HI Spy: How do you Deal with the Local Know-it-All?


How do you handle the equine know-it-all?There’s an old saying that free advice is worth what you pay for it. In other words, it’s often worth nothing. But there is a lot of advice freely offered in the horse world. In fact, nearly every boarding facility has its resident know-it-all. They’re more than willing to advise you on how to saddle your horse, train your horse, feed your horse, trailer your horse and doctor your horse whether or not you actually care to listen.

In all fairness, sometimes an experienced horseperson will offer unsolicited advice as an intervention in order to prevent a potential tragedy. For example, perhaps they notice that a cinch isn’t tightened or a horse is missing a front shoe. But we’re not focusing on these kindhearted individuals. We’re concerned with that one person you try to avoid at the feed store because they can’t help but counsel you on which grain, pellet or supplement to buy. We’re also interested in the one rider who constantly informs you that your horse is counter-bent, over-bridled, too fast or too slow. You know the type.

While we don’t want you to mention any names, we would like to hear how you personally deal with the ubiquitous know-it-all. What do you do when you’re given advice that you didn’t ask for? How do you react when you know that the advice is completely contrary to what you know in your heart is correct? Do you instigate a know-it-all smackdown and put them in their rightful place? Do you remain diplomatic, smile politely, and then continue with what you were doing on your own, anyway? Do you respond with something blunt like, “Thanks, but I’d prefer to follow my vet’s advice”? Or do you run and hide behind the tack room whenever you see the busy body approaching?

This is an opportunity for you to share your wisdom. Just click on Submit a Comment below and share your best tip for handling nosy know-it-alls. Some of the responses may be featured in an upcoming issue of Horse Illustrated.

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  1. When ever our barn “know it all” comes around I start talking to my horse or busy myself, so I look preoccupied…but then when they start to say something I just give a quick look nod my head say oh ok, yup, got it, or I say oh sorry. On rides, to avoid a know it all, I just ride on the other side of the arena or say if they are trying to ‘correct’ something in my riding, “I’m doin’ what my instructor said to do’.

  2. Well I don’t board, so when it comes to know-it-all’s, my ex-ferriar is one. You think he would actually know alot, but really, he thinks that there is only 1 way one doing things, his way. So when he would talk while trimming, I would nod my head and say “yup” or “okay”, but actully just tune out not listen to anything he would say. So in the end, I got a new ferriar.

  3. The owner of my riding barn DOES know it all, but it is a good thing, as she tries to help us with things that we didnt know. Its for the horses and peoples saftey.

  4. My ex-trainer was somewhat like that. I got and awesome new trainer last year. His daughter also helps me a ton. She knows she doesn’t know it all. In my opinion she knows most of it. She knows she will always be learning. I try to avoid my ex-trainer now. When I do see her I just say okay and tune out the info. I am really careful about who I trust now because my ex-trainer really messed me up.

  5. We had a woman like this at our farm. She owned a Standardbred that she got from a rescue. I swear she knew everything, or at least thought she did. She was going to “break” this horse and he was going to be the best. Of course, it would have helped if the horse would even come to her in the field. She would take grain with her and he still wouldn’t come. Anyway, I avoided her most of the time but, if caught, I did my best to direct the conversation elsewheres so I wouldn’t be put in a position to tell her what she could do with her “free advice.” Eventually, she left the farm. And there was a huge sigh of relief heard throughout the land!

  6. Ugh! Know it alls drive me up the wall! There is this one person at my stable who my instructor assigned to ‘help me’ if I REQUESTED help! I didn’t, but they came in the stall where I was tacking up the horse I was to ride and redid every single boot and told me how to put them on and then said, “You can just go get your helmet while I put your bridle on!” I was furious! I love time with this horse… Then she walked him for me to the arena and nodded to my instructor saying, “Don’t worry, I helped her!” And I was perfectly capable of doing this alone! I mean, she was only trying to be kind… But I wish I had’ve told her I was okay to do it alone…

  7. I know! I have a know it all were I ride. I was tacking up one day and she came and told me how to and I know how to. She would be behind me and tell me what I did wrong,well what she thinks is wrong. Like when I’m riding she tells me what to do on Ople. AND I KNOW WHAT TO DO! She is so annoying.

