Not Enough Pie

It’s ironic to me when I run up against the reluctance for professionals to share their knowledge in their respective fields.  Maybe it’s the present economic issues that feeds a wary regard of someone wanting to break into their field, or it’s just plain selfish desire to be the one and only or one of just a few rather than one of many good ones.  I guess the pie isn’t big enough for everybody.

When I was showing horses I was always amused at the comments about a good horse always winning or you can’t beat that one.  To me, the better they are, the better I need to get in order to compete.  And if I had the best one I always wanted other best ones in there to raise the bar so to speak. So it wasn’t a one horse show.

Years ago I learned a prominent artist in my field took a swipe at my work through the ears of a youth. My young son got an ear full while was attending an exhibit of my work at a national horse event.  We were there for a ten days so this kid was bored to tears. Although he was cooperative to a point, as long as the money flowed for sampling various foods at the event, I had a relatively happy camper.

As he was munching his way through the commercial exhibits, he stopped to view a prominent artist’s work.  He asked the artist about her work, and as she was describing what she was doing, he asked her what she thought of my work. Quick to criticize my handling of the surfaces of my pieces, my son came back to report on his findings. I was piqued by the lack of positive input by that artist, not by the content, it’s her personal opinion, but by the relative ease by which she critiqued my work to a ten year old kid. The message being her work was better and mine was well deficient. As a professional I was amused by the comment, but if it wasn’t for the messenger who delivered it to me, a youth.

I watched a large youth group this past weekend in Indiana judge horses.  Imagine my surprise when I walked into the coliseum and saw the entire ring filled with youth kids.  Thank goodness the kids are still latching onto their passion.  While the adults are commiserating about the lack of business and the future is blighted by the ever rising cost of maintaining a horse, these kids got up early, really early to participate in this learning event. And their parents drove them there and are supporting their interest.

This is the future for our horses. Through these kids we can only hope they have the passion to continue what we as horse people have been doing our entire lives. I’ve queried people on many occasions as to what the horse means to them.  Not a scientific study of course but most of the answers I get are a muddled response to their feelings about them.  I’m somewhat flummoxed by the lack of recognition of the historical importance of our  history with the now and what we as humans can expect from our relationship with horses in the future.

And to go back to the stingy pie hoarding behavior; shame on the professionals who I’ve rubbed pretty hard to try to get them to share their experience and opportunity for the future of our horses. There’s enough room for everyone or there’s not going to be a room if excluding the passionate interest of these young folks for the sake of their own pocketbooks or ego.