Now don't get me wrong. I am not blaming internet message boards for all of my most stupid dressage mistakes. One doesn't blame tequila for the fact that they danced naked in the halls of South residence during frosh week. They just go "woah. I should really do my very best to stay away from tequila" then thank whoever it is they pray to that Facebook and digital photography didn't exist in the early 90's.
But wow, when I headed off down the dressage pathway, the stuff I read there without a doubt lead to the biggest and best "head in the toilet, what the hell was I thinking, did I just barf in my car" versions of dressage hangover stupid moves that occurred along the way. Ultimate Dressage is hands down the worst, but Chron of Horse has it's days, and the local EMG of course gave me the resources needed to meet up with weirdos in person.
Imagine with me reader, for a minute, that you had never in your life ever gone shopping.
Then someone took you to Wal-Mart.
Wow! It is cool isn't it. It is cheap. There are these yellow smiley face things everywhere. It is brightly lit and lots of other people are here too, all enjoying themselves and sharing in the glory of the low-LOW-prices.
What sort of idiot would spend more money and go to, say, Mexx. Or Jacob. Or buy shoes at Aldo. God forbid Anne Klein. Only an idiot would pay for that shit, when we can do it all here together, Wal-Mart shoppers, for way less money. Let's rise up and share our knowledge. Who needs those jerks and their natural fabrics and tailored jackets. Wanks!! Look, we have George. He makes fashionable stuff. Who needs anyone else.
This, my friends, is the way I see Message Boards and their value to dressage. Why pay for the knowledge and experience of someone who actually knows what the hell they are doing, when you can talk to anonymous morons for free. But if you have never been shopping before, it takes you a while to figure out that spandex tights and hoodies and pleather boots really shouldn't be worn by anyone, anywhere, even if they talk a good game and sound like they really, really know how to pull together a look, and 15 of their friends pipe up immediately and say "hot, wow, you are it baby".
Well, maybe message boards are a little different.
Like, for argument's sake, say Anne Klein actually walked in to a Wal-Mart, and decided to buy some socks or maybe some dish soap because c'mon, really, the prices ARE good... If Wal-Mart really was a dressage message board (say, Ultimate Dressage), the shopping hordes would rise up and bludgeon her to death with a 60 pack of Nestle Halloween treats, because what on EARTH does Anne Klein know about clothes or fashion or shopping, and how dare she even suggest that she knows how to buy socks any better than us just because she calls herself a designer. Bitch. We are livin' it here baby, livin' on a prayer, and we don't need HER! She will probably take the socks home and smother puppies with them, the cruel, hate filled cow...
And that is why you probably won't see Anne Klein in Wal-Mart, well not in Cambridge anyways, or anyone who knows their ass from a hole in the ground posting anything on a dressage message board. The mass of morons inevitably rise and kill off any spark of helpfulness and sanity that they might contribute with cries of rollkur and quotes from Walter Zettl. So don't even bother trying to find help there.
Maybe this doesn't make sense to anyone but me, and well, that's fine. I am used to it. Long story short - crack open the wallet. Pay for good coaching. Stop reading message boards.
Next time, I will share with you some of my fun filled message board inspired lessons. Or as I like to remember them "$100's of dollars and hours of my life I will never, ever see again..."