Lots of talk is going on about the rich being the ones who can afford to have horses. Of course, horses make us rich (with love, experiences, joy, etc.) but I don’t think that’s what they are talking about!
My personal story is one of financial extremes and of finding ways to keep horses in my life experience no matter what. Only twice in my life did I have to give my horses to incredibly good homes because I was not going to be able to care for them properly. In those cases, I did what was right for my horses, period.
Now, at Dharmahorse, we are running on a “shoestring”, so to speak, and I find creative ways to support my horses’ Well Being. My feeling is that to give up the “newest/best” electronics and putter along successfully with my old laptop is no real sacrifice! And to get my clothes from Thrift Stores, books from Coas and barter lessons for hay just make for lots of adventures in the process. I don’t even want manicures (hey, I clean horses’ sheaths so fingernails need to be short), pedicures, hair styling or make up – although massages would be nice…
But our horses get massages because of how hard they work giving lessons (it isn’t easy to be ridden by several different people each week) and I buy good shoes because my feet work really hard!
It’s a matter of priorities. I teach because I want to share what I learn and be a light of compassion for horses. I can have several great horses in my family because they help work to cover expenses. We are a team with a purpose.
As we gather great people around our company with similar philosophies and priorities, I find that my own joy increases and the energy expands each day. I used to be tired and now I get inspired. I used to get scared and now I feel excited. We can all express these positives in our lives – we’ve come this far. We are still kickin’! If we faced the challenges of the past and came through intact, surely what we face today (and tomorrow) cannot be insurmountable.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
We don’t have to be “rich” to have horses but we become rich when we have them! To properly care for them, we must prioritize their wellbeing and often get creative!