Social Media and the New Mexico Horse Council

I joined Facebook last fall with the intention of broadening my social horizons. So when a couple of members of the New Mexico Horse Council group asked to friend me, I agreed. I wanted to know what horse people in New Mexico were up to.

I found that the actual NMHC group is pretty quiet, so next I thought I’d take a giant leap of faith. I asked members to friend me personally. The next time I looked at my Facebook feed, I got quite the shock.

It looked like the Sunday morning drunk tank had taken over! I was flooded with posts filled with hate, resentment and blame aimed at horses as well as people. Those were broken up by posts addressed to a God who appeared to be more of a corrupt cop that could be manipulated into handing out ‘get out of jail free’ cards than a source of spiritual guidance and inspiration.

I thought to myself, ‘If this is representative of the attitude of the NMHC, it is no wonder I have never engaged with them.’

I thought to myself, ‘If this is representative of the expertise of the NMHC, it is no wonder New Mexico is at the bottom of the pile when it comes to the horse industry. ‘

I also thought, ‘No wonder they refused to let my post on my horse-training series go through. It is the same old ‘If someone looks like they might be better than you, you should tear them down before they make you look bad.’ dark factor mindset that is doing so much harm all around the country.

I began to UN-friend and UN-follow as fast as posts appeared. Eventually what appears to be the 10% of NMHC members addicted to posting negativity disappeared from my feed. A few civil posts and some with competent horsemanship began to appear.

Perhaps there are some kind, competent, educated horsemen in New Mexico. But they sure are hard to find! So I’ve decided that, however uncomfortable it is for me to speak up, I really do have an obligation to let people know there are people in the New Mexico horse community that offer options to those spewing vitriol.

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