*** This article was published in the August 2017 edition of Natural Awakenings**
Dark clouds roll in from the West. Treetops sway while wind gusts get stronger. Birds seek shelter and people move indoors with dogs in close pursuit. It’s 5 pm in Piedmont, SC. The daily summer storm has arrived. In a nearby meadow only horses remain. Three resident equines graze peacefully, undisturbed by rolling thunder and bolts of lightning. They do not care if rain soaks their coat. They do not mind the howling wind. They are the calm in the middle of mayhem.
Much like Black Beauty gave you an insight on the life of a 18th century horse, this post gives you an insight in the world of a 21st century sport horse. Due to my 34+ years of experience both in the Dutch and American equestrian world as an rider, owner and instructor, while importing, selling and showing Dutch Warmblood sport horses, my experiences visiting hundreds of breeding, training and showing barns, both in the US, in Germany and in the Netherlands, my experiences as a student riding with grand prix level riders and judges, I have first hand international, cross disciplinary knowledge of how horses are treated and regarded world wide, both at home and at the show grounds. I have attempted to use my insights to provide a minimally anthropomorphized point of view from the horse's perspective with science backing up my statements.