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  • Colton Woods

Forget the Labels: Horsemanship is Horsemanship

Passion. Pride. Dedication. As horse lovers, enthusiasts and professionals we lack none. We are passionate and proud as well as dedicated to the horses we own, the disciplines we participate in, the apparel we wear, the tack we own and the sport we represent. It takes a lot of time, dedication and hard work to bring a horse into your life, not to mention patience and finances but that is another whole conversation on its own. There is no doubt each and every one of us has a lot to be proud of. However it is those defining areas that fragment our industry despite how similar we truly are to one another.

The vast majority of us can agree that we as equestrians are proud of those significant accomplishments we have worked tirelessly to earn regardless of our differences. Those differences may be the discipline we have chosen and preference of a specific breed or as superficial as the difference of apparel and tack we use… Does the horse care if we are wearing a helmet or cowboy hat or if the saddle does or does not have a horn on it? The horse could care less what we chose to wear. So that begs the next question, why do we care so much about what others wear and style of tack on their horses? It is starting to sound pretty ridiculous isn’t it, that we spend so much time casting judgments, assuming and complaining about folks who dress a little different, prefer different tack and compete in different events. If we all were to take just half of the time and energy put into judging, assuming and complaining about the superficial differences between fellow equestrians and instead analyze, question (professionally) the ‘whys and hows’ and learn from others horsemanship, how much better off would our industry as a whole be?