Monday, May 8, 2017

Does This Horse Make My Butt Look Fat?

On occasion on Facebook I fall into reading posts on various "horse chat" sites. The experience is invariably painful. The persistent ignorance, arrogance, sycophancy, and the desperate clawing to discover whatever it is with which all good horse people should agree, has certainly taken years off of my life expectancy.

Facts are real. They do not change. They are not subject to referendum. They have no need to be supported by consensus. They do not need cheerleading by the loudest and most obnoxious voices in the crowd.

Facts are not, to use one of the most obnoxious terms of this century, "snarky."

Think how often one has seen a question on these boards along this line, "I am thinking of changing the de-wormer that I use--any thoughts on which brand is best?"

Now think how rare it is to ever see a question on these boards along this line, "I am thinking of changing the de-wormer that I use--any lists of peer reviewed research articles on the effectiveness of the various classes of drugs currently available to kill internal parasites?"

The opinions of ten thousand posters that the rotational worming schedule hyped in the late 1990's is the only way to go do not trump even one factual, unbiased, well researched study on the efficacy of various strategies for controlling worms.

And those who do not even know who these "experts" are  place their horse's health in the hands  of these self appointed arbiters of all things equine.

What does it say about the self esteem and over all mental health of those who post pictures of themselves or their horses and ask for a verdict from the internet jury on how well they ride, their horse's conformation, and whether or not they are too big for their horse? Why do these masochists invite the derision of equ-fascist commentators whose only skill and knowledge that can be proven from their comments is the skill to type on a keyboard and the knowledge to press the "enter" key?

The internet is a tremendous tool for spreading knowledge and solid information.  It is an even stronger tool for spreading ignorance and falsehoods.

Everyone out there who puts a saddle on a horse owes to that horse the responsibility of acquiring every bit of solid knowledge about all things equine that one can possibly garner.

And the quest for knowledge should never end. No teacher should ever stop being a student.

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