If you’re not on Instagram you should be. It’s an amazing place to see photos of horses in everyday life from California to Virginia to Germany. Its a more open than Facebook, but more controlled than Twitter, which allows you to discover the most amazing things and people.
One of the people I follow posted this quote from Jocelyn Bailey of Peaster, TX, better known as breathequine, about living in an equestrian society:
We live in an equestrian society where we believe that how many followers on instagram you have defines your worth. We live in an equestrian society where people are more focussed on owning the brand name cameras rather than taking the time to learn angles, lighting, and proper settings. We live in an equestrian society where it is believed to be acceptable to hate on someone because they own a different saddle than you. We live in an equestrian society where posing for a pretty picture means more than taking the time to bond with your horse. We live in an equestrian society where it is believed that liberty is required to have a good relationship with your horse. We live in an equestrian society that so many people want to fit in, they are willing to change themselves. They don’t want to be different, or set high goals for themselves.
I will not let equestrian society define me, my horse, or our relationship. I will continue to be unique and true to myself, and hopefully inspire you to do the same. #iamnotdefinedbyequestriansociety
Yeah, you may want to read it again because as you were reading you started thinking of all the ways and situations where it’s been true.
Even though I think most of us ‘equestrians’ believe (or hope) that we’re different from the rest of the world because we care about horses, many of us fall into the same traps as everyone else. Status, greed, jealousy. We let group norms control the way we think and not do what we believe to be right.
But we have a choice. Like the second part of the quote, we can take a stand and do what’s right, what’s true.
I have personally struggled with this a lot as I’m not the typical horse guy. I didn’t grow up in the country, I hate wearing wranglers, not really a ’mans man’ by popular definition. When I met Nikki and got into horses I wore Calvin Klein fashion boots for the first two years, because, well, they were some good looking boots (see it here). I’m in to digital and technology, I’ve never roped a cow, I hate cheap American beer, I don’t chew, and I like flashy Arabians. And yet, sometimes, I so desperately want to be one of those good ‘ol country boys, I want to fit in, be a part of something, not be out of the group.
But that’s not why we’re here. We weren’t made to fit in, we were made to stand out. We were made to be uniquely individual so that whatever we’re part of we bring something too. We bring ideas and inspiration and new ways to do things by being different and unique, not by being the same or just fitting in.
Today, I encourage you to be you, be the most true ‘you’ that you have ever been. And to embrace each part of yourself and take it and make the world great. There’s a great quote that I always think of in situations like this, it’s from preacher and civil rights activist Howard Thurman:
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.