I have tried to be fair in this blog, kind and respectful to others and in general attempted to further the understanding of riding aside. I have used my own experiences as examples to others so that they may learn from my mistakes and avoid making them. At no time have I tried to belittle anyone in particular, and in general I ruthlessly edit my writing before posting it to avoid any misunderstanding.
And yet misunderstandings occur. I failed in clarity in one of my posts and a good friend misinterpreted my thoughts as personal criticism. A flurry of emails ensued, with other bystanders sucked into the fray, and within hours what had been a close friendship has possibly been damaged forever. Both this person and I are deeply hurt, and that there may now be a permanent gulf between us moves me to tears.
I can only state to anyone out there that I may have offended, I never intended personal insult to anyone. When examples of poor form or position were needed, I offered up photographs of myself and used my equitation to illustrate what not to do. I would never post a photo of another person with the intent to criticize. Any photos I have posted of other ladies I put out there simply because I admired the image and wished to share it with others.
Unlike many of you, I have been lucky enough to geographically find myself in a sidesaddle epicenter, and because of our occupation Bruce and I have huge collections of sidesaddle riders of all sorts. I realize that some of you have never and may never get the chance to see a western rider aside, so I use examples from our work that I hope both flatter and inspire.
I religiously avoid cattiness, tho' I do admit to heavy sarcastic tendencies, and I am sorry if any of my attempts at subtle humor offended. Please do not attempt to read between the lines of anything that I have written and do not search for oblique references or under the table barbs. I am nothing if not direct, and if I mean to insult you I would hardly do so in a blog but would contact you directly; I do not believe in going behind any one's back.
There are indeed some aspects of riding aside that I feel strongly about, and I make no apology for critique of systemic or institutional sidesaddle faults. I may make a sweeping statement about, for example, the lack of adherence to traditional attire in the arabian sidesaddle division, but I have never and will never single out a particular rider to condemn.
In reviewing my previous posts I can in all honesty say that the one person I have criticized most heavily is myself. I have deleted my previous work because I could not distinguish what might give offense and what might not. Perhaps I have thrown the baby out with the bath water.
I am a fervent believer in "what goes around comes around," and have used this principle as a guiding one. I try to be kind, in hopes that others will pay it forward, and in the selfish belief that I may benefit from it in the end.
I have made some terrific "virtual" friends through this blog, ladies I never would have crossed paths with otherwise. Whether or not I decide to continue posting depends on how well I recover emotionally from this latest episode. Words have potential to offend or even harm, and I would condemn myself if I caused any additional pain to others.