Safe Hauling: Young Equestrian Appeals to Drivers to Exercise Caution

Author’s Note: As a very active equestrian who travels for lessons and shows an innumerable amount of times, I have realized the dangers of ignorance on the roadways by non-horse people. In the midst of show season, many equestrian-related auto accidents occur. Unfortunately, many non-horse people do not understand the risk they put horse riders in by their careless driving. Therefore, we must clear up the misunderstanding for the safety of our beloved horses.

The most common time equestrians must communicate with others is on the roadways. For many, this is a weekly task, whether it be to haul their horse to a show, the vet, or just for a leisurely trail ride. No matter what, when we lead them on to the trailer, we promise our horses that we will take care of them, protect them, and ensure their comfort for the journey.

Each and every time we make that promise, the small spark of fear lights in the back of our mind. We think about the horrors of trailer accidents. We remember previous occurrences. We feel the pain of the most brutal suffering: hearing our sweet companions in agony.

It’s unfortunate to hear about tragedies caused by a person racing ahead of a horse trailer or of someone pulling out quickly in front but not accelerating fast enough. The end result is usually the trailer driver hitting his brakes, but with not enough time and space to keep from hitting the car in front.

It’s unfortunate to hear about an innocent animal being injured on the road, all because of an impatient person. It’s unfortunate to see the lively spirit of a horse be crushed by a person whose only priority is themselves, where as an equestrian’s priorities are their horse because he is the one who stabilizes their very being.

Ask a child to define a rainbow and they will answer “red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.” Aside from this common answer, there’s another way to define a rainbow, which can be done through a human being. A person consists of red, yellow, blue, and violet. These colors are an individual’s personality, lifestyle, likes, and dislikes. The colors in between are simply what hold them together. The family would be orange, occupation would be green, and hobbies would be indigo.

Of course, each may vary with each person, which is most significantly different in equestrians. Our red, yellow, blue, and violet symbolize our passion, talent, lifestyle, and spirit. However, the most remarkable distinction of people versus equestrians is what binds us together, what makes us complete in our color array.

Horses fill in our empty gaps. They are our family, our spiritual strength, and our best friends. Thus, as one would imagine, we simply would not be complete if we were not held together with the other 3 vital colors. Take away a horse and you will erase an equestrian. We consequently lose our wholeness, purpose, and entirety as a living being and we simply dissolve into the social regularity of everyday people.

Although horses are so essential to our lives, they can easily be ripped away from pure selfishness, misunderstanding, and ignorance.

When our horse is taken from us due to another person, the rain clouds suddenly overcome the sun. The storm pours down and tears us apart until you can’t see our brilliant colors shining in the sky, and we simply vanish.

If you still don’t understand, then imagine removing your colors. How would you feel without your family? What would you do without your job? How would you spend your free time without your hobbies? You would suddenly become empty and isolated and would believe that you have no purpose.

Equestrians are protective and assertive, so we humbly ask for you to look beyond yourself. Just because you’re late to work doesn’t mean you need to carelessly pull out in front of us. We may be turning at the next intersection in a half mile, so we won’t even be in your way. We want you to understand that we are trying our best to fulfill a promise of safety, so when you cut in front of us, our hearts nearly stop not because we are afraid of our own lives, but because we are worried about our horse.

We ask that you keep your storm clouds away so that our beautiful colors can continue to shine, and maybe in the process, your colors will stand out with more vibrancy as well.

About the Author: Emily Ambrose of Chardon, Ohio is in the 11th grade at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, commonly know as NDCL. She trains under the guidance of Seth and Amber Clark from Pierpont, Ohio. Emily avidly shows her horse, Play For A Minute, known as Ralphie, who is a 10-year-old quarter horse appendix. Her love of showing has been strengthened with the support of all of her friends in the Quarter Horse community and will continue her passion through and following the completion of her college career, where she hopes to study and work in the medical field.

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