I thought you guys might enjoy this:
One: I'm never wearing that purple shirt for photos again. Ugh, I look terrible in that color. Two: I need to lose about ten more pounds. Halfway there! Three: I look like a very focused frog in the After picture. Four: Theo needs his mane pulled.
Five: Mi papi is gorgeous.
This was posted on Mary Wanless's FB page. Fortunately it's not linked to me in any way since I'm making such a ridiculous face in the second picture. I was working very hard on breathing and riding and not getting the tape, so I have my cheeks all puffed out. But it's a good reference for the changes I'm supposed to be doing. No hollow in the back, heels under my hips, all of that. It's also a fantastic reference for what Theo is capable of doing. That does not look like the same horse at all.
I also saw first hand how you can't please everyone on social media. It's a pretty benign picture. I'm in a round spur, riding in an egg butt snaffle with a nice, open frame on my horse. His gear all fits, I have my hair up, my turnout is conservative (his forelock his hiding the blingy browband). There was still a comment questioning my choices. Why do I ride with spurs if the changes make my legs so effective? Because my horse is a lazy ass that needs occasional reminders as to what his job is and when he decides to throw down and refuse to listen, I need the tools to win quickly before it escalates and gets dangerous. I adore this horse, but I also know and respect his history. Spurs are staying on my feet, even if they were not at all needed on that last ride or any other ride where I get the big lug up in front of my legs where he belongs.
Of course I can't post that on FB. The person commenting doesn't know anything about me except that I went to a clinic to be a more effective rider. Me replying would turn it from a passing comment to a fight. I've learned that lesson. I do not bicker with the self righteous. Most of the people commenting were very positive about the changes in him and discussed how such a subtle change in my position could make such a difference. It's a relief, since my heart skipped a beat when I realized I recognized the rider in those photos. I gave her permission to post them, but it was still a surprise.
I should tape the after picture up in Theo's run in, so he can get a daily reminder of what he's supposed to trot like.