  8. oh lord. i have too many know it all’s in my life. once a lady told me i was putting too much fly spray on my horse and i was going to kill my horse because of it. and then another lady was watching when i was putting my bridle on and she goes “here these things annoy horses” and she re-did my entire bridle when it was perfectly fine!! i usually put htem in their place though.

  9. There are a couple know-it-alls in my life. One is a boy who has been riding 1/3 as long as me and thinks everybody else does it wrong and he does it right. When he gives me “advice” i just nod and say thanks and keep doin things the way i think they work best. Another would give good advice but also some bad advice. she would give some pointers that i found really helped but some just wouldn’t work on my horse. but i still thanked her and used the good advice.

  10. I personally always try to take something from it. I feel that we as people can always learn something from every situation. Then when the advice is given I reply with. “Thank you for sharing the way you do that and why with me. I feel that there are many different and all as equally good ways to get from point A to point B, although I do like (pick one positive thing out of what they said) and maybe I will give that a try next time I ride. Thank You for the advice.” Then walk (and sometimes run…lol…) away.

  11. I have dealt with these “know it alls” before, however, everyone has what works for THEM and THEIR horses. I do agree that sometimes people should keep their opinions to themselves, but there is little control to be had over that. Most “Horse People” are going to tell you what they think, it’s the nature of the beast. We are strong(minded) individuals. I just take what I like from the “know it all” and leave the rest in the arena. There are however, many time I have thought what comes out of their mouth stinks more than what comes out of my horses rearend.
    Just sayin’.

  12. Ah yes I know this person…
    After several leases, I am finally ready to buy my own horse. As soon as word got around, that the barn may be receiving a new tenant, this “person” constantly is “advising” that I avoid purchasing a mare, or a paint, or a quarter horse, or a thoroughbred, oh or an Arab. Also that I should not actually buy a horse but lease one again.
    It does not stop there, every time she is there, I cant even lead my horse without her telling me that it is in my space and I need to be more aggressive, ugg! I have just smiled and nodded, as to be polite, however I am getting a bit tired of hiding behind the tack room, per say. Im not sure, the point when I should just ask her politely to BUTT OUT!!

  13. If you mean the real know it all, who doesn’t know much but thinks they do, then I just smile and nod my head. I figure it’s better than disagreeing with them.

  14. Ugh. We have one person at our stable who my instructor advised to, “Aid me,” if I requested help. I didn’t, but she wanted to feel superior to me so she came in and redid every boot while explaining the proper way to apply velcro!? Then she walks my big, chestnut mount to the arena saying that beginners often can’t do certain things. I felt like saying, “HELLO! I’ve been riding for three years! I think I can lead a horse!” Typically I’d ignore her and nod, but I’m very open to the concept of learning- new things, that is! Sometimes I consider snapping something sassy back to her, but I know she is just trying to help- even when the help is just destroying my newly restored confidence in doing things around horses myself.

  15. There aren’t any Know-it-alls at our farm that I know of, But if there was I would just try to avoid them. If they come on the same day I do, I ride out in the field when they are in the Outdoor areana. If I have to ride in the same place, I would try to ride when they aren’t.

  16. When dealing with my resident know-it-all, I just try to remember to go with my feelings because I know my horse best. Once, after she watched one lesson of mine, she decided that my horse’s hocks were stiff and told my trainer. I didn’t think so, but we had to have the vet out to look at his hocks, which turned out to be fine. So now whenever she tells me how to do things, I try to listen, but then make the decision I think is best.

  17. When free advice comes my way I politely say, Thank you! I’ll remember that, great, I might need that sometime, thanks again. And, then go about my business. I’ve learned not to burn bridges, that I might need to walk over sometime later. Thanks.

  18. my sister is such a think she knows it all kinda person and shes yonger than me!!!!! She often gives me incorrect advice.

  19. My sister Has been riding half as long as i have and she corrects me on every thing I do. She will say something like goshh, dont stop an get off yor horse in front of the barn door when really I am way off to the side away from everyboady else, Only because my horse is “Mc. Nasty”! I want to yell in her face “HELLO I HAVE BEEN RIDING FOR 8 YEARS!!!!” you have only been riding for like 4. GOD i dont like her.

