It was pretty typical of the hurtful, stupid nonsense that you will see in the comment section of any popular blog, page, I guess anywhere there is space for comments and opinions.
This blog taught me a little about trolls, but it was during my brief stint writing for FHOTD that really broke me in. What an amazing pack hyenas!
I was criticized for spelling errors, riding western, writing about my daughter, liking quarter horses, living in Colorado, not knowing how to ride a hunter jumper, I could go on.
I responded in kind, telling them to get over the spelling and sentence structure problems, grow up and take a look at western riding, etc. Ride a hunter jumper? Well of course I could, as long as I didn't actually jump anything.
I made screaming, shrieking enemies out of a bunch of trolls when I suggested this:
was the ideal hunter jumper conformation.
I thought it was pretty funny. The arm chair experts, trolls and angry horse blog readers did not.
I made some real enemies on that blog. It moved up to homicidal hatred when I started to post a series about things I hated and started off with martingales and nose bands. Oh my goodness. There is some real craziness out there.
I couldn't wait to scurry back to the gentle world of Mugwump Chronicles. Those nasty people were turning me into something I didn't want to be. I was becoming angry, defensive and spiteful. Angry, I'm OK with, defensive too, as long as I'm being attacked, I feel free to defend. I didn't like the spiteful part though. I didn't want to become that.
In my friends case, the troll was complaining about his methods, his prices and the training of his personal animals. Anybody who knows this guy and is lucky enough to work with him, knows how quality his product is and the exceptional results his clients get.
Further research proved this whiner wasn't in their records anywhere. It looks like he never worked with them at all. A quick cruise of his FB page results in a dead end. No photos, no information, just an address in the Internet Netherworld, more than likely set up for the express purpose of trolling.
What a weird hobby.
Can you imagine, having enough poison in your system to hang around the Internet, looking for posts and pages to attack? To be so incredibly insecure, you have to hide in anonymity and scream foul, whether it be true or not, just because you can't shake the meanness that's turning your guts into a gangrenous mass of rot.
Since my blog, and my friends too, both are built around training animals, we are opening ourselves to criticism and difference of opinion. That's OK. Especially when it comes from an educated source. As far as I'm concerned, that opens the door for discussion, but not for gutting me like the Christmas goose. There are quite a few readers around here that send me private emails telling me I'm full of, well, let's say beans. I'll argue, and I'm good at it, but I try hard not to make or take things personally. If you're polite, and have a point, I'm all for it. If you're mean spirited, stupid, or a crazy stalker, well, I got nothing for you.
This blog has become really good at avoiding the troll trap, at least when I manage to ignore them and not get all pissy. I try to keep my yap shut, and so do most of you guys, and then we collectively ignore them until they go away. And go away they do.
I used to be stopped cold, hurt, and made very, very insecure by the armchair trainers, trolls and crazy stalkers. Now, I think I understand them better and they don't bother me as much. These can't be people who are actually good with horses, dogs or the other stuff we talk about around here. Nobody with that amount of bad Ju Ju swirling around in their bellies can possibly give off the calm, open, peaceful vibes that go with sound training practices.
Being so unhappy with yourself that you cruise the Internet, trying to make others feel as crappy as you is just sad. I ward off any problems they could possibly cause by being as honest as I know how to be, and making sure I can back up my training methods and opinions with fact.
I've even managed to find out some surprising facts about myself from my trolls. I've learned I'm a horse training guru, an expert and a BNT. I admit, these descriptions were all prefaced with "so-called," but I've never called myself any of those things, somebody else must have. Even if it only comes from my merry band of mugs haters, I'm good with that. Thank you.
Not all of the trash talk on the net comes from trolls. There is the bad customer problem. These are the customers that are unhappy for one reason or another, and instead of working things out between themselves and the pro, jump up and down and scream on the Internet. The worst complaints come from those who left us in a bloody wake of bounced checks, missed lessons, unrealistic expectations and the limits of their own inability to work with their animals. For some reason, those realities are never mentioned.
So, what's my point? I guess it's my recommendation to my friend. Ignore those trolls. They can't hurt you. Your readers and customers will grind their nonsense into dust for you. If you talk to them, they win. If you let them matter, they win.
Pay no more attention to them than a colt fretting on the tie rail or a puppy yapping to be let out of his crate. People really need good training help and it's a waste of all our energy giving a single thought to those trolls.