Daddy, What Did You Do In The Revolution?
Pardon me while I take a moment to wrestle with the most important question facing the future of horsemanship in America--"How can we best hasten the implosion of the established horse world and replace it with system of enlightened horsemanship based on natural horsemanship, natural horse care, and and natural hoof care?"
The established horse world is fueled by greed and revolves around competitions which lead owners to view horses as fungible goods. The constant need to buy a "better" horse (one that gets a blue colored ribbon instead of a red colored ribbon)has given rise to an industry that supports over production and most sickeningly of all, horse slaughter.
Does not a registry which supports horse slaughter as being a humane solution to the problem of "unwanted horses" indict itself? Just as some rights are self evident, are not some wrongs self evident?
In the long term the current state of the horse market may be in the best interest of horses and real horsemanship because it will help to drive those most motivated by greed into other ventures. Lawd, I sure will miss those people. With them gone who will I have to tell me how wrong I am?
Herein for me lies the dilemma. There is no hope of preserving the Corollas unless more people understand and are given reason to care about their plight. The same is true of every other strain of Colonial Spanish Horse. How can that most effectively be done? I do not believe that involving ourselves in competitions that are the underpinning of the established horse world is the best way to do so.
I believe that getting our horses out in front of the non-horse owning world is vitally important. We must attract new owners that do not bring with them the crippling baggage of being an "experienced" member of the established horse world.
I am a mediator, a conciliator, and a compromiser by nature. I view conflict nearly always as something to avoid. However, in this case conflict is necessary. I cannot pretend that there is any validity what so ever in the preachings of the established horse world and the artificial agribusiness that has grown up to support. That is the case whether we speak of bits, nutrition, shoeing, or proper conformation. For the horse's sake we must refrain from doing anything for the simple reason that that is how the experts say that it should be done.
I do not want to do anything that remotely suggests that I am seeking the approval of these people. I do not want my horses to earn the respect of such people, but I would love for those experts to earn the respect of my horses.
The only effective alternative that I see for myself is to seek to be known by my fruits, to teach by doing. People start to notice.
"Steve's horses do not wear shoes but they are never lame. Steve's horses live outside 24/7 but they do not get respiratory problems. Steve's horses were wild or at least their parents were and they are gentler and friendlier than any horses around. Steve's horses are ponies but they often carry riders weighing over 200 lbs, sometimes for fifty miles in a day. Steve's horses are trained by his little riders but they are safer and more reliable than many horses trained by professionals. Steve's horses only colic in the rarest of circumstances. Maybe I should take a look at how his horses live if these are the results that he gets."
So that is where I draw the line. Parades, such as the one pictured in the shot above, we participate in. Horse shows, except for those of the type that the American Indian Horse Association holds, we do not participate in.