Believe It or Not

  (“Don’t be snowed.”) 

You have probably heard the observation that to a carpenter every problem can be solved with a hammer and a nail. This is appropriate to remember whenever you go on Facebook and read the entries in the assorted Dressage Groups.

I belong to a few of them, and while I don’t actively participate, I voyeuristically peruse them largely for the entertainment value.
I am not suggesting you shouldn’t look at them, but it would be wise not necessarily to believe what you read at face value. Some of the contributors simply don’t know what they’re talking about. That’s their prerogative. Some advice is only worth being read and then immediately discarded!

Others who post may have a valid point in the context they are familiar with, but like the carpenter trying to repair the balloon, it may not apply across the board. This is often true of the most elaborately technical answers, so fair warning—don’t be snowed because they sound fancy.

Hearing lots of opinions can be useful. It opens you up to ideas you may not have run into. Just don’t believe everything you read, and especially don’t fall victim to adopting the latest advice you’ve heard and then discarding it as soon as the next piece comes along.

A couple of suggestions: The best answer to most riding questions is “It depends.” Experience and feel help you determine when to switch tactics and try a new approach or when to persevere and follow your method to its conclusion. Remember that what didn’t work at some point in the past may be worth revisiting under different circumstances (even with the same horse) in the future.