Dear Bill Moroney,
A year ago the actions of the USHJA made me very mad. I don’t think I was mad with you personally, because I was so mad I didn’t even know what I was mad about. But I was mad enough to open my computer and tap away furiously at the keyboard for days. And with that first piece I sweated over, lost sleep over, and thought ultimately I was going to have to go back to eventing over, I conquered a huge fear.
I didn’t ever think I deserved to be heard, I didn’t think I would be welcome at a convention or annual meeting. I never believed my stupid little shaky public speaking voice mattered. And I wasn’t alone. Even though you kept saying you wanted us to be more involved, I didn’t believe you, I couldn’t get past all the previous annual meeting experiences, which were so volatile, so explosive, and so seemingly unconstructive, that imagining myself at an event like that ever again was out of the question. Yet, I did return. I tossed a suitcase in the back of my car and drove south. And I experienced a newer, more mature, solid, even comprehensible meeting, with only one or two mild and silly explosions. That was Orlando a year ago. You were able to prove to me (and everyone else) that you could make an organization evolve.
Then I started paying closer attention. I did become involved. I thought about everything, people approached me to spark discussion. I discussed it all with them. I researched, I read books, I wondered how we got here and where we are going. At times I didn’t want to think about horse shows and branched out to other areas of the horse industry to reach people just as important, thinking maybe other people deserve to be part of the conversation, too, which they did and they helped me.
I don’t think that it really matters if I agree or disagree with programs or events, or whatever is being offered through the USHJA, but I do think it matters that just because I found the courage to speak up about them, in the end, I was never crucified for it. I wasn’t ignored, or turned away, but somehow you managed to see through my frustrations and just allow me to work through it all. And I thank you for it. I thank you for everything. I am pretty sure my readers and friends do, too. They should. We all should thank you. Whether or not people agree with what I write and put out there does not matter. You are the one person I owe for giving me enough courage to push ‘publish’ for the first time, and time and time again. I hope you know in the beginning it was never a personal attack, I am not that kind of person, but thanking you is personal, and I will never forget you for it. Your influence with my writing is reaching people all over the world. The discussions continue to happen.
Congratulations on your decade long leadership with the USHJA. I can’t imagine what you went through to get here today, but you should be proud of the work you did. It was worth it. Now, go help fix the Federation. Please.
Very Truly Yours, Deloise Noble-Strong