I’v read recently about a new suspension regarding the falsehoods surrounding a horse sale. It makes me consider the lengths people will go in order to make money in this industry.
Being a professional is difficult.
There are clients who can barely afford quality horse care (cough, me, cough) and will gripe at every additional cost.
There are clients that can buy the moon, but are challenging in temperament and enforce exacting standards.
There is a constant hustle to get NEW clients while still catering to OLD clients.
There are a number of industry competitors who you have to work with to move horses but also work against to win their clients.
There is the cyclical manner that ebbs and flows when dealing with live animals who have their own personalities to contend with.
There are injuries, both human and horses.
There are staff to manage, and the relationships they have with clients and to their work.
There is insurance. And bills. And heaven forbid a day-off comes your way.
I truly sympathize with those who choose to make this their career. Pangs of envy for spending all time with horses are removed when I realize that those moments lose their special treatment as “fun” and become “work”.
That said, horse professionals can be awfully desperate. I don’t know the specific circumstances of the case, I only read the COTH article so I comment only in generalities, but anecdotally I have seen enough tack jumps, ace IVs, and overly-tight draw reins.
It’s ugly. One one hand, if you cannot make “enough” money honestly and are also considered one of the greats, there is likely a problem with our industry.
On the other hand, greed is a weed that grows where there is first a garden. And those in the position of power have the most to lose, but also can more easily gain.
And I am done idolizing the legends that profit from horse pain and client subterfuge.