Horses – The Tie that Binds Us
By: Kim Roe
I live in a river valley in the foothills below Mt. Baker. We are a community of farmers, loggers, poets, and musicians. Elk and cattle graze the vast green fields, corn thrives, and we grow some of the best hay in the world. Most of the people who live out here are quiet and keep to themselves but in times of tragedy or celebration we show up and support each other. My city friends jokingly call us “fringe-dwellers.” Without a Starbucks, Costco, or Albertsons nearby, we make sacrifices to live this far out. Some live in self-built homes, run our own businesses, and grow our own food – anything to escape the commute to town with its noise and traffic. We greet each other in the local mom-and-pop grocery or at the café, and moan about how wet it’s been (or hot) and how we wish the trucks would slow down out on the highway. We are keenly aware of each other without being pushy or nosy. Whenever I travel, even if it is just to Bellingham, I feel peaceful and content upon my return. This is my community and these are my people.
I think the horse community is also a group of fringe-dwellers. A small, close-knit family, we have more in common than we sometimes think. Many of us make sacrifices in order to own horses, and we understand each other’s willingness to make these choices, though our non-horse friends and family may think we are crazy. Our shared admiration for the horse runs deep and binds us to one another. In troubled times we are available for each other, and my experience is that the horse community is a powerful and resourceful tribe in hard times.
Most of my closest friends have come into my life through our common love of horses. I got into this business because I love and want to work with horses, but the friends I’ve gained are what I cherish most. They are the unexpected gift of the life I chose.
The Northwest Horse Source is a perfect example of this. Being a part of this magazine is expanding my list of friends. What a great present was given to me by our publisher, Karen Pickering, when she offered me a chance to join the NW Horse Source. The talented group of writers, advertisers, and the other people who work hard to bring this magazine to you are a gift to all of us. And you, dear reader, are most important of all. I love getting your emails, so please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Kim Roe grew up riding on the family ranch and competed in Western rail classes, trail horse, reining, working cow, and hunter/jumper. She trained her first horse for money at 12 years old, starting a pony for a neighbor.
Kim has been a professional dressage instructor in Washington state for over 30 years, training hundreds of horses and students through the levels. In recent years Kim has become involved in Working Equitation and is a small ‘r’ Working Equitation judge with WE United.
Kim is the editor of the Northwest Horse Source Magazine, and also a writer, photographer, and poet. She owns and manages Blue Gate Farm in Deming, Washington where she continues to be passionate about helping horses and riders in many disciplines.