Back in the 1970's and early 80's, I rode and showed horses (hunters and jumpers to be specific).
It was a different era back then. Cell phones and the internet didn't exist, drug use was commonplace, and a few horse people's bad behavior had sunk to criminal. Riding was my life and showing was my passion, my reason for living. Then in 1982, I quit the horse world cold turkey and never looked back when my horse, Henry the Hawk was killed.
For many of my adult years, I walked around thinking that I was somewhat of a unique woman simply because I was a FEMALE who was able to WALK AWAY from horses. Yes, I thought that my passion for horses had simply been a childhood bug that I had fought and won.
I discovered just over a year ago that I didn't win anything. It turns out that the only thing I truly love about D.C. is the annual Washington International Horse Show.
I didn't know that horse love could be denied. Nor did I realize that the simple act of going to visit my old friend, Burr Collier (who now runs The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show) and stepping on to those old horse show grounds would cause me to wake up out of denial. I also didn't realize that this mysterious horse love affliction is in fact genetic, and I have inadvertently passed it on to my daughter, Quinn.
I've also discovered that horses are rarely on TV, so we horse lovers are an untapped market in the US. We are female dominated, multi generational, and number IN THE MILLIONS. We spend over a billion dollars annually on horse equipment alone. I know from my own experience that it's much easier to deny horse love when you are unable to watch them. If you are one of the millions afflicted with horse love, take it from me, sometimes denial can turn out to be a really bad choice.
So, WHY AREN'T THERE ANY HORSE SHOWS ON TV? In today's barrage of TV shows, not having horses on television makes no sense to me. Sure, we have My Little Pony on the HUB, which is fantastic, but there's really only so much Pinkie Pie an adult can stomach without wanting to reach for a bottle of wine. Yes, there is live streaming on the internet, but my computer never fails to lose the stream or remind me that I need to upgrade my flash player. There is HRTV but not on my TV. We do get a few horses a year on a major network, but why can't I simply turn on the good old fashioned TV and watch horses every day?
I really don't get why Mclain Ward and Beezie Madden are not household names but Honey Boo Boo is. I have nothing against Honey Boo Boo or having a Tree Master or a Pool Master on "ANIMAL" Planet, but I wonder: where are the equestrians? Why aren't the Olympic gold medal winning athletes who masterfully jump amazingly talented, thousand pound animals over courses of five and six foot fences on TV on demand?
I have spent the last few months creating sixteen original, non-fiction TV shows about horses and a horse channel called HORSE WORLD for a different breed of people who are dedicated to bringing horses, the horse lifestyle, horse people, horse sports, and horse products to the American audience. Yes, it is ambitious and it takes a big village to launch a network but you can find everything else on TV, why not horses?
Horses and the multitude of gifts that they bring to people's lives are not exclusively for the rich - they are for everyone. It's time to put horses on TV.