Tuesday, January 31, 2012


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.


  1. Thank you for explaining what happened but please don't stop your blog Robin :(

  2. Please keep posting, I will miss you and your horse if you stop. I was really enjoying the inprogress pictures of your new western sidesaddle apron and was looking forward to seeing it finished.

  3. I'm so sorry that someone misinterpreted your blog posts. I always find your posts refreshing and honest (and entertaining), and will certainly miss reading it. I hope you will be able to bridge the gulf back to your friend, and that she will understand.

  4. I too really enjoy reading your posts. I have learned a great deal from them as I am alone down here in my sidesaddle endeavor. I love stories about Owen and his silliness and your stories of past horses. I kind of feel a kinship because we are both reenactors. Please don't stop posting.

  5. Every writer has a moment or two when someone misinterprets what was said. The discomfort won't last forever and I'm sure a the day will come when your urge to share will overcome your hesitancy to do so.

    Gather your skirts and keep on hiking!

    There are many Side Saddle wannabes out there who need the inspiration.

  6. Oh no! This is one of my favorite blogs, and I am saddened. I won't be able to re-read some of my favorite articles! Like you, I can't think of anything that was critical of anyone but yourself. Your general statements were never offensive. Aren't someone's thoughts and experience what makes blogs so wonderful to read? Ohhh....where else will I find a morgan dressage lady who likes to sew!!?? Anyways, keep calm and carry on, I can't wait to see what that new sewing machines bangs out.