What does the word “community” mean? Google defines it as, “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.Or a having a particular characteristic in common.”
Did you know that when you fall in love with a horse you actually start to enter into a community? And that this is actually vitally important if you intend to own one and own it well?
It starts with reading about horses. At first you read all that you can ferociously and start learning the lingo. I remember getting my very first horse knowledge book when I was seven called “Let’s Ride”. A very informative and well written book for that age group by the way. Then perhaps you start attending horse shows or you go see the Budweiser Clydesdales when they come to your area. Soon you visit a boarding barn or a rescue and volunteer to do chores. or perhaps you are lucky enough to take lessons.
And slowly, so slowly you cannot pinpoint the time that it actually happens, you start to dream of owning your own horse. and perhaps one day you are lucky enough to actually have the property that you can do so!
But should you start your dream with acquiring that property? Here at Heart of Phoenix we think not. We think that you should start with building your community. To own a horse and to care for it well a good, strong equine community is vital. Stellar horse ownership comes with its own community anyway. You must have a relationship with a knowledgeable equine veterinarian, a hay supplier and a skilled farrier. Hopefully you have a horse dentist lined up as well. But we implore you not to keep your community small and stop with those people. There will be the inevitable moments where your horse is displaying some weirdo behavior that you have no idea how to interpret and if you have well rounded horse people relationships, chances are someone can clue you in.
Or your horse cut himself on whatever fence you have (and they are oh so skilled at damaging themselves on the best fence that money can buy!) and you will question whether that cut needs a veterinarian or should it get Wonderdust or a maxi pad and vet wrap or will the leg need amputation?…just kidding on the last one. Or your saddle wallers itself backwards on your horse after you ride 10 minutes and you have no idea why? You wouldn’t call your hay guy or your veterinarian for this type of question typically. Maybe you cannot get your horse to load into the trailer when he did it so nicely the day your brought him home. There are a million things that can come up that you will need to talk over with someone because owning a horses is not as simple as owning a dog.
Setting the educational benefits of a horse community aside, who else is patient enough to listen to you talk about how your horse sneezed on you this morning and it was the cutest noise ever? or eventually you will get bored riding all by yourself and you will want some company. And trips to the tack shop are much more fun if you can ooh and ahhh over beaded headstalls with someone!
Here at Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue we strongly encourage you to build a large horse community.
In fact we seriously hope that we will become a vital part of your horse collective! Several years ago we sat down and thought about how we could help to stop horse abuse and neglect and we came to the following conclusion. There really are some cases where horses are in a serious mess because their person Just Did Not Know Any Better. and part of the reason why this happened is because the horse community at that time were elitists. Sadly once upon a time the horse community looked down on the average, back yard horse owner and were completely unapproachable for advice to the layperson.
So we purposed ourselves to education. To being the go to place for solid horse advice on a wide variety of topics. To being an open and approachable place for the horse lover to grow in their passionate pursuit of all things horse. and we built our own community of well rounded people who are able to serve as educators and advisers.
As Right Horse Partners, we are here to create a more compassionate, pragmatic support system for those doing right by people and by horses, so you can always count on us to help if you have a question, an issue, or you need advice.
We write many educational blogs and maintain an educational album on Facebook for the edification of our followers.
This article helps Heart of Phoenix To grow a community of knowledgeable, rational advocates, HORSE People and potential adopters who make great homes for horses in transition looking for their new homes