I've been thinking alot about responsibility lately. There are all the obvious aspects that we all know, such as getting up in the morning and getting your work done. Responsiblity to yourself, your family and so on.
But I'm thinking about how we do things with horses and the horse business in general. Every day the way we do things in public and private affects the way we, as horsemen, are perceived. I think being responsible horsepeople means seeing a bigger picture. Considering everything with the thought "is this the image we want people to remember?" Can we sustain a way of doing business that encourages, not discourages, new riders?
So often, I hear about incidents that make me question the ethics that were involved. Was a person sold a horse that was really right for them? What about the new owner's goals? How about the horse? If the horse fails with his new owner, what happens to him? When a horse is intentionally overpriced and misrepresented, not only is it dishonest but the whole industry suffers for it. Taking horses and riders where they are not prepared to go or somewhere that is just plain out of their league, is a good way to make a lasting bad impression and permanently discourage people.
People will definitely and justifiably complain about being unfairly treated. It may take a while for them to realize what happened but when they do, they will feel angry and bitter. As professionals, it's imperative that we advise people wisely and consider their own needs ahead of our own. This is a heavy responsibility.
There is so much discussion about the lack of new people becoming involved in horses these days. We must remember how many really cool and interesting things there are for people to do with their free time and recreation budget. So let's start thinking about repercussions. A horse sale must be good for everyone involved, not just the seller or trainer or coach. Let's be responsible to our clients, our horses and this industry that we love so much. That's the way to grow this industry, and we will all benefit. See you next week, JD.