I did manage to get out for a short while yesterday afternoon. It was windy but not cold, so Izzy and I did some walk/trot work after I turned her out to run like a wild pony around the arena. She's a good girl. I put her back before working too hard because it was time for the evening feeding.
As I'm sure most of you are aware, my first and foremost occupation right now is being a student. I'm in a social science field that I enjoy, and I'm a very active student. I research (sometimes for pay), and attend academic conferences. I like reading research.
This is why the horse world bugs me. So much of what we do is based on tradition with zero research involved as far as I can tell. Person A says, "You absolutely must do this", while Person B claims that if you do what Person A said, your horse will be lame for the rest of it's life. Don't even get me started on Person C.
The only rational response is the one that I think we've all adopted: we listen politely, evaluate what we hear based on our knowledge, and do a lot of trial-and-error to see what works. That's ok, I guess, but horses have been with us for centuries. Millenia, even. There is a lot of money in the horse industry, even if none of us are blessed enough to have it. Why is there not research to support any of these assertions?
For example, on a yahoo group I'm a member of (Jean is the founder, I think), a question came up on how to best store a saddle. I gave an answer that while slightly unconventional, came from my direct experience. I was immediately shot down by someone who claimed that what I said was wrong. Maybe I am wrong. I'm open to that. I'm just irritated by an argument with no supporting claims, no research, no anything.
Sadly, that type of argument is the one we hear the most. Am I just a crazy nerd for wanting some evidence?