Mentoring the Horse Industry's Next Generation

Mentoring the Horse Industry's Next Generation

We have to be the voice for our great profession and we have to do it one bright mind at a time, as a team of people who love what we do and are ready to teach others that it is wonderful, Brock said.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

A good friend at Texas A&M once told me that no matter how much we accomplish in our careers, it is the accomplishments of those we teach that defines us. I couldn’t agree more with his wisdom. How lucky I have been to be mentored by so many great people that taught me my craft and instilled a love for the horse in my being.

We have a calling as representatives from all areas of the equine community to display our professions in such a wonderful way that the best and brightest want to be involved. The only way this is ever going to be possible is by inviting them into our world, the uninitiated need to spend time with the established. They need to be made to feel welcome and to taste the unique rewards that come from participating in the world of horses.

Young people need to be taught how to think, not what to think. But we need to do more than just teach; we need to display our careers in such a light that it inspires. Young people with high potential need to be challenged to recognize a need that they can fill. If we don’t define that path in a manner with a mission, they will move on to other things that offer more challenges and rewards.

The next generation of horse people is out there. Some of them don’t even know it yet. They are waiting on someone like you or me to recognize their potential and talent and embrace them. It takes time getting to know these horsemen and women of the future in order to inspire them.

We are at a crossroads in the horse world today. Many activists and journalists are focusing on anything bad they can find to report and debate. These negativities are trickling down to a generation of Americans who have no experience working with any facet of equine society. We have to be the voice for our great profession and we have to do it one bright mind at a time, as a team of people who love what we do and are ready to teach others that it is wonderful.

Each year our veterinary clinic takes two interns and dozens of externs. We bring these people into our lives and, more often than not, we are as rewarded as they are. They bring fresh minds and excitement to our world. They kindle our enthusiasm and remind us of ourselves when we were younger and unfolding life’s adventures.

Make a commitment today. Make it a goal to actively look for some bright young person and teach him or her how fun and wonderful it is to do whatever it is that makes them a part of the horse industry. You never know, it just might make you love what you do even more.

CONTACT: Bo Brock, DVM—806/872-3183——Brock Veterinary Clinic, Lamesa, Texas

This is an excerpt from Equine Disease Quarterly, funded by underwriters at Lloyd's, London, brokers, and their Kentucky agents.

About the Author

Equine Disease Quarterly

Equine Disease Quarterly is a quarterly equine disease research newsletter published by the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center, and funded by underwriters at Lloyd's of London, brokers, and their agents.

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