Equestrian people have one common love – horses. Whether they ride professionally or just enjoy a weekend hack, that one animal can change their life the way they know it, giving them a sense of adoration, a sense of achievement and a sense of passion like no other.
Think back to the last time you posted a picture of a horse on your Facebook page. Whether you were celebrating a result or just sharing a cute picture of your horse, chances are, the picture would have received a lot of traction. Likes, comments and retweets would have flown around the equine industry with plenty of praise.
This close knit community is incredibly supportive. Social media has shown that more than anything over recent years. When an Olympic rider is needing to secure a horses’ future, posts go viral with many offering both financial and virtual help. When an amateur is asking for advice, people from across the world offer it. Networking groups on both Facebook and Twitter are a great place to feel a part of this community. The end of the Eventing season always brings a tear-inducing (of the good kind!) number of posts, as riders share their season round up, sharing the highs, the lows and some of their favourite pictures. The congratulations and support is overwhelming – riders who may not even know the rider, or like the discipline in which they ride, will commend them on their efforts. It’s really rather heart-warming.
Yet, the equestrian community is often at the forefront of criticism from those that are not ‘horsey.’ Every 4 years, the world takes to the press to slate equestrianism in the Olympics. Cruelty cases are often shared and the stereotyping of the ‘horsey’ person is yet to be resolved. Non-equestrian folk just don’t understand how we can spend all of our time, energy and money on an animal that has the potential to cause us serious life-threatening damage. They simply do not understand the struggles, the challenges and the issues we face on a day to day basis.
Yet, this strong, determined, passionate industry has one other thing in common; they will not give up. Having recently read a particularly moving book (a true story), it made me realise. We really do put ourselves through the toughest of times for these animals, stretching ourselves financially, mentally and physically. And it really does make us a much better individual for it.
Enjoy, love your horse and be safe x