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I traveled 28,000 miles in June on three continents, all related to my horse business of standing stallions. In between traveling abroad and attending the Australian and Brazilian cutting futurities, I attended three days of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Convention in Grapevine, Texas, as I serve as a director for Region 8. I’ll say that even though the mainstream media and politicians from both sides in this country preach doom and gloom, thus far in 2016, my experiences, especially those in June, have led me to be very optimistic about the future.
My nature is not that of a wide-eyed optimist. I like to think of myself as a realist; I am by no means pessimistic. After the past eight years in the horse business, however, I have found that when it comes to horses, I’m a drunken optimist and high on hopeium! So I try to view the current state of things through my lens of experience and knowledge. I try not to be swayed by emotion or others’ opinions. I don’t know about you, but I’ll tell you it is harder and harder for me to stay positive when I’m bombarded by a 24-hour news cycle and commentators that spin just about anything to fit their narrow views. Technology has brought us all so much closer, but then again, I can sit next to someone and they are a whole world away. Strange times. I am blessed with a great family and my faith, which I think keeps me grounded. In Proverbs we read, “…trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.” I have to work at it, though. Nothing is more important to me than my sacred duty as a husband and father.
A few years ago, I heard a very good man whom I respect deeply give a talk on worry. He relayed an experience he had years ago reading a Sunday morning “Peanuts” cartoon. You remember the Peanuts gang, right – Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, etc. Well, the Peanuts were out playing baseball. The game came down to the last out and if the Peanuts got the out, they would win the game. A pop fly is hit in the outfield toward Lucy and she dropped the ball. The Peanuts ran up to her in sure disappointment yelling to her, “Lucy, how could you drop the ball!” Lucy replied, “How do you expect me to catch the ball when I’m worried about our nation’s foreign policy?” The moral of the story is don’t let factors out of your control affect your ability to function. When the ball is hit to you, catch it. I think that is good advice for everyone, especially given the current events. I can’t control 99.99999 percent and then some of what happens in the world, but I can control myself and do my best to influence others to do good. As John Adams would tell his children daily, “Be good, do good.” Sage advice.
I really don’t know why I felt compelled to share that in my blog this month. Perhaps its to remind myself. I know myself well enough to be disciplined. When times are great, I’m steady. When times are tough, I’m steady. I think I can thank my mother for that. You’ve got to have a strong bottom side, right?! But when it comes to horses and this industry that I love, I know times are a changing. The NCHA Convention was really positive for me. I honestly went in frustrated with some perceived large issues. Some were well founded and some not, but one thing is for certain – there are very bright and talented people hard at work to make tomorrow better. I’m not going to get into each thing here, but as an NCHA Director, know that I’m happy to listen and answer any questions I can at any time regarding those duties.
As previously mentioned, I traveled 28,000 miles last month on three continents. I spoke with hundreds of people, all within our worldwide industry. I said times are a changing in the horse industry, and y’all know that. Change is always hard. Few people embrace change. The dodo didn’t change, what happened to him? As I have visited with people, both for my business managing stallions and helping people create wealth through their horses, and also through my service as an NCHA Director, AGAIN, I am optimistic for our future as we will all unite and act!
There are so many things out of our control. There is lots to worry about, and most it you have no control over. But do not allow despair to stop you. Let’s not let the obstacles we face in the horse industry or life stop us from working together to improving our ability to chase our dreams and enjoy this passion of ours. When we know that the sun will come up, it gives us hope for a better tomorrow. –SDP
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