Dealing with Hate as an Equestrian Influencer

When posting online, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid that of hate comments – especially for equestrians. The not-so-endearingly called “online trainers” can make influencing feel more like a chore rather than a fun hobby or job. Here’s Dealing with Hate as an Equestrian Influencer.

As someone who has been posting equestrian content since 2016, I often found myself in situations with either certain videos getting more hate than usual, or followers who would consistently find things to pick on. And while it was never fun to deal with – sometimes even burdensome – I eventually put together my own little formula for making sure that these comments didn’t pack a punch.

Laura Elsie Grace riding her horse Theo

And though it’s completely normal to be affected by harsh words, there are definitely ways to minimize the outcome. So without further ado, here’s dealing with hate comments as an equestrian influencer!

Focus on the positive comments

This one might seem obvious to some, while irrelevant to others: “Focusing on positive comments isn’t actually dealing with the hate.” Which, yes that is correct, but interacting with your supporters is entirely more influential than consistently picking a fight with just your haters.

There have been several accounts that I have unfollowed over the years due to this… only responding to hate, that is. When supporters don’t receive reciprocal support and love, they stop feeling valued, and in return, stop valuing.

Only responding to those who have something harsh to say about your content will just fuel the fire for the attention-seekers. But now that your once-cheerleaders have left you, you’ll find that no one has your back in the comment section anymore. To keep the love and the support going… make sure you’re giving that love back! : )

You have the power to delete

When you’re all finished responding to your followers, it’s time to start taking action against the haters. Luckily, the first step is the easiest of all! Delete.

When looking at the comments, make sure you evaluate if the comment only disagrees/is trying to inform or if it’s just hateful. Perhaps that advice is unsolicited or inaccurate – then it could be reasonable to delete. Just make sure that you’re not shutting down those who genuinely care.

Given that the comment is hateful, then my best advice would be to just hit delete. And the sooner the better.

There were so many times in my young teenage years that I would just obsess over a comment and/or completely let it get to me. Remarks about my riding, horsemanship skills, appearance, my horse’s appearance, and so on were just so hurtful. When really, if I had just let the comment go and delete it from my sight, then there wouldn’t have been such a big fuss over meaningless words.

Educate, rather than argue

As mentioned before, it’s always good to try and understand the intentions of the commenter! Maybe they’re coming from a place of genuine concern, or maybe they’ve just been taught different from you. With so many disciplines in the equestrian sport, it can be common to have many differing opinions on a matter.

A lot of people don’t know how to effectively communicate their thoughts and concerns in a loving manner, so the comment may come off as rude or hateful.

When this is the case, it’s never the solution to start an argument. In turn, it’s your responsibility as an influencer to educate those concerned – especially in a sport that involves living animals. Why were you using this piece of equipment, what is the purpose of your reaction to the horse’s certain behavior, why do you believe this change of position while riding is beneficial, and so on?

When people are exposed to new ideas, it can be hard to grasp or swallow. Show compassion!

Never get backed into a corner

When dealing with hate as an equestrian influencer, there are going to be times when you find yourself in a less-than-agreeable situation; what’s important is how you handle it.

In a rather heated discussion, one can often get backed into a corner – and this is definitely a mistake you don’t want to make. When you do find that it’s a hopeless debate, it might be time to just jump ship.

Otherwise, this is where influencers sometimes get into trouble. When both parties can’t agree or agree to disagree, then they usually resort to name-calling or insulting. And to make sure you stay the bigger person, it’s best to not let the argument get this far.

Kindly say your farewells or opt to delete.

Learn what triggers hate comments

After you’ve been on social media for awhile and have dealt with a good deal of hate, you will eventually start seeing trends on what triggers these negative responses.

A lot of times, they might be directed at your equitation, your equipment, your horse’s appearance, or anything else that might come up often. When you do pinpoint this common ground, sometimes it might be best to step away from posting on that subject – if applicable.

If it’s just general hate, continue to go through each of these steps until haters don’t have much impact and you have followers who will stand up for you.

The Valiant Equestrian
At the end of the day…

Experiencing hate is not always a reflection on you or your character – some people just end up on the wrong side of social media somehow. Just remember that hollow words have no affect on you and to keep pushing through!

If you think you’ll need these reminders in the future, here’s a quick round up for you!

  • Focus on the positive comments
  • You have the power to delete
  • Educate, rather than argue
  • Never get backed into a corner
  • Learn what triggers hate comments

You are so loved!

All the best,

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