People problems in the Horse world
Many studies have asked the question 'Why do people participate in sports?' and 'How can we maintain or increase their participation?'. While answers can vary across different cultures and sports, one factor always remains near the top of the list:
Social interaction is the why and how.
People join a sport or physical activity to build relationships. As social creatures, we inherently want to connect with each other and with the horses - that's why we get involved. If you are lucky enough to build positive relationships within a sport or discipline, then you become even more committed to it. Equestrians are some of the most committed people I know! Very often, an equestrian's entire life centers around their work with horses.
But - what about the opposite ?
What happens when the social interaction is NOT so good? What happens when the people are making you miserable? Some people might just hop from barn to barn, trying to find a better situation. Others will just leave the sport altogether. The real tragedy is that when people are miserable... the horses often suffer as well.
In my opinion, the equine industry has neglected the people problems for far too long. We miss out on so many great opportunities when we're distracted by drama and nonsense.
It's time for us to talk about it.