When Heart of Phoenix began as a private effort at the end of 2008, the social media network of equine rescues and the support systems through conferences and such were not what they are today.
We learned things the hard way and by mistakes. How to screen, how to do a contract, how to market, what our niche in offering help would be, how to re-feed, re-train. . .everything.
We did not have a reputable rescue in our state to look to and learn from, and the dealings we had when we were new and very naive with alleged rescues and “adopters” were not great, to say the least.
Screening and deciphering the truth from a mirage isn’t as easy as it might seen through a screen while typing on a keyboard.
We have always tried to build collaborations with those who seemed on a similar mission, and we try still. We’ve been disappointed and let down often, but we have also been blown away and had huge successes.
What we know:
1. When any rescue group fails, it hurts all rescues. When bad rescues crumble, it leaves good rescues trying to scramble to clean up. It leaves everyone with questions, anger and a need to reflect. It shakes the faith in “rescue” through out all of our supporters, too. I know it does.
2. No rescue is an island. We need partnerships, collaborations and networks. It is a risk when you partner, give or let go. It is a greater risk if we refuse to ever work together out of fear.
Without risk, nothing epic happens, but it does not make the downsides to risk easier to handle, especially when it involves lives we care about and work to save.
I write this overdue, in some ways. But as many reading will know, it is timely enough.
I hope Heart of Phoenix is never so afraid of risk that we fail to reach out, to partner. . .or that we prevent good adopters from adopting, networks with good rescues being built or that we stifle growth that could lead to a revolution for horses.
I believe we will always be willing to learn, change and grow and learn from mistakes, successes and challenges, as well.