Loving Horses is NOT Cancelled
This week was a tough one for the horse show world. The USEF Pony Finals. The Las Vegas National. The USEF Junior Hunter National Championships. The USHJA Green Hunter Incentive and International Hunter Derby. The USEA American Eventing Championships. One show after another was announced cancelled all within the span of a few days. The spark of multiple COVID-19 positive cases were reported to management at the USEF Pony Finals seemingly led to the wildfire of mass cancellations of upcoming events.
We cannot imagine the weight of making such a decision and we know that show managements did not make these choices lightly. They had to weigh the risks versus rewards associated with proceeding onward in planning. Riders, trainers, veterinarians, farriers, stewards, judges, volunteers, media, and other staff from various states would soon be converge on certain show grounds and the risk was too high. We are saddened by these cancellations, but firmly believe the show managements made the wise and important choice.
The number of hours that go into preparing a horse and rider duo for one show are immeasurable. Beyond the time put in, the financial and emotional investments add up to these cancellations being absolutely heartbreaking to so many people in this industry. Through this, our only hope for riders and their horses is that they take some time to grieve the loss of these shows.
After some cathartic days soaking up the reality of cancelled shows, it’s time to lace up your boots. Stand tall because you know what isn’t cancelled? Loving our horses and enjoying them. If there is one thing we have learned through this seemingly warped reality we live in amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s how lucky we are to have these animals that are pivotal to the wellbeing of our souls. Anxiety and depression rates are at an all-time high. Jobs are lost and events are cancelled. Without a known end date of this strange season, we are anchoring our hope and our peace in these animals.
We take our horses for granted. It’s sad, but true. We revolve our whole lives around keeping them healthy and training them to perform at their best. We keep a tight schedule to support this process. We are always in pursuit of that next ribbon. That next check. That next buckle. Sometimes that leads to some tunnel vision that we can all agree we are guilty of. But when was the last time we hand grazed our horses, put the phone down, and just ran our fingers through their mane while we listened to them munch on some fresh grass? It’s the cheapest and most effective therapy session we will ever have.
When times get tough, it’s easy to get frazzled and focus on the negatives. One thing that has helped re-shift our mindset is remembering our ‘why’. When things get tough in business, we remember Snoop and his legacy. He guides us forward and motivates us to continue improving this device. When things get tough personally, we remember the horse-crazed boys and girls we were growing up. We recall how we would do any list of chores just to get a few minutes seated atop a horse. That’s our ‘why’.
We are terribly sorry for the cancellation of these shows you have worked so hard for. We are heartbroken for the show staff and the struggles they will face in light of these cancellations. But we remain hopeful because we have horses and loving them is not cancelled.