Good morning, Horse Nation! Coffee sweet coffee… ah, that’s better. So, one of our greatest challenges in launching HN was, I think, gently guiding people away from the following mindset (to quote one comment that was left on EN when we first made the announcement): “The reason Eventing Nation does well is it because it is discipline focused… majority who ride certain disciplines or have certain breed interests don’t care to read about other ones out there.”
When I read that, I thought, yikes, I sure hope that isn’t true. Because if they’re right, HN is going to crash and burn before it even leaves the ground.
I realize that when it comes to our views of ourselves, we can get a little discipline-centric: “I’m an EVENTER” or “I’m a SHOWJUMPER” or “I’m a DRESSAGE RIDER.” But when we start pigeonholing ourselves and boxing ourselves in, our worlds tend to get real small, real fast. Horse Nation, hopefully, is a step away from that kind of thinking. You can still be an eventer and proud of it, but you’re also an EQUESTRIAN. A HORSEPERSON. It’s kind of like being a patriotic American without losing sight of the fact that you’re also a citizen of the world. America doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither does any specific equestrian sport. We’re all in this together.
So far, I’d say the person who wrote that comment on EN has been proven wrong a few thousand times over. People DO care. We’ve written about eventing, show-jumping, hunters, dressage, foxhunting, combined driving, polo, polocrosse, vaulting, the list goes on… and people are reading it–all of it, every single day. Maybe it’s because they understand our passion for horses doesn’t subscribe to labels, or because they realize we all have something to learn from one another. Whatever it is, my faith in the collective Horse Nation gets a little bit stronger with every new branch we step out on.
Today, we’re introducing a new columnist, Kristen Kovatch, who’ll be introducing us to the wacky, wonderful world of Western riding on a weekly basis. We’ve got the story of Hannah Bedwell and her journey from being a top 10 finisher at Pony Finals to being crowned an AQHA World Champion in Equitation over Fences. We’ve got at least one combined driving story on its way, and possibly two. And there’s much, much more where that came from–you’ll just have to stay tuned. I certainly hope you will.
International DQ Anky van Grunsven goes reining.