  20. A new rider recently came to my barn and she is a beginner. She is the type who sct like they know everything there is to know about horses and then proves she does’nt. Whenever I am around her I Ignore her except when she seems confused it can be fun to turn into the one who actually knows about horses. usually, I avoid and ignore her.

  21. We had someone in our barn who came in knowing nothing. Unfortunately, he took a seminar and became an “expert”. I have been in the business for over 35 years and he began telling me what I was doing wrong—constantly. I ignored him which fired him up even more. Unfortunately, this was a public servant who went to his supervisor(who knew NOTHING about horses) and convinced him I was a total idiot. It was a hard won victory but, he is no longer with us. Sometimes, you have to speak up when an idiot who thinks he’s somebody is treating you and his mount badly.

  22. we have this little girl who rides at my barn, and she acts like she knows EVERYTHING, because shes so perfect. she rides my horse sometimes, i hate it, always beating her with the crop, ill tell her things, like dont go into her stall without my permission, she could bite you, i almost lost a finger to her. shes like oh its fine ill be fine i know this horse, im like shes my horse, i think i might know more. and i was bridleing her once, and she comes out of nowhere and goes hey bev! and starts petting her, and she got scared and got the bits under her tounge and hit her eye. im like hey be careful! because its my horse, then she goes and gets all pissy because i told her not to do something, thats a girl who isnt told NO eanough.

  23. Been there; done that ..lol. I’ve found the best approach in my opinion is simply replying ” we each have our preferences, but any time you wanna discuss techniques, I’d love to; however, right now I’m going to enjoy my horse-time; see ya later !” I’ve owned horses since 1969 and worked with some top-notch race horse trainers. While I do know a lot, I only offer advice if it’s asked for. I am the type who will speak up if something is going on it looks like you missed, ( ie.: the loose cinch/ missing shoe example); or something went on with your horse while you weren’t around.

  24. I’ve come across a few “know it all’s” over the years. Usually if they’re telling me how to do something, I’ll ask why it’s done that way. By pushing for more information, it will either get me something useful or force them to show that they don’t know what they’re talking about. The other option is by explaining that my coach is having me do things a certain way to improve aspects of my riding and the movement/responses of my horse.

  25. I hate know-it-alls, weather it’s about horses, or something else. I started out boarding my horses and sometimes I wouldn’t even go to the stable because of bad experences the day before from these people. I got so tired of having to ‘be nice’ or avoid these idiots. So my husband and I bought a place where we could have my horses, instead of having to board. Yes, now we have to do all the work, feeding, cleaning, turnout, hauling hay. But it is so great not to have someone always telling me I am doing something wrong. Plus I have the advantage of being able to look out the window and see my horses and know how they are doing and not having to worry about them.

  26. The horse world is full of these types of people! When it comes to our local know it all, I just nod as if I actually took the advice, even though I just forget about it. Sometimes I wonder if this person relizes that I basically ignore them when they speak. And then, there’s the worst possible kind of know it all: the one who has been riding for a week and thinks they can give you advice. For these people, I usually speak up and correct them because I just can’t nod and smile at wrong information.

  27. well sometimes I ignore them, sometimes I smile and say that my horses get trained my way,and sometimes I take their advice.. There are good know-it-alls and bad know-it-alls, my riding instructors are good ones the groom at my stable is a bad one.. i’m not saying that its the problem for everyone but Jon taught me soooo much he has a way of training that when he says “personal space”,they back up and give the space to him –now the groom thinks he can whip the horses into submission and i have gotten into fights with him over it. thats the differance in 2 know-it-alls… try telling the know-it-all that your horse apreciate their imput and u will think about taking their advice… u don’t have to take their advice but smile at them 🙂

  28. I either ignore them, or if they’re saying something not true or rude, I’ll politely correct them, unless the comment is rude, and I may retort nicely. Every barn has them, and you can either stay out of they’re way, decide they aren’t worth it, or get mingled into drama with them. I choose that they aren’t worth it noramly, even though what they say may make me mad.

  29. Unfortunately I know to many of these people I’ve known some people who have tryed to give advice on dressage when they ride western one lady actually started yelling. But truly you’ve just got to let it go and say calmly “Sorry But I think I’ll stick to what my trainer told me.”

