An unprecedented event has struck the world...a national health pandemic, the likes of which we have never seen. It has brought our economy to a screeching halt, and the horse show industry as well, at every level. Events are no longer permitted. Gathering in groups larger than ten - not permitted. Restaurants, bars, churches are closed by government order. We are told to "shelter in place". It is as though a bomb has gone off...and we are to take cover and isolate ourselves.
For the first time ever, no horse shows...it was with disbelief that we initially wondered can we have the show? Is it safe for our staff and exhibitors, many of whom travel long distances to do so? Surely it might be okay, but quickly a ban was put in place and then extended. Right now we hover in limbo, wondering...what will our landscape look like after this is over. There are no answers, definitive timelines, but there is one certainty...we have strength.
It is this time that we as equestrians have come together as a community, just like the rest of the country has responded, which is what Americans do in a time of crisis. Where physical or financial support may not be possible, emotional support has been seen in abundance.
We as a country, and certainly as equestrian participants, are a tough group. We are strong. We are creative and a hardy bunch. The sport demands it. We will get through this and come out the other side, perhaps a bit worse for the experience, but we are survivors.
Certainly, prayers are needed for us all as a country and as individuals. That goes without saying, but if you can offer it, lend a hand (at a socially acceptable distance), give a kind word. This is the time to let people know they are seen and appreciated. This is a time that will be retold in history...pick the role that you will play...what ripple will you cast into the pond of humanity?
Peace and Prayers for us all,
Morgan Taylor is the founder, owner and producer of Horse Show Ventures Hunter/Jumper horse shows in the greater Atlanta area. Three of her four daughters competed and showed growing up. For many years she and her daughters owned and operated a boarding and training facility in Milton, Georgia.