Broken Windows

//Broken Windows

Broken Windows


It has been a couple weeks and I have discussed and thought a lot about the last post titled Transparency.

Here are the topics that came up from readers:

  1. Financial and historical vet issues related to horse sales.
  2. Selling an appropriate horse for the rider who is purchasing.
  3. Board of ethics for the horse industry.
  4. Standard safety and ethics exam for all horse association members.
  5. We are only as sick as our secrets.
  6. The rivalry between breeds. Appreciate different breeds and what they bring to the industry.
  7. Getting feedback from judges by requesting feedback prior to the show/class.
  8. Community building events. Trail poker rides, Mounted orienteering and playing with horses.

These are great and thanks to everyone who commented and emailed.

I have a thought.  Most people try to regulate others actions through force and regulation.  That has worked well for the drug problem in this country…..NOT.  What if instead we found ways to showcase the people who are doing a good job?  Or we made doing a good job easier? Or we started a small correction hoping it would lead to a big correction?

I was listening to the book The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell.  He explained the dramatic drop of crime in the New York City subways during the late 80’s and 90’s.  They didn’t go after the muggers and rapist; they went after the graffiti artists and fare beaters.  He explained the broken windows theory.  Crime, like a river, follows the path of least resistance.  If an area has homes with broken windows and no one fixes them then people must not care about the appearances of that area and probably won’t care about larger things like muggers.  By stopping the less severe crime of graffiti artist and fare beaters the city cleaned up the appearance of crime by which actual violent crimes decreased.

Assignment:  What ways could we address the issues of the horse industry with the broken windows theory? GO!


By |2018-12-17T14:02:14-06:00February 10th, 2016|Horses|2 Comments


  1. Avatar
    Sara Gehrig-Woodman February 10, 2016 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    I'm struggling with this concept, b/c it seems like we need to regulate, yet you are saying don't regulate, praise people who are doing it right. I am struggling b/c with our complete lack of regualtion, who knows who is doing it right? That said, I think the first step is financial transparency (when buyer pays $2,000, $20,000 or $200,000 for a horse, who is getting what shares) in horse sales. It would also seem helpful to have all judges disclose with whom within the industry they conducted business of $10,000 or more within the preceding 12 months of any judging event. In my view these are baby steps that will open eyes in the short run but hopefully increase confidence and trust over time. Maybe as a lawyer I just like rules . . .

  2. Avatar
    Jamie Keller February 11, 2016 at 1:28 am - Reply

    I too like rules. I believe rules and regulations that are actually followed keep everyone to the same standards. That said, I've heard of big name trainers who have refused to allow drug testing on their winning horses. If that is the case, they should be stripped of those winnings.

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