it has a jungle growing inside it, it’s falling apart and oh, by the way, is actually meant to haul sheep.
You can collectively hear the Internet head-desking when she asks, “My horse is bleeding profusely because his hoof got cut off by the tractor, and I think he might be colicking too. Should I feed him extra grain now or in the morning?”