Just a Small Bit

Like so many others, I’ve been dumbstruck while everything unfolded over the last two weeks.

There’s a lot that can be said right now. I’ve been quiet this week, as I processed all that I saw, read, and heard. I’m still processing. I’m still learning. 

There’s a fear of saying the wrong thing. I have an outsider’s view. What insight could I possibly have? I don’t have answers. 

But all the same, I watched events unfold. Things that made me horrified and sad for so many of my fellow Americans. Outside of the obvious injustice and horrific reality for so many black Americans, I’ve thought about the incredible whiteness of equestrian sports. There’s no question that there’s been an emphasis on white equestrians for as long as there have been equestrian sports. 

After every blog post, photo shoot, or project, I always ask myself, “How could I make this better?” If possible, I try to ask myself that while I’m still in the act, as that’s really more effective. 

For example, the below images. Pause, and a moment to think about how it could be better.

Before asking
After asking

A moment to recognize I can do better, and I have a much better result. 

In thinking about the whiteness of horses, it made me wonder how many children of another race dreamed about horses, but felt so out of place or unwelcome they dropped out. Maybe they didn’t even feel welcome enough to try it in the first place.

I can’t decide for someone what their hobby or profession will be, but I can make sure that people of all races and backgrounds feel welcome and comfortable in this one. Everyone deserves to enjoy horses. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. 

There’s still reflection ahead. I’m not a brilliant mind with all the answers. But I’m going to figure out how to be better. I want everyone to feel welcome to horses and be included in the horse world. Everyone can be a part of it, and everyone should know that.

I am only one person, but also, I am one person. I do exist, and I can do something. As I once saw, probably on demotivational posters, “No one snowflake thinks its responsible for the avalanche.”

Everyday is an opportunity to do better than the day before. I’m going to do better.

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  1. I think often of the people who look like me but felt too alone and out of place to continue with riding. The economic issue exacerbates the racial divide, and until that is addressed this sport will struggle to be truly diverse.

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