So I didn't have much time left at the barn, and I was seeing if I could play seven games with Xena in her pen while sitting on a bucket. The Barn Nazi came over and started questioning what I was doing to "that poor horse." He kept pressuring me to ride her. He watched me as I backed her up and sent her on a circle, while sitting on the bucket.
"I have a saddle you can borrow, you know."
"No thanks, I don't need it." I say as I smile and pass the rope behind my back.
"Well at least a pad, don't you want to see what she'll do?"
"Nope, I'm good for now." Still smiling, actually enjoying the fact that Xena seems to really get the circling game now.
"And I've got some football padding if you wan't to borrow that the first time you get on her, in case she bucks you off!"
I respond "If there's a 1% chance she's going to buck me off, I shouldn't have been on her! So I'll pass thanks." :D
Barn Nazi is confused and walks away.
It was almost time to leave, so I was doing a couple more games in her pen. I hear my mom put the food in her stall, so I play yo-yo through her stall door inside, which she does perfectly. My mom was in the barn watching us, wide-eyed, since she was there the first time I asked Xena to get in her stall. And this is the horse that would stand out in the snow to avoid coming in through the squeeze. Not anymore!
"You just backed a Mustang into a stall!!?!?!"
I tell her what's going on with the Barn Nazi, and how most people at the barn think I don't know anything because I try to not do much in front of/around them.
A bit of that is because my toys scare other horses (I'll be playing with pulling a large trash bag over my horse's face, and it's spooking the arabian inside the barn 200 feet away), but mainly because... when something goes wrong, and people see dust, and they see my orange stick and Parelli logos on my clothes... they blame the program. When normal people's horses act up, and it turns into a battle, they blame the horse. He can't do this, he won't do that, he needs training. When things don't go right with Parelli people's horses, they assume it's the fault of the program. Especially with me - I buy the worst of the worst. Every single horse but my first one (that's 7 of them!) was purchased or given to me to be some kind of training project. So when I tell the farrier to put my RBI's foot down before she explodes, and he doesn't, and she kicks him, they tell me I need a new type of training because I haven't done enough with their feet. You know what? That particular horse is an extremely sensitive high-spirited RBI rescue case with a history of horrible abuse, and she trusts me enough to pick up her feet at liberty! Not my fault he didn't listen to what I knew she needed.
ANYWAY! That was a little rant, but basically it's all coming down on me right now that the general opinion of me at the barn is that I don't know anything... and to save them blaming Parelli, I don't teach my horses anything new while there are people around. Funny thing is none of these people can do anything to impress me. They all have relationship problems. There's plenty of dust every time they train. I know why her horse is pawing in the cross ties, I know why her horse is fighting that bit, I know why his horse has his ears back, I know why his horse just took off, and I know why his horse is hard to catch, and afraid of the velcro on his splint boots.
So as I'm having this conversation with my mom, after backing my not so wild Mustang into her not so scary stall, she says "If only they could see how much you know, they could learn from you. Parelli has so much to offer. It's a shame they look down on you."
I said "So long as they don't blame Parelli for my mistakes, let them think what they want to think. The only opinion I really care about is my horse's."
As Xena's eating contentedly and calmly, I'm behind her leaning up against her butt, scratching her tail, I add,
"...and I'm pretty sure she likes me."