Diversity is important in any organization or group of people because the surrounding world is increasingly becoming more diverse in many areas, especially with race. Stables are not exempt from this concept and should not be only accessible to one group of people.
“In my opinion, we learn constantly, and growth comes from influence of all different perspectives and backgrounds,” said Adam D’Agostino, an American Quarter Horse Association and American Paint Horse Association Professional Horseman and an advocate for underrepresented riders.
He often finds that equality is based on the concept of equity—whether it’s racial equity, gender equity, age equity, financial equity, etc. For a true establishment of equal rights in a stable, the owner and management team must have a strong understanding of issues with inequity in their organization and the surrounding environment, according to D’Agostino.
“For example, if your barn has many boarders from different socioeconomic backgrounds, providing only a trainer who is very expensive may create an unintentional imbalance of equity in the barn,” he said.
Equity equals respect. Including customers helps build respect and equity for all. Three ways to do this are:
- Understand the needs of riders.
- Value client feedback.
- Support ideas to create a greater sense of community.
It might seem like a large undertaking when one starts looking into these concepts for the first time, but providing equal access in areas that are in your control is the best solution. A barn can be full of unique and strong personalities, but creating a sense of inclusion and respect for diversity starts at the top.
“If the owner and top-level management in a barn understand the concept of creating a more equitable environment for each member of their community, then that is more likely to foster positive growth for equality in the barn,” he said.
Articles previously published in this series are: