As the world starts getting back to normal, the horse world included, I have two challenges for those of you who are headed back to horse shows and competitive events.
#1 – Put your horse first.
Your horse doesn’t care about winning a championship. They want to eat, hang out with their horse friends, and do fun things with you, their human friend. They want to be pain free and comfortable in their job.
If you think that winning means you have to deprive them of any of those things, re-evaluate if that’s actually true (it probably isn’t) or if you actually care more about winning than you do about your horse (you probably don’t).
An award won at the expense of your horse’s health and happiness isn’t worth it.
#2 – Be kind to your fellow horse humans.
Go introduce yourself to anyone you don’t recognize and make them feel welcome. Offer to help the show committee when you have a spare moment. Clap for everyone.
Too often I hear that horse shows are unfriendly to newcomers, but I’ve shown horses my whole life and I know that’s not the intention. It’s just that everyone is focused on their own goals, and that can make them seem unfriendly to someone who is already nervous about trying something new.
A friendly face will go a long way to making someone feel welcome – be that friendly face.
Just two small things – that’s it! Go have fun adventures with your Miniature Horses!