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What Matters? The Past, Present, and Future Matter

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning." So said Albert Einstein.

This Saturday night, April 11 at 7 pm, the American Saddlebred Horse Association, in partnership with Richfield Video, will stream for all for free #SaddlebredSaturday Stake Night from the 1988 World Championship Horse Show. CH Skywatch and CH Imperator dueling on the green shavings. The winning ride of the first woman and the second amateur ever to win the Five Gaited Grand Championship. What a night! A time to remember and reflect. Such a majestic history with famous names—horses and riders both. What can we learn from yesterday? It was Faulkner who said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even the past.”

Which brings us to the present. We are in the middle of one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history and in the history of our breed. It reminds of the quote from the novelist, Frederick Buechner, “At what points do my talents and deep gladness meet the world’s deep need?” There are many ways to bring our talents and deep gladness to an industry in need. We can sponsor lesson horses. We can “Buy A Round” for the barn. We can contribute to the Joint Leadership Council’s Horsemen’s Relief Fund. We can call or Facetime or Zoom our trainers and barnmates to just say hello and share a laugh and a smile. It is with deep gladness that we meet an industry in need.

Hope for tomorrow. As Marty said in his latest column from the ASHA President, “Let’s continue to seek out those flickers of light in the tunnel and watch them get brighter. We will be back.” How can we help to build for tomorrow? We can continue to join and participate in our Associations, including the ASHA. Just because we’re not having shows right now, they’re right around the corner in the bigger picture. We can make our plans as to how we can help after the quarantine lifts. Will this be a renaissance for our local shows where we can enjoy our horses without traveling long distances and aggregating in big crowds? Will this be an opportunity to rethink how we do our lesson programs, combining personal and virtual instruction? Will we find opportunities to help each other out in ways that go far beyond one time acts of generosity? 

Our opportunity and obligation is to look to the future and look beyond our own personal needs. Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr said, “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope.”

What Matters? Hope Matters.

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