I’ve been somewhat MIA lately but let me tell you I had SO MUCH FUN at Champagne Run this past weekend. It really reminded me of why I love the eventing community—everyone we encountered was so kind and encouraging. No catty people. No back-handed compliments. No one trying to steadily one-up each other. No rude judgmental comments or glances. Simple, genuine, like-minded people gathered together for the love of horses. Even the photographers were so kind and allowed me to stand next to them in their shade to practice my photography, encouraged me, and wished me a nice day! No one felt threatened. Everyone was there to build one another up and to have a great time. That’s exactly what our community should be like. Sadly, in a lot of places it isn’t, and negativity is an easy trap to fall into. However, I for one want to be a part of the solution so here is my sweeping declaration: I am not associating with or taking part in people’s catty, back-handed, two-faced behavior. Spartan and I are out. I’m sick of feeling like we’re not good enough or not doing enough or doing too much too fast or too little or whatever else. Those who gossip aren’t interested in others’ success, so why am I trying so hard to receive the approval of those who are only interested in tearing others down? In addition, I only want to build others up. So, for me, I will admit when I am wrong, remove myself from catty negative people, and focus on bettering myself and my horse. I will not pay attention to those who think they know better than me. Blinders are on; let’s move forward! And I would encourage anyone who feels downtrodden in the equestrian community to do the same. Let’s be the better person, build one another up, create the warm encouraging community I know we all want to be a part of.