Girls and Horses, what’s the connection?

On Trust

Is it trust then that causes you to wrap your tiny hand around the gnarled cotton rope and breathlessly tug as you walk away assuming that 1000 lbs of pure flesh and bone will follow you quietly? Is it delusion? Or arrogance? It doesn’t really matter because the 1000 lbs at the end of the rope is looking at you trustingly as he follows you. No matter who you are, you know that this is amazing.

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GiveMeaning interview with eHub…

There are a lot of people doing interesting and creative things on the internet related to philanthropy, and this is just another wonderful example. On Emily Chang – eHub Interviews, Emily talks with Tom Williams, the creator of GiveMeaning. Wonderful stuff. Just read it!

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Maybe it’s OK that not everyone loves the Square Peg name…

I’ve had many reactions to the Square Peg logo and name. Lots of folks like it and are intrigued by the idea. Somie even think it’s brilliant! but we do get some other responses. Several people have HATED the circle logo with the word “Square”. One non-profit professional told me, completely seriously, “We recommend that non-profits name themselves something related to what they do”.

So today I have some vindication for those responses that sometimes worry us. In the article Maybe you should be attracting enemies, on Donor Power Blog, Jeff Brooks talks about the value of stirring things up.  I’m going to put some thought into this in the coming weeks. Beyond our name, how can we really distinguish ourselves and set ourselves apart? What really makes us “us”. What is it that’s interesting enough about what we do to make some people dislike it?

Thoughts? Please let me know!

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Responses: Horsemanship; Art or Science?

Written by Amy 7th grade:

Horsemanship,

It’s both, because of this:

You have to know math in order to keep a horse, otherwise, financially you

would be broke, but spiritually, it is an art. You must feel the spiritual

bond of the horse, otherwise you will never enjoy the beauty of riding and

becoming one. You and the horse are a bond, a team, a herd. What some people

don’t get is that a horse is much more then an animal. (But animals are

beautiful and important people already aren’t they?)

Horses help people feel like they can do anything, people feel power when

they are with horses. But also what some people get confused with is that

horses are big animals, so they need to be controlled, show no mercy toward

them.

That’s sounds pretty stupid if you think about it. Horses are loving gentle

giants that are teaching people how to be disoplined and resourceful. (In my

case, horses are what get me outdoors.)

Horsemanship, you must think about the business, about also the horses. What

is your education on mathematics and spirituality on these powerful,

beautiful creatures.

That is what I think.

Horsemanship: Art or Science

So I was reading the other night and the thought occurred to me; “is horsemanship an art? is it a science?” Certainly, Horsemanship has elements of both. But I realized that how I might approach a student to teach them might have a lot to do with how the student might answer the question, not how I would. That said, I’m posing the question to you, our supporters, horsemen, students and the community at large. How do you answer the question?

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Do What You Love

Paul Graham has written a wonderful essay How to Do What You Love. Everyone should read this!

As a Square Peg, it’s important to think about the meaning we are creating. Each of us have things we’re rather be doing at any given moment, and as Paul Graham points out, doing what you love does not mean just doing whatever you feel like doing.

I always wanted to create something that made a difference. That’s why I studied engineering, that’s why I went into customer support, that’s why I started different groups and projects in my career, that’s why I decided to help Joell start Square Pegs. It’s that recurring theme of making meaning in my life.

So find that which creates meaning for you, and I think you’ll find yourself embracing that which makes you a Square Peg.

Horses as Family?

The subject has come up lately about bringing in new horses and selling others. I’ve been faced with students, parents and supporters who feel like this reduces our horses to commodities to be bought sold or traded at will. It seems like time to debunk this train of thought.

First, for every horse for whom we find a wonderful home, we are able to receive, rescue, care for another soul. The number of horses in America who end up at slaughterhouses is staggering. This year, the number of horses sent to slaughter in the US and Canada is expected to be 100,000. The work we do at Square Pegs is committed to be “one horse, one student at a time.” This is important work to us here.

Currently, with staff (that’s me) and volunteers at this level, the 9 horses we are caring for today is about all we can handle. This means that each horse is cared for, groomed, vaccinated, has regular vet and hoof care, special diets and exercise and lesson plans appropriate to their mental and physical needs are attended to. If you have spent any time at the barn, you know that there is ALWAYS work to be done. During the short days of winter, darkness seems to fall about 20 minutes too soon. Our board bill would make you cry. And our board just recently went up!

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