When horrible things happen in our world, it can be hard to keep the simple, beautiful life I have in the horse world in perspective. While I think that peaceful and happy diversions into the things we love are part of the healing process, it feels unnatural not to acknowledge the heartbreaking realities we all saw on the news this weekend.
I want to take a moment here in our funny little corner of the horse universe to recognize a dark day, honor those who lost their lives in Orlando, and put out a plea: Keep Jumping.
There are all these heroic people with important jobs who are trying to make the world better and safer, and it would be easy in a moment of such immense darkness to wonder “is jumping horses over poles in an arena really all that important? Is this what I’m here to do?”
And the answer is yes, and it’s wonderful. You and your horses, day in and day out, make this world exquisite, colorful, vibrant, peaceful, spectacular. You participate in events that unite ethnicities, religions, cultures, social classes, gender identities, and politics behind a common passion for this absolutely amazing sport.
Your peaceful, ambitious existence making art and sport collide is the dream your forefathers and foremothers had for you. Your goodness and unparalleled care of your animals is a gift. Your pursuit of excellence in a free and brave world is the culmination of generations worth of effort. You are the living definition of putting away the sword to walk behind the plough share.
The people who were senselessly taken from the world Saturday night were doing something they loved. They were dancing, socializing, expressing their joy and meeting new people. They were being authentic and true to themselves even when some people don’t like it. They could have been tucked away at home sleeping, fearful of hate, fearful of rejection, fearful of life, but they weren’t. They put on their duds, met up with their friends, and decided to go out and smile and dance. We owe it to them to keep living this incredible gift of a life.
This week as we prepare to head to our next event or buckle down on our gridwork at home, may we all be a little kinder to friends and strangers, hold our horses and people a little closer, and go jump the hell out of those beautiful courses.
Keep living, keep loving, keep jumping.
If you would like to help the survivors and families of victims of the shooting in Orlando, you can donate here.