  30. I usaully pretend that our konw it all is not even on the same planet as me. Sometimes that dosen’t work and i just let her ramble on. She the worst on trail rides, she knows that she can hold us all captive on the trail because we all have to stay in a group.

  31. In the horse world, it seems as if every barn has its own “know-it-all”. Often times, these people actually offer legitimate advice; the struggle is separating the fact from the fluff. These people are just like us in the way they love horses, so I always keep that in mind. When people start to come on too strong with their intelligence, I make a game of discussing their viewpoints with them. It keeps both people relaxed, and who knows, sometimes I learn things in the process!

  32. Our barn manager is a know it all. Granted he does know alot but he gets really mad if you ask someone else their opinion after he has told you his. I have a great vet who emails me what to do and it just eats him up when I tell him the Vet told me already what to do. Today I left a message on another boarders stall asking her opinion on something. That will just kill him.

  33. I appreciate the help, even if it’s given in a non-gracious manner. I find it helps when you really know your subject so that you can not only apply good advice, you also have the ability to gently refute people who are just trying to sound knowledgeable, but don’t have a good grasp of what they’re trying to advise about.

  34. I say thanks you and if I don’t want to buy it or don’t want to do someone tells me to to, I just ignore it or my trainer will tell me to tell people that she doesn’t want me doing that with my horse.

  35. I just pretend like I’m busy. Or maybe if I have my ipod with me I just crank it up so I dont have to hear the know-it all. Or just ignore it and go on with my Normal routine

  36. I always tell my clients that if a person says they know it all they usually know very little. There is always something to learn about horses and I learn every day whether it’s from another horse person or the horse itself. I would say take the advice with a smile and file it in you memory. You never know, it may ACTUALLY be what you need in the future.

  37. I just politely nod and thank them for their advice but since it’s my horse, I’ll do what I think is best and then give them some advice on their horse’s behavior, which is usually obscene!

  38. My dad has always said that if you are around someone who thinks they know-it-all enough, you will come to find how much they really don’t know. Whenever a know-it-all tries to tell me how to handle/train/ride etc. my horse, I just tell them that I know my horse and I know what is best for it.

  39. I always deal with a know it all by letting them explain their thought and questioning the flaws in their theory. I know it’s wrong so maybe once they take a closer look they will know it too!

  40. OK, for starters I hate it when someone comes up to me who has only been riding for like a week (I’ve been riding for 6 years) tells me that “You’re saddle is to far back” or “You’re canter was to fast.” It makes me so annoyed because they couldn’t do any better-and the fact that my saddle was perfect and that I was doing an extended canter so it was supposed to be like that- but usually I just correct then politely. But when I win 2nd place in a difficult dressage test and they win 1st in an easy one with only to riders in it and the other competitor was a five-year-old and they brag, I may let a few words slip. But usually, I am composed about my words and I save the comments for corrections and usually the know-it-all learns the rights and the wrongs.

  41. I encountered a know-it-all recently. She stated that she was very intelligent and proceeded to tell me that the vet’s methods and medication is wrong. I informed her that I have always been happy with my vet and her professional care. As for her comment that she is very intelligent, I informed her that most women are intelligent. She could not come back with a response.

  42. I was at a fun day held at a local boarding facility, and I saw a young girl who came up to me and started talking nonstop. She talked about nothing in particular until she spotted a horse with a muzzle in the nearby pasture. She then informed me that she could call the authorities and have those people arrested for animal cruelty because she had been around that horse when it didn’t have a muzzle and it didn’t bite and it was a really nice horse and on and on and on . . .
    Needless to say I avoided her for the rest of the show. I have only seen her once after that and that was when she came up and informed me that my neatly collected Quarter Horse looked like an Andalusian.

  43. there’s a girl named Grace and she owns a farm with her sister Abby and she’s a-know-it-all and what I do is walk is to make up an excuse like; I have to go do some barn cores. Usually she’ll stop taking and cries then leaves me alone.

  44. At our barn we had the “know-it-all” when she’d come around to my stall to give me the advice of the day (like what to feed my horse, how to ride, or how to clean my own stall!) I would just smile and nod like I didn’t already know, and tell her to follow her own advice instead of preaching it to everyone else

  45. Well when those busy bodies came to the barn where my horses were boarded one would want the horses cross tied in their stall, and the other one actually wanted them on cross ties. So when one was in the barn I did what they perfered and when the other one was there I did what she perfered. yea I got twice as bothered 2! I do what my mom calls switzerland (aka the nutral country)she tells me to never take sides usually it works pretty well!

