What can you do to bring more harmony to the horse world?

26.Aug 2023 | English

In my newsletter this week, I wrote about the horse world and what we as individual horse people can do to positively influence it and create a “new normal”.

The horse world is a very heterogeneous place. The love for horses that unites us all is lived very differently. There are so many different views and “bubbles”, from people who don’t (or no longer) ride because it seems wrong to them, to people who, within their means, wishes, and beliefs, seek the most horse-friendly way to go about anything they do with their horses, and then there are images from the international competitive field that testify to a grotesque imbalance between the drive for success and animal welfare.

And somewhere in the middle, there’s you and I. “Regular” horse people who are again and again confronted with the question of what we can do best to somehow come together again and, above all, to make our human world a more horse-friendly place. I have thought about this a lot and shared my thoughts with my newsletter subscribers this week, which I would also like to share here. Because it is so valuable for each of us to think about this, form an opinion, and then get started, and from my point of view, the best way to do this is by creating a new normal. Here is the text:

“I am writing to you today because, perhaps like you, I am seeing a lot of discussion about the problems in equestrian sports and the desire to change tournament guidelines in favor of animal welfare, especially towards the FEI (Fédération Équestre Internationale, the international governing body of equestrian sports), in my social media feeds. Meaning: many unpleasant images, many exclamation marks, and long, heated comment discussions.

I totally understand the reason for the agitation. Of course, I also want better conditions for the horses. Totally. And I also believe that awareness and education are essential to effect change. However, if it turns into a “fight,” it loses its constructiveness in my view. Our energy is simply not well placed here.

Why? What we really need is a “New Normal” in equestrian sports. Images of horse-human interactions that are harmonious (even at second glance) that we see in the stables, in sports, in the media, and even in stock photography, and that gradually become “normal” for the majority of riders and non-riders alike. Just as the current image eventually became so ingrained that it is considered “normal” by many. I believe this is necessary so that we can return to a healthy way of dealing with ourselves, each other, the horse, and the sport.

Every bit of energy we spend blaming and insulting others does not directly contribute to this positive change – it only fuels more friction. And yes, change sometimes arises from friction, but I believe that particularly in the case of horses, which are so sensitive to our energy and the peace we bring or don’t bring, additional friction is simply not constructive.

So, what can we do to create this “New Normal” and contribute to positive change?

1. Help educate. Let’s talk and educate each other about training methods, equipment, and what we believe is horse-friendly and why. We can assume that everyone is doing their best with their individual means and background (including ourselves). If we acknowledge and consider this, we are more likely to have constructive conversations that actually serve our horses in the end.

2. Create and spread positive images. Of course, we can treat our own horses the way we would like to see all horses treated. And we can celebrate those who are already doing this, and share their images in all directions to inspire others. We can inspire each other and strengthen our community. What comes to mind first for you? Do that!

3. The miracle cure: Find peace within yourself. I want to remind you that the FEI is an organization founded, operated, and supported by people, humans like you and me. We live in a world where most people carry a world of inner conflicts, contradictions, fears, worries, and stress. This leads us to sometimes put ourselves above others (people, animals, or parts of ourselves) to feel better. Or we put pressure on ourselves and our animals to achieve our goals. Or we simply don’t feel (or don’t want to feel) how the people and animals around us (including ourselves) are doing. And whether we like it or not, we all have an impact on this system.

Every day, we all make decisions in different areas and, most importantly, in our relationships (with other people, animals, and ourselves) about what kind of world we want to live in. It may sound abstract or a bit hippie-like, but we ultimately create our world. It’s about how we treat others, and as a basis for this, it’s about how we treat ourselves. In other words: As long as we “ride” ourselves with a sharp bit, we can only contribute to a world where people and horses live in harmony to a limited extent.

Your energy enters the stable before you do. So, do what it takes to be at peace with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Integrate the parts of yourself that haven’t been heard much and may need healing. Be honest with yourself. And by doing so, you can help others around you to be honest with themselves and others, and to have a positive impact in their own environment.

This is the way to truly spread love and peace throughout the world. There is nothing stronger you can do to contribute to a more positive horse world. So instead of using our energy to fight against what we see as wrong, let’s use our energy to create something that we believe is good and right. Every day, in everything we do. Each one of us has an impact on the whole.

Please never underestimate your ability to change the day of a stranger, the mood in a room, the world with a single genuine smile.

In this spirit, take care and look forward to the “new normal” that we are building every day.

See you soon, Daniela”

Would you like to find texts like this directly in your inbox next time? Then feel free to sign up for my newsletter. I’m very excited to have you reading along!

Über die Autorin

Daniela Kämmerer

Daniela Kämmerer

Visionärin, Pferde-Menschen-Coach, Yogalehrerin, Autorin

Daniela möchte Menschen und Pferden helfen, sich wohler in ihrer Haut zu fühlen und aufzublühen. Nicht zuletzt, da sie nur so auch gut füreinander sein können – und für ihre sonstige Umwelt.

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