Social Sphere

The social sphere of sustainability mainly addresses how people are treated by you or your business, including the impact of this treatment on future generations.  Do you interact with them in a respectful manner and are they supported in meeting their basic needs?  This is an important parameter in any equine enterprise or equine-related service and product business.  Are your employees paid a fair wage?  How about the employees of your supply chain?  Are all members of your family and enterprise supported in living healthy, fulfilling lives?  This will include how your actions help keep the planet healthy, since this is the source of our food and water.

In the equine world, I say this social sphere also includes how we treat our equine partners.  Each person needs to answer the question: do I support my equine to live a healthy, fulfilling life?

Here, I would like to link to individuals or groups who are making efforts to understand how our equine friends feel and think, and finding ways to deepen the level of communication between our two species.  I feel this is a large part of a fulfilling life for our equine partners.

I will also link to organizations or individuals who participate in the physical well-being of equines, such as rescue groups.

Parelli Natural Horsemanship™.  There are many excellent practitioners of natural horsemanship, but one known worldwide is Parelli Natural Horsemanship ™.  Pat Parelli has been developing his ideas for decades, and, along with his wife, Linda, works diligently to help others learn to communicate with their horses just as successfully.  Their educational material is systematic and easy to follow, plus they provide a huge on-line library of answers to common challenges.  They have studied and articulated the different ways that horses behave, and how to interact with those different basic styles.  This involves knowing a good deal about your own personality, too, and how it affects your equine partner!  In the end, their desire is that all horses (and mules and donkeys) be treated in a manner that preserves their dignity and willingness to learn from (and with!) us.

Human-Equine Alliances for Learning. HEAL is an equine-facilitated psychotherapy organization founded by Leigh Shambo, MSW, LMHC.  Leigh trained under Linda Kohanov (author, The Tao of  Equus) in her Epona program.  Leigh, with the help of her horses, offers a wide range of services, for backyard riders and professionals alike, that guide a person into a deeper understanding of his or her own authentic self.  From there, access to powerful healing, growth, and internal wisdom is possible.  This perception, of horses as our mirrors and teachers, often greatly enhances the relationship we have with our horse partners and removes barriers in our communication with them.  I hope you have the privilege of participating in one of Leigh’s classes very soon!

Unwanted Horse Coalition.  It is sad to me that this organization even has to exist, but I am glad they are doing such noble work.  The Unwanted Horse Coalition “represents a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together under the American Horse Council to educate the horse industry about this issue.”  Its members are various horse and veterinary organizations, along with individuals.  Please consider contacting them to learn more and even adopt a horse.  They maintain a directory of facilities that work with horses that need a homes.