  46. There are lots of think they know it alls at my barn ecspesially the less expirenced riders. I just ignore them or ask them or ask them a hard question. If they dont get it right, i tell them what is right and give them a big lecture about the answer to the question,then that leads me to more horse topics. By the time thier done with me they are horse know it alls!

  47. I try to listen with an open mind- because, hey you never know, there could be some bit of wisdom in the unsolicited advise of your average know it all, however unlikely it may seem. . . Then, I give a polite nod or a word of thanks, and do as my best judgement dictates!

  48. Just remember, not all is bad, its how you mix with the “experts”. Everyone is an expert in their own eyes and some times yours! Be considerate, yet be strong with your own beliefs. Reading all your responses proves that we respect our own ways of thought, some times just listening you may learn some thing new and probable. I have many of times in the 30 plus years of mixing with all types of horseman and parents!

  49. If you find yourself getting sucked into a lengthy lecture from a so called know-it-all, at least pretend to listen. Try making some eye contact or nodding every so often. Then after they have finished, smile and say, “I know what you mean, but this is my horse. His well being is my responsibility. You don’t need to worry about him.” Then continue with what you were doing before the confersation began. This should get the point across.

  50. Being a 13 yr old girl who can rough out a hard ride in front of wanna-be cowboys can get tough(not tooting my own horn). But when they start talking about how easy it is to ride english and how much they know is RRREEEAAALLLYYY annoying. to deal with it I just shake it off. Once I was warming up in warm-up ring on my Hackney when a bunch of jerks came up and started making rude comments. After five minuets I had my friend hold my horse and got right up in their faces. An eleven yr old kid against adult men. After that they have never bothered me or another rider again.

  51. Take the advice with a grain of salt and sift out what seems sensible to you and throw out the rest. There’s always something to learn, even from an annoyance. If you are really green ask others’ opinions on what you heard and you’ll learn a lot. And always thank the advice giver with a smile. Perhaps that is all they need.

  52. The “know-it-all” at my barn is a 8 year old girl who has been riding since she was 3. She usually has something to say about my riding, to which I reply, “Thanks, but next time tell my instructor so she can deal with it.” After a year of saying that, she stopped

  53. We have two know-it-alls at my barn and when they start giving me “advise” I just do what most guys do with their wives. I blanked ou what they were and I just nod at the right moments, then I go about what I doing before they butted in!

  54. We have a barn know-it-all that suckers people into purchasing horses that are not fit for them. I finally had my fill of watching adult beginners coming in and being taken advantage of that I had to leave the barn! The know-it-all wouldn’t let any experienced person help and so far it has resulted in several injuries and horses having no home. You really have to watch out for these types of know-it-all’s and stay away from them!!!!!

  55. I go to a “cowboy church” here in Texas which is held in a showbarn next to an arena. Lots of the members bring their horses on Sundays to ride in the arena. We have one know-it-all that one Sunday, started telling a young rider how to train her stubborn horse. She kept trying to ignore him, but he wouldn’t let her be, and it was hard for her to tell him to back off, because he was an older man and she didn’t want to be disrespectful. No one wants to take advice from him either, because his training methods and horses’ temperaments are quite questionable. He also tried to ride one of my dad’s greenbroke horses (which usually doesn’t cause any trouble), and she threw him. We later discovered he had cinched up the saddle WAY too tight. You just have to find a polite way to say “thanks, but no thanks,” or just find somewhere else to ride if it gets to that degree. I usually just say “Thanks, I’ll try it when I can back to my own round pen.” Either way, if you just don’t do what they say, they’ll eventually leave you alone.

  56. Me, I just nod politely & say that I may consider it, & if they come back a few days later asking me if I took their advice sometimes I’ll tell them that I thought about it or tried it but I decided that it didnt work for me, then move onto another subject quickly 🙂

  57. I simply listen and think about why they’re acting ridiculous. If they usually act like this I shug it off and get used to it. All I can say is try to avoid them, and they will leave you alone. If not, Cowgirl up, cause you’re in for a rough ride.

