There is an anti- bullying campaign at the moment and bullying is sadly a very relevant topic in the horse world. I have been to various yards over the years and am amazed by the differences when it comes to atmosphere.
I am an expert on bullies! Being vertically challenged was like catnip to bullies at school and then moving into the horse world, my slightly “different” background and approach to horses seemed to give similar ammunition. People will tell you not to take notice of bullies but you will, it’s hard not to. The answer is not to ignore the behaviour but change it so it doesn’t need to be ignored.
Today, I was Rapunzel – oh yes, I lead an incredibly random existence! But yes, I was Rapunzel and I turned up at a school to surprise some lovely young kids having a party. And when I arrived they were all delighted.
Not one questioned how I got there or where I had come from. Not one laughed at me for wearing an insane purple dress. Not one said I was daft for having flowers in my insanely long hair. They all just welcomed me with open arms. And I smiled at how marvellous that was.
I wish it felt like that when I arrived at a new yard. Someone new may not have the nicest horse, or may do something differently to you but it is so important that everyone feels welcome and included on a yard. It is an expensive hobby and it makes me so cross when others try and diminish someone’s enjoyment of that hobby by making a bitchy comment or acting badly!
I would love to hear your experiences – how have the yards you have been to dealt with bullies? What do you think could improve a yard environment? Let me know.