Written by Guest Blogger Rebecca Kohles
One of the hardest things to deal with in life is to be “one voice”. It’s lonely and often unrewarding.
I know because often, my one, tiny voice keeps me up at night. So many horses are in need and it can be overwhelming. I’ve been there. I’ve felt that. I still do. Daily. For a long time, I have wrestled with a way to be the superhero that saves them all. Then reality sets in, and you falter; but you still want to fight for injustice. You feel no one will listen to you. Inadequacy becomes your mentor; and you feel anger and depression. If you don’t have your own farm or property, or own enough funds to care for a herd, it becomes a growing, helpless feeling. You battle to find your place in this puzzle of unwanted animals. It can be a very real struggle, to make that “one voice” count for something.
Being “one voice” does not have to make you feel powerless. An individual can have more power than you know. You just have to find it. Maybe you cannot provide a soft landing for a horse in need, but maybe you can train or volunteer to ride/exercise. Give a horse needed direction, a job, a chance at life. If you can’t train or ride, there are other ways to help that you probably haven’t thought of.
Here are just a few ideas:
Organize a feed drive, garage sale, car wash, oh the list is endless…for a local rescue. Selling on eBay? Donate a percentage of your sales! Buying on Amazon? Go to Amazon Smiles – donations are automatic!
Volunteer to groom at a rescue.
If you are lucky enough to work in the industry, perhaps you can influence your workplace to sponsor and take a stand. Massage therapists, can you donate a session to a horse in need? Work for a supplement company? Ask them to sponsor a horse…it never hurts to ask. The worst thing they may tell you is, no. Do you work at a showground? Will they spotlight a horse in need?
Do you have a talent unrelated to the industry? Perhaps you are a writer, photographer, or artist and could donate some of your proceeds? Or offer to give those horses a professional photo shoot to help it find a home…the possibilities are endless.
The bottom line is just because you are “one voice” there is a way for you to make a difference. You just need to soul search and figure out what the something is.
Until the last few years, as a current horse owner, I have selfishly enjoyed my Draft Cross mare of 15 years and climbing, with little to no thought about the others that have, and are suffering. I have recently looked at her in a different light. Coming from an Amish farm as a yearling, her story could have been so very different. I have recently seen so many horses like her on the kill buyer pages, they look unsure and terrified. I glance back at my mare; she looks confident and loved. While she is with me from yearling to her last breath, so many horses are not so lucky.
In the dark, vast sea of “one voices”, we, as an industry of professionals and adult amateurs need to take a stand. To set a new precedent and believe completely in our hearts what is morally right and pass that along to our students and friends. Instructors need to make it part of the curriculum. We need to be accountable and to bring America’s horses back into the light.
All it takes is “one voice” to make a difference. All it takes is “one voice” to make a change. All it takes is “one voice” to end their suffering. I encourage you to find your “one voice”. While I have found my “one voice”, a few times now, I will continue to seek out more ways to affect a change. I believe in the goals of Horses without Humans and no matter how much I can contribute, I will always want to do more. I hope that you, whether professional or amateur, will join me. The horses need you.