Horses make me happy; you, not so much.

25 05 2012

Today was a non-riding day for me today, and I had to leave early for a class. I didn’t get to do anything interesting or unusual.

However, today’s excitement came in the form of a young lady from America and her local relative visiting the stables, just as curious members of the public. Both spoke fluent Japanese, although their first language seemed to be English. They seemed nice at first, making polite enquiries about the school, our practices and how long myself and the other first year I was standing outside the main training ground with had been riding. They also showed us pictures of the horses they knew back in America (the young lady said she had been riding since she was five years old, and that she had trained horses). They politely spoke to me in Japanese; I thought about taking the easy option and talking to them in English, but I wasn’t comfortable with dropping out of using Japanese at the school on this occasion. I was flattered that they were interested in my experiences as a foreigner.

What bothered me about them – or rather, should I say, the young lady (her older female relative was perfectly polite the whole time) – was what happened when my team mate went in to the training ground and mounted up after our sempai had finished his practices. In spite of the fact I had demonstrated to her that I understood both of the languages she was speaking in, she proceeded to watch her practise, all the while pulling faces and making bitchy comments to her relative about the things she was getting wrong, in a mixture of Japanese and English.

I found that to be appallingly rude. Not only is it unfair to criticise someone who’s less experienced than you (and also, in a manner of speaking, disrespectful to the person who happens to be teaching them), it’s downright arrogant and extremely inappropriate to talk like when you have essentially been welcomed in as a guest somewhere. Furthermore, she herself had acknowledged in our previous conversation that the style of riding practised in America (Western Style) is different from the one we practise in Japan (English Saddle).

After being made privy to all of that (unintentionally, perhaps), it pained me – as my team mate rode out into the yard and dismounted – to watch the young American woman approach her and offer her some suggestions before leaving.

I hasten to assert that I am only speaking for myself here, but nonetheless I frequently think: Horses > people. This is one example of why.

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One response

26 05 2012
Bibble Sugondo

I quite agree. How rude to accept hospitality and then use perceived superior knowledge to ridicule the host. Very common and quite unnecessary. Must have an inferiority complex. What a c***

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