Equestrians against bullying

Bullying is a form of abuse and carries with it life-long effects for the person getting bullied.

Just like we would stop someone beating a horse, drowning a kitten or beating a child, we need to stop bullying in its tracks and actively create an environment where bullying is unacceptable.

Bullying makes you feel alone

Getting bullied can make you feel so alone that you think you’re the only one in the world with this problem – especially when you don’t feel confident enough to talk to someone about it.

As someone who has been bullied myself, I know that talking to someone about what’s going on can feel embarrassing, scary and difficult.

When I was being bullied, I felt trapped and confused; the words and actions of the bullies got to me so much that I didn’t even feel like I deserved help.

I felt isolated and suffered in silence for a long time. This also made me the perfect target for being bullied again.

“My friend Maud once said, ‘There are times when we must speak, not because you are going to change the other person, but because if you don’t speak, they have changed you.'”

Silence doesn’t change the world. It changes us. It shrinks us. It takes our stories and feelings away from us and buries them alive.

Unearth what is buried within you. Free yourself this way.

– Cleo Wade, Where To Begin

We all have to stand up for a kinder world

Bullying has a massive impact on a young person’s mental health and it really stays with you for life. You often don’t realise how deeply it affects you until much later in life.

Recovering from bullying can take years and many people never fully do.

Because bullying is an experience that you don’t tend to forget, being able to remember just one friendly face or kind person as a part of that story – someone who stuck up for you, had the courage to speak up and draw a line on your behalf when you couldn’t – can make all the difference.

I know it would have completely changed my experience and perception of myself. It would have given me something positive to reflect on now; someone who inspired me and made me feel stronger and less alone.

You have the power stand up to bullying too

Standing up for someone or intervening in a bullying situation doesn’t always mean getting directly involved.

You can help stop bullying by…

  • telling someone who can help
  • talking to the person who is being bullied to make them feel less alone
  • be a friendly face and show kindness
  • stay positive and show others support
  • stand up for someone else
  • stand up for yourself
  • use your voice to bring bullying into the open
  • block and report inappropriate comments on social media
  • don’t engage with cyberbullies
  • focus on learning and stay away from pointless arguments online

It can be hard for members of staff, trainers and teachers to spot bullying, and they may not always be sure of what’s going on – so help them out.

There is no need for anyone to ever know that it was you who brought it up, if you don’t want that, but do the right thing.

By speaking up, you’re helping both the victim and the bully

Bullies don’t bully because they’re inherently nasty – they bully because they’ve been hurt and are suffering themselves.

They’re taking their own problems and working them out on other people in highly destructive ways.

Bullies are socially immature individuals who haven’t been taught by the people in their life how to be responsible and considerate members of society.

By helping to make the bullying visible, people who can help get a chance to intervene and make it right.

There is always more support available to everyone involved than you think, including you.

Bullying in the equestrian world is endemic

A 2017 study from The Equestrian Alliance’s Stop Bullying in Equestrian Sports (SBIES) found that 86% of equestrians have experienced bullying and that 39% had experienced ongoing bullying by multiple people.

Being with horses and riding is supposed to be fun and relaxing, but bullying is a widespread problem. Zero-tolerance for bullying and any kind of harassment is the only way forward.

Never underestimate the power of your voice. You can completely flip a bad situation on its head and make it better.

It will make all the difference to someone else’s life – so, don’t stand by; stand up because the change starts with us.

When they go low, we go high.

– Michelle Obama

Tell the world you stand against bullying

I made these two badges that you’re free to use on your blog, social media or wherever you wish!

Or you can make your own – but by telling everyone else you stand against bullying, you’re helping to create a kinder, friendlier space both online and in the real world.

You can right-click to open these in a new window and save them from there!