The Beginner’s Guide: The Equine Industry

    Now, I am no expert by any means, but I wanted to share my experiences with coming into a new industry with a completely blank slate. This is a recollection of what I’ve learned, what I’d do differently, and what I hope to learn in the future. 
    What have I learned? I’ve learned that every single day is a learning experience and a wonderful adventure. My horses have taught me so much about being a better human being, how to love unconditionally, and how to appreciate every small detail in our lives. From almost being bucked off by my gelding, to teaching my mare to give me hugs, these animals are my heart and soul. They understand what I’m thinking, and can see into my heart to know what I’m feeling. I’ve also learned that aside from all of the awesome people in the equine industry, there are also some not so awesome people. Not a day goes by in this world that someone doesn’t try to defeat me. God teaches us to deal with negativity with compassion. If someone is trying to defeat you, remember, they may be suffering from a battle within themselves. They need someone to listen, and just understand what they’re going through. Be that person. Be the one that listens, and that helps them through that tough time. You can learn so much from just listening.
    What would I do differently? I would definitely do my research on feeding and gaining weight back on a horse first, before purchasing one. After a good friend of mine purchased Painter, my gelding, I had no idea how much time, energy, and money would have to go into getting him healthy again. I would post pictures of him on social media and people would comment horrible things about him, saying I’m neglecting him. They did not understand that he was rescued from a pretty bad feedlot situation. He had been pushed out of the group of horses he was with, and was barely getting any hay at all. After he came home, we gave him unlimited hay and some really good alfalfa. Still, he was not gaining weight like I’d wanted him to. Upon a very good friend of mine bringing a horse to my house to look at, I asked her what she would do. She gave me many wonderful suggestions, and I knew right then and there that I had a lot of research to do. I spent countless hours online looking for feeds, supplements, hay, and other things you can feed senior horses to help them gain weight. Painter has finally started to look fat and healthy after almost a year of him living with me. My biggest regret is not asking questions the moment I got him. If you are willing to learn, people are willing to help. 
    What are my goals for the future? My main goal for the future, is to someday own a rescue for senior horses who don’t have anywhere to go. Alongside that, I would love to own a training facility and teach younger, and older, people what I have learned along the way. I hope to have an amazing training facility, as well as a solid breeding program offering people money producing, and all around good horses. My love for this industry has inspired me to start something I truly believe in and could be successful at. I went from buying show halters for cattle, to turnout blankets for my horses. Which, by the way, are a lot more expensive. I will never stop loving the show world, and being involved with cattle, but my true passion lies within the horse industry. My best advice to give someone who wants to get started with horses, no matter what your goals are, is to never give up and always have the end result in mind. -Sydney Albert

Breanna Viles