I've had a Facebook account since 2006, and I like to think that I managed to evade the drama and gossip of the internet for a peaceful 5 years. I kept my "friends" limited to my close personal friends and a few select business contacts, and life was good. But partially through this blog, and partially of my own stupid quest for adventure, I've discovered an entirely new world in the last six months...the Facebook Horse Owners. Now these people are a special breed, I'm learning, and my GOD do they all have an opinion! Not only are they nearly incapable of intelligent conversation, they're all thoroughly convinced that their way is the only way, and God help anyone who wants to try and tell them otherwise.
Now I thought for a long time that this particular group of gems was located only in my home state of Michigan, but through extensive research, I've realized that this particular breed of Facebook user stretches as far and wide as the Equus ferus caballus itself (that's the scientific name for a horse). Regardless of your locations throughout this world, chances are you can look at your local Facebook Horse Group and pick out each of these characters:
The Administrator - These folks should be nominated for sainthood. They spend more of their time refereeing fights and banning spammers trying to sell shoes & purses than they probably do enjoying their own horses. Often, you wonder why they even bother to moderate the group at all, since it seems to be a lost cause. There's generally a high turnover rate for this position as the title-holders get fed up and worn out quickly, and then pass the torch to the next unsuspecting victim.
The Breeder - This person constantly promotes their unproven and unqualified stallion with shitty pictures and minimal information to supplement their $150 stud fee, usually in inappropriate conversation threads regarding responsible breeding.
The Rescuer - The person that has to voice their opinion about slaughter and plug their own rescue in every thread on the group. Often, they solicit donations and mention their website in comments that have nothing to do with rescue, seemingly in hopes that people will donate just to make them go away. You can also usually find them in "Horses For Sale" groups commenting on listings while undercutting the owner's horse by promoting one of their available horses for half the price.
The Asshole - Typically a man, this person is usually not heard from unless the topic is highly controversial. It is then that this person will fire off an ignorant comment to counter everything the rest of the conversation's participants are saying, stirring the pot just to get a rise out of people. He also generally has a pro-slaughter opinion and blames the rest of the group for the horse overpopulation problem, causing an even bigger outrage.
The Professional - Often found by their constant spewing of their credentials, you can pick this person out simply by looking for the phrase "as a professional in the industry" in every one of their comments. They generally solicit useless information that no one asked for, and tend to bring an annoying undertone to every conversation as they constantly try to one-up every other participant in the conversation with stories of how they did it better, faster, or cheaper because they've been "in the industry for x-amount of years". They firmly believe their way is the right way, and will happily tell you how wrong you are at every opportunity.
The Adolescent - This is generally a minor child with a computer and minimal parental supervision. They constantly flood the group page with seventeen pictures at a time of "The most wonderful horsey in the world, MINE!" all of which have been photo-shopped with annoying hearts and caption bubbles for no reason other than to annoy the rest of the group members. They bring no intelligent thoughts to the conversation, yet feel the need to voice their input in every thread about how much they love their pony.
The Sheep - This person generally has good intentions, and comes to the group looking for help and advice regarding a specific training issue or medical problem. Unfortunately, instead of seeking out a qualified professional (like a trainer or vet), they tend to blindly take the advice of whomever answers their question, whether they've given sound advice or not.
The Shady Dealer - Often seen stalking multiple "Horse For Sale" groups, this person attempts to make a living off of the misfortune of others and promising a good forever home. They will take as many free horses as they can, keep them for several weeks, then appear on a different sale group advertising that same horse for several hundred dollars and claiming they "didn't click".
The "I NEED HAY" Owner - This person will beg and plead for information regarding any available hay for sale. Other owners will flood their posting with options and contact information, and rather than call the listed phone number, the "I NEED HAY" Owner will ask a hundred questions of the group members. They will also want the hay delivered, stacked, and paid for by someone else at a great price.
The Horse Shopper - This person will post that they are shopping for a very vague description of a horse, with no listed budget, and after asking for pictures and videos of every response for weeks, will finally post that they will be ready to buy in six months.
I hope that this guide has been helpful at pinpointing the type of people you come across on a daily basis. It is my hope that in the end, we can all band together and eliminate these people from Facebook and make the online world a better place for all of us.
And then I'll have to find something else to bitch about.