The world, it seems, is too busy. Too busy to take time to sit and talk with friends, instead of hastily sent WhatsApp messages; too busy to sit down and read a magazine or a book; and too busy to spend time doing what we really love, something that is, for so many of us, spending time with our horses.
This fast-paced world in which we find ourselves shows no sign of slowing. Horses, trainers, and judges are in an endless loop – with people living out of a suitcase, going from one show to another, to go home briefly to reload and off to the next. In this kind of environment, how is one ever meant to take stock? Just sit and reflect – speak to those we care about, and spend time just ‘being’ with our four-legged family.
The answer is, quite simply: we don’t. Deadlines come around for shows, magazines, family events, registering foals, booking and planning for the next step in our frenetic lives; they come, and they pass – and all too often, something slips. And there is something so very wrong in that.
More than ever since changing this to a breeders’ magazine, I have noticed that the divide between the show world and the rest of the Arabian industry is greater than ever. We all live in our own bubble, caring about the things that immediately affect us and our lives. Scant interest is paid to a neighbour who rides 160km in two days with their horse for the first time, or to our acquaintance down the road who has bred their first foal in years. We all live for ‘our now’, invisible barriers going up to those not sharing the same Arabian horse pastime as us, and with social media algorithms reinforcing this more than ever.
So my challenge to us all is to reach out: go and watch that endurance ride for the first time, and see all that these horses face on a regular basis; support a friend in a dressage test, even if it is not ‘your thing’ – because, who is to say it is not unless you have actually witnessed it yourself, first hand. And go and see friends with their foals, share their excitement in their breeding programme and the future of their farm. Because if we cannot be excited for our friends and acquaintances, then how can we expect anyone to be animated about the things that we love so much?
Time is something that truly seems to speed up the older we get; we cannot slow it, and we cannot change it. But we can appreciate it more, and appreciate all the wonderful things that we have in our lives, things that, so incredibly often, have been brought into our lives due to the Arabian horse. Our lives are so much richer for having these noble creatures in them – teaching us patience, kindness, love, and consideration, among so many other wonderful things – and sometimes we need to go back to basics. Stop running; just be. Enjoy those moments when your horse comes over to see you and blows gently down your neck. Enjoy seeing your horses snoozing the paddock – and then come alive when they go to the racetrack, the show arena, or out on a country hack. And above all, we need to share these moments more with each other in real time, and rely less on running around and living a virtual life. For surely the Arabian horse deserves the dignity of having us focused and present with them, all of the time.