  58. I only give advice when I am asked about horses, so I do not put myself in this category when I open my mouth up to how I feel lol. But ones that try to tell me alot about my own horse I just look at them and ask if they have a horse most times out of 10 they don’t thats why they open up there mouths alot and then I will say, well don’t try to tell me how to train my horse if you don’t have a horse that you used to train that way yourself and then I just walk off. A little harsh but the truth hurts and most time out of 10 helps that person get better with that issue.

  59. I just ignore them. Or if they really think they know it all, then I ask them a hard question. If they dont get it right then I give them a huge lecture about horses!

  60. Well I have it bad one of my friends is like that, she “knows” that she “knows” it all. I can never have a nice conversation with the girl without her criticizing my horses or the way I ride. She tells me that she knows more about horses, riding, and training than me because she’s had horses all her life. But the funny thing is that she is not open to learning and if your not than you know horse apples…LOL.. How I deal with her is that I do my homework before I bring up a subject. And if she comes up with something that I didn’t look up or didn’t already know I stop and us my brain and most times I out wit her. Remember that people like this do these kinds of things to try to get other people to pay attention to them. ;-D

  61. I think the best wasy to deal with a know-it all is to smile and nod and if they come in to the arena and start to try and tell me what to do I polightly ask them to leave… it works really… well sometimes 🙂

  62. What I found that works the best is to schedule your riding times when you know they aren’t going to be there. Then if they do happen to show up you can try to grin and bare it or you can go to a different arena. Then you always go shopping at horse stores that they had gone to the week before so there is no chance they will be back. In the event they show up go lock yourself in a dressing room.

  63. I’m glad I’m not the only one with a know-it-all around. At the boarding facility where I keep my mare, our know-it-all thinks she knows more than everyone else when it come to riding, and horse behavior. The thing is, she probably the youngest one there. Its hard sometimes not to say anything because I’m supposed to be the adult, but there are times when my frustration gets the better of me. I try to keep it cool, so I correct her with an example of an event that I have actually had to deal with, then give her my two cents on what she’s advising me about. Then I try to give her some of her own medicine. It seems to work because she hasn’t said anything criticizing to me lately.

  64. I tend to smile and listen…unless they come out with advice that I know is outright wrong or harmful to horses—then I politely correct them citing another expert (vet/long-time horse owner).
    It doesn’t matter what animal you have…you are always going to have people who think they know it all, or at least know more than you.
    Just listen patiently, and find an excuse to get away from them or correct them politely.

  65. One time my barns know-it-all tried telling me and countless other people the history of were our horses came from! But we just smile and laugh knowing, she may think she knows it all but we all know no one can ever tell us something about our equine friends that we don’t already know :]

  66. Are barns know-it-all tends to say stuff we all know isnt true. Eventaly we found that if we say whatever she said while are instuctor was listening, she soon shut-up and became much smarter about both horses and riding.

  67. i hate it when people think they know it all. no one does actually know it all. if what i’m doing is working i just say ok and not try their advice.

  68. After joining the it took me about 2 days to figure out what your know-it-all was all about so I just don’t talk to her, it is so much easier for me.

  69. I’ve learned from experience that they are usually wanting attention or just want you to be amazed at what they know, (or think they know). I just keep my comments to myself and ignore what I know isn’t true. I usually say thanks or uh huh, I just can’t bring myself to be rude to someone who usually doesn’t mean any harm. They probably have someone in the horse world that they look up to.:)

  70. Most of the time I decide to just say “O.K.” or “Thanks for the advice” and ignore them. On the rare occasions that their advice might possible work I try it out. If they ever give advice that would hurt the horse or make it uncomfortable I put my foot down and tell them off. The horse is more important than having a know-it-all as a friend.

  71. Just as everyone has a different life style, its no different in how we care for our animals. You have your way and I have mine. Of course no-one knows everything, so it doesn’t hurt to listen and perhaps investigate it as a possible good idea, which I have.

  72. I usually just nod my head and go, “Yup ok. Thanks.” and then go back to what I was doing. It’s just easier to ignore them rather than trying to fight with them.

