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But What About Us?

Within the captivating world of show horses, where elegance converges with power and the bond between human and equine is revered, a profound question lingers: "But what about us?" Amidst the glamorous arenas and prestigious world championships, I reflect on the journey through this remarkable industry, a sense of loss and alienation has surreptitiously woven itself into the very tapestry of it. This article delves into the obscured recesses of the industry, unraveling the impact of escalating costs, unrealistic expectations, industry double standards, and the unspoken undercurrent of quiet, detrimental secrets. Collectively, these elements have contributed to a growing disconnect within the equestrian community.


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The Price of Prestige: A Reflection on Exclusion through Exorbitance

The allure of the show horse industry is undeniable, yet the escalating costs have cast a shadow over many cherished aspirations. While the pursuit of excellence is undeniably noble, the financial demands can feel overwhelming. Soaring prices of top-tier horses, training, and show fees have inadvertently shaped an arena that appears attainable only to the privileged few. Amidst this, let us recall the very essence that drew us to horses—the sheer joy of a gentle nuzzle, the rhythmic beat of hooves, and the thrill of forming an unbreakable bond.


Unrealistic Expectations: A Personal Contemplation on Great Heights

The quest for greatness often fuels a drive to reach unprecedented heights. However, as the show horse industry evolves, the expectations placed upon both rider and steed can become weighty burdens. Let's not forget the ever increasing pressure from trainers (and even clients) on making these daunting show schedules function. Amid the glamour and pursuit of triumph, the essence of simple joy in horsemanship can be overshadowed. Through my own lens, I long for a return to the authentic bond between horse and human, and I wonder, "But what about us?" Those who yearn for the unfiltered magic of forging a partnership with our equine companions, where the journey itself is the ultimate prize.


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Week-Long Circuits: A Personal Reflection on Opportunity and Exclusivity

The rise of week-long (or more) circuit shows has reshaped the landscape of our world, offering both extended opportunities for competition and a platform for networking. However, personal contemplation reveals that this transformation has inadvertently created a divide. For those with limited resources, the demand for time and financial investment can feel insurmountable. In the midst of this change, let us not forget the days when one could simply tie to their trailer and enjoy a one day show which held a magic all its own—a magic we should strive to bring back to the forefront of our industry. I contemplate the delicate balance between quantity and quality and ponder, "But what about us?" Those who value the intrinsic spirit of community and yearn for a return to an inclusive and vibrant equestrian world.


Reclaiming Camaraderie: A Personal Call for Authenticity

Beyond the surface of the show horse industry, a personal perspective unveils a complex dynamic of industry double standards and unspoken secrets. It is a perspective that implores us to scrutinize our values and uphold the principles that have defined our sport. The journey ahead requires a collective commitment to transparency, integrity, and camaraderie. In sharing this perspective, I hope to evoke conversations that lead us back to a place where authenticity thrives and unity prevails, where the genuine passion we felt for horses from the beginning shapes every stride we take.


Summer Fun Show

As our exploration culminates, my personal perspective resonates with the haunting question: "But what about us?" This perspective is not meant to cast judgment, but to ignite a thoughtful dialogue that reconnects us with the heart and soul of the equestrian world. The path forward invites us to rediscover the shared passion, the genuine bonds, and the camaraderie that make our community truly remarkable. Through eloquent discourse and a commitment to change, we can reclaim the spirit of inclusivity, transparency, and authenticity that once defined our beloved show horse industry, and in doing so, reignite the very essence that captured our hearts—the timeless connection between human and horse that continues to inspire and uplift us all.


3 comments

3 comentários


I realize progress is inevitable but the cost of showing has become a real barrier, for youth riders. What I continually see at shows are the children of, CEO’s, Doctors, Dentists, Attorneys etc. What I don’t see are children of Safeway workers, Loggers kids, truck drivers kids. They are completely priced out of the competition. We need some avenue for the average kid to come to a show and compete. We have become an elite industry where the Do Not Enter sign slaps a kid in the face if their parents don’t have an exorbitant income. Please don’t say ”Well they could attend local shows.” Local shows have become non existent at least in my area. When my …

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Doris Perniciaro
Doris Perniciaro
15 de ago. de 2023

Such great comments and a way to reevaluate, I hope this problem with escalating costs will not force owners out of this wonderful sport and see horses abandoned. Seeing it happen in my state already.

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I couldn’t agree with you more. Need more weekend shows and even schooling shows where the pressure is not as great

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