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MUMSHAYNET OPINION

SO, WHY MUMSHAYNET?

Well, firstly, we wanted to provide a space for anyone new to the world of horse, a place where they could find answers to questions that they might be too shy to ask, such as ‘what the hell is this brush for?’

But then we also wanted to build a community of like-minded, horse-centric, love-until-I-die equestrians who simply want a damn good read occasionally.

As luck would have it, there are professional journalists on the MH team – all of whom have served time on national newspapers – which means we have the tools to bring you the kind of real-life stories that rarely grace the pages of the equestrian press.

But this isn’t about us. It’s about you. The man, woman or child who has ever loved a horse or dreamed of loving a horse. The heroes who regularly sacrifice nights out and days in to be with a horse. The many among us who have shed blood, sweat, tears, and way too much money on a horse, and still walked away thinking we were the lucky ones because of that horse.

You are our kind of people, and we want to hear your stories, to learn of your adventures, to see your pictures. We want to share the huge highs, the awful lows and the reality that is horse life.

So, don’t be shy. Get in touch. And if we think we can do your story justice, we will run it. Simples. 


 

IT DOESN'T BEAR THINKING ABOUT, BUT...

This week we cover the sad story of Barbara Scott Collins, a woman whose dying wish was to be buried with her beloved horse, Brady.

Although the facts of the case are a matter of some dispute, it does throw up an interesting dilemma – what would you do with your horse or horses should you know you are dying?

Would you search for the perfect home for them? Would you trust that your horses would be cared for? Or would you consider euthanasia to save them from possible future trauma?

Of course, there’s no easy answer, but there’s another layer to this extraordinarily complex scenario – if you go for euthanasia there’s going to be a vet involved.

According to the latest statistics, veterinarians performing euthanasia five or more times a week have 2.56 higher odds of having serious suicidal thoughts than those performing euthanasia four or fewer times a week.

While there are many reasons for the mental toll the job takes on veterinarians – ranging from repeatedly witnessing grief, financial worries and owner rage – it’s also important to understand how big an ask it is for a vet to put to sleep a healthy animal. Could you do it?



LET THE PUBLIC IN

There's a lot of pushback currently regarding the use of horses in top level sport - and much of it justified. However, it's important to not lose sight of the athletes who compete for all the right reasons and with the all the right intentions.

Skylar Wireman's recent decision to put the physical and psychological welfare of her horse first at the FEI World Cup Finals is commendable, and it should rightly be acknowledged. Check out the comments on USA Jumping's post regarding the consideration she showed her horse, Tornado - people are hungry to see good riders behaving kindly.

In these days of social licence, it's imperative that the public actually gets to see more of the positives in equestrian sport, and that doesn't mean applauding everyone who simply withdraws from a competition, it means showing them the more 'human side' of the main disciplines - the backstage work, the friendships and bonds that go into creating the world's most incredible horse-and-rider sporting teams.

It's absolutely correct to call out the bullies and thugs, but there's a very real danger of demonising equestrian sports as a whole if more isn't done to balance the negatives with the positives.

It's not enough to aim the spotlight on judges, though that helps, and nor is it enough to call out the abusers, though that should be a given at ALL levels. If real change is to come, people need to see it happening. They need to see more of the fun and less of the discipline, with horses clearly being allowed to be horses.

So, show the love, guys. Just show the goddam love.

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