  73. Oh MY GOSH they are usually wanting attention or just want you to be amazed at what they know, even though they usually dont know anything THEY ARE ANNOYING

  74. Ha, I deal with this every day as a show groom.They think that I don’t know how to RIDE horses. What they don’t know is that I just recently became a groom two years ago! I used to (and still do) compete at a-circuit Hunter/Jumpers. I love to listen to their bragging, pretend to be amazed, work hard on it at home with my horse, and them beat them at their own game next time I see them. The look on their face is amazing- sooo priceless. When it is advice for my own horse It bugs me even more, especially if it is a 16 year old. That is the age that REALLY thinks their all that. I’m 18 now and remember how my mom used to keep my feet on the ground by saying- “You know, Carly, I respect you as a rider, but no one will like you in this buisness if you become one of the too-many know it alls.”
    Thanks Mom!

  75. I used to be that person, but then I realized I was annoying, particularly to these 2 girls who actually own horses and the kids who want to ride. That was last year and this year I am constantly thinking about horses, but I don’t show it. There is this one girl in my class who is OBSESSED. She claims that I am obsessed, I tell her no, and try not to bring the subject of horses up. But at home I decorated my room with about 70% horses, 14% dogs, 14% elephants, and 2% other. (I didn’t actually do the math, just a guesstimate)

  76. I usually just listen to what they have to say and thank them. As far as I’m concerned I can listen to them all they want, but when it comes to my own horse. I do what I know is good for him and what is going to be in his best interest and safety as well as my own. Sometimes the know-it-alls don’t mean to be intrusive just want to give some friendly advice, but some don’t know they are being over bearing. what can ya do?

  77. I have had plenty of my share with the local know-it-all. The current one goes to my school and she thinks she know better then me because she owns 4 horses and i own one so every day she would come up to me and start going off about something i should do for my horse that i already knew about. Finally one day i got tired of her constant naging so when she finished i told her ‘thanks for the info i already know what im doing, can you please leave me alone my horse is not youre problem.’ Since then she has acted like she has hated me and this was about two years ago now.

  78. An Ipod is beautiful thing; even if you don’t have it on, people think you do and won’t bother you. But usually, I just nod and make sounds of agreement, then continue on my merry way. You can’t change a person from their obnoxious ways, so it’s best not to try.

  79. I always listen and nod occasionally, respecting their advice. Just because I listen to them doesn’t mean that I have to apply what they’re saying to my own ways. But who knows? Sometimes their advice actually comes in handy.

  80. avoid them, show them that they really don’t know much buy winning or doing better than them, shutting them down, just letting them ramble.

  81. There was one girl that used to be in lessons at my barn she had come from another barn and wasn’t taught basics but thought she was ready for the olympics when fences were raised for me or a friend in the lessons she always wanted them left there even if it’s much higher then she’s ever jumped and was wanting to cause trouble. When I was on the mare who bucked if any horse was to close she tailgated us, if someone was on the spooky horse she would say “whoa” a little louder. We used to help her out and cover up for her mistakes and let things go but I’ll admit I have a temper and when you insult my horse it’s gone a little far we all stood up to her and she tried throwing weak comebacks until finally she realized she was wrong and “forgot” to sign up for lessons at the barn again

  82. I take private riding lessons so I don’t usually have to deal with a know it all, but there are people that I deal with at school and during certain camping events that I just don’t listen to. Once a girl that was camping at the same place me and my best friend were camping at brought her horse out when we were riding horses and she was showing off and making me really mad. She purposely came close enough to us so we could hear what she was saying, she was talking to 2 other people and decided she would say what people do ‘wrong’ with their horses. I just ignored her because she kept looking over then later I saw her again and just looked at her and gave a huge smile she just roller her eyes…;)

  83. I just ask them to leave me alone, that I can to do it good by myself. Then I just walk off, nicely.
    Then i talk to my mother about it.

  84. What I do is. Roll my eyes and (depending on who it is) I might say something smart.A girl that has never bought a horse or helped someone buy a horse, was telling me how to buy another horse. I had bought 13 horses in my day and she is telling me all this stuff like “not to get a 4 year old because it’s to young.” And “don’t get them from the stock yard.” About 6 out of the 13 horses came from stock yards. And I was letting her use my horse, who is gaited, she was running barrels on him and it was messing his gait up, so we told her that she couldn’t ride him anymore, reaal nice and even let her use a QH gelding.(Because she knows nothing about gaited horses) Then she goes crying to her boss and her boss lets her use a world champ reining mare for barrels. So now when I ask her to come riding, she always has to take care of Arby, or work at the barn. 🙂

  85. i try to ignore them but sometimes i get the feeling that thoes peole are just jealous of me or other people’s and our awesomeness ;). so they try to be awesome by saying something that they don’t even know what they are talking about! but usually i just ignore them. unless i just have to say something, which isn’t often.

