I’m not sure what everyone out there sees with other horse people, but I honestly have to say, some of the people I meet in my horsemanship journey are just kind of…well…are a little “off”.
I don’t really mean by saying this that I think they are not good people, that’s not the case at all, some of them are great people with really good intentions…but it’s more like dealing with people and their religious beliefs than anything I’ve ever experienced in any other aspect of my life.
I’ve noticed that if you question religion, people tend to get very defensive, so they can tend to get louder and more pointed in the way they speak to you on that issue, more heated and possibly hostile which I believe all has to do with fear. Usually it has to do more with them wanting to believe what they believe and are very resistant and defensive to anything that may threaten that. I’ve learned from personal experience that even though I never want it to threaten their values it often does.
What I’ve noticed with horse people, is much of the same. Not all horse people but a good enough number to make mention of it.
I recently posted on my facebook, sharing an article that called into question the safety of the Wishek, ND auction sales site which they are herding the wild horses from Theodore Roosevelt National Park into very soon. The question of safety comes from having steel guard rails in place to guide the horses into the pens, even as they say one of the primary goals is safety. I posted this because I myself have seen injuries from the edges and sides of these guard rails which are sharp and dangerous so I thought it important to repost. I received comments even from some of my own friends saying how the Wishek sales goal is supposed to be positive and focused on being more safe.
I did a google map search and granted they can be a few months old but I still see those steel guard rails EVERYWHERE on the site.
None of the comments I received addressed the issue, they instead were heated arguments on how safety was a priority and that we should make this a celebrated event instead of a warning. Nothing in the posts addressed the initial concern of safety though.
I know the person that brought this concern into the public, I know him well and I know he has fiery passion for the Wild horses in this area and after seeing the damage just one ill placed guard rail can do to a halfway domesticated horse, where the concern would come from.
What I can’t understand is people trying to demonize this person saying he’s trying to make the SALE negative by just worrying about the horses safety. What IS that? Why would a question ever be considered negative if it had to do with safety? Especially when it has to do with animals?
In my opinion, what it comes down to, is that it cuts too close to home and people that think they could be wrong, get defensive and feel they need to react strongly to change everyone and anyone’s mind against that train of thought otherwise they may loose face. To me, that’s like what they call a right brained horse, it’s reactive, and usually without thought. If we expect that we can work our horses out of this state of mind to become great partners than how is it we don’t expect the same from ourselves? I’m really not trying to offend any of my friends that react like this either, we all react differently and that’s what makes us human, it’s not wrong, I just hope they can recognize when they do this and remember it’s totally okay to believe what they believe but it doesn’t make anyone else necessarily wrong just because they call something into question when the question is very valid.
My hope is there are more and more people in the horse world that think logical is okay now and in the future, because fear is no reason to not question if what we are doing now is wrong or if it could be done better. No question is a bad question even if it upsets everything we believe in because the only thing holding us back is fear. If we expect our horses to learn their way out of this why can’t we?