  86. actually, I guess I am a little puffed up myself. Now that I am actually riding I realize how much I don’t know. I am trying to change my ways though. I have to remind myself how much the fiddler in my orchestra who ‘never’ makes a mistake annoys ME.

  87. I think it is really funny to hear so called”horse know it alls” tells stories. When you are riding they like to control everything you do telling you either your sitting a inch too forward or too back. Not having you heels in the right position not transitioning into gaits right. I just smile and enjoy my ride. Its also funny to see when they get on their own horses that the horse starts having attitudes and they are real quick to call it quits.

  88. A smile a day keeps the grumps away! And……………………Always have a cheerful answer! It worked! Ignore the nasty remarks, and say somthing nice to them. It worked well for me. That know-it-all accaually said to me “you are too agreeable” because they couldn’t find anything else to critize.

  89. The local know-it-all around here has had some things said about her; one of them this:”she thinks that every horse is as stubborn as she is.” You see, she has bad training methods baised on the idea that EVERY horse is stubborn, wants to do things like walk away when you mount, and she punished her horse manly because it took a step when she was about to leap off the fence, going on and on about how stupid the horse is, and what bad manners it has; when she LEAPS onto it’s bareback back, and hurts the horse; I used to do that until I had some lessons, and now that I DON’T do that, they stand; they just don’t like to be rammed on! So,when she starts jabbering about how bad my horse is, and how I should’ve slapped him, instead of researching the problem and seeing if it s tack, my method, or a phisical problem, I look her strait in the eye and say ” this is my horse, and I will deal with him how I see fit.”

  90. For me, being a know-it-all is a sign of immaturity, meaning they’ll probably grow out of it. If they don’t, my suggestion is to just POLITELY let them know it’s annoying. When dealing with the know-it-all, don’t be the know-it-all back. Either let them know they’re being one, or, if you’re not that kind of person, happily go along with it, who knows, they may know something you don’t.

  91. I actually use all the tactics mentioned depending on situation. I do appreciate some information but I’ve met a lot of people who would cripple you from ever progressing beyond walking around a paddock if you let them too. I think some of the best progress I made in relationship building with my horse and riding was mucking about on my own and having to work through a problem with my horse on my own. I recently had some problems with one of the workers at a stable I was leasing at. She was always fussing over me for some reason. Did I need help tacking up? I say no thanks and she’d still come check and cluck if she found a little piece of straw still in the horse’s mane. If I was adjusting my stirups in the saddle she would come running over and say she’d fix them for me. I did the avoidance tacit until one day I was taking the horse to spray her legs off and she refused to go by the trash bin. This person was there and when my horse shied she said to put her in the stall and she would wash her legs down later. I decided I needed to take a stand at that point. I said no, thanks that I think its important to work through that now myself with this horse. I used several taps and encouraging voice to get the horse by and it went fine although she was still a bit keyed up at the wash place. The employee told the stable manager it made her uncomfortable to see me whipping the horse and working her up. I never ‘whipped’ the horse, the use if the whip was true taps that made no sound and left no mark. I’ve never whipped any horse aside from the normal sort of small smack you give while riding if they are nonresponsive to leg sometimes. Luckily when I explained the stable manager sided with me but after that she would constantly nit pick and complain about things. She noticed that my bit didn’t look rinsed, my horses boots didn’t look tight enough to her, etc….Ugh! Ultimately you have to think if there is any merit in the advice and otherwise ignore it. Most of all, while you need to use common sense and be safe, you can’t let others over protect or smother you from becoming comfortable and competent to handle your horse yourself. You also can’t ever take all the risk out of riding and working with horses and you can’t make that choice for others either. People aren’t truly being helpful when they do this but rather bolstering their own sense of superiority. I agree to that its often humerous when we go trail or cross country riding with some of these barn know it alls and they can’t control the horse or handle a true gallop.


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