Facebook is an enormous social platform that connects millions of people globally. It serves as a way to reconnect with old friends, stay in touch with long distant ones, and it even serves as a way to meet new friends in some cases. It is a commonplace that allows for social networking and opens doors for people. It allows some people to maintain their privacy and helps some quiet others branch out to the rest of the world.
Facebook has even aided the growth of my relationship. My boyfriend and I met at a kickboxing/martial arts school 7 years ago. Thanks to Facebook we were able to connect outside of class without the awkward “can I have your number” line. It gave us time to get to know one another before choosing to go on our first date.
We are also given the ability to find our mutual connections with people which can be very useful in getting a second opinion about a person you just met. Perhaps your friend Becky knows this person and can give you her experiences.
…or perhaps you want to get to know your colleagues better. You can do that too.
Facebook has helped guide our decisions on which businesses to support…
Scenario: Your friend Matt said he got food poisoning from that restaurant and a few others did as well. Best to avoid that place.
…But everyone’s raving about that new restaurant down the road including your coworker Diane!
Sure Google has done a lot for business reviews but Facebook holds its own for sure.
Scenario: You want work done on your house. You’ve looked at Google and came across a number of businesses. You get a few quotes and become overwhelmed at who to choose. This is an excellent time to go to your friends on Facebook. Chances are you know someone that had a wonderful (or terrible) experience with a business and that helps you make your decision.
You want real opinions from people you trust. Word of mouth referrals are the most powerful in business.
Facebook has helped spread the word about missing persons and escaped convicts. It has helped get people diagnosed with odd health issues that went unnoticed.
Facebook’s networking abilities encourage people to join groups and attend live events in their own communities.
Concerts, Festivals, Parties, Sales (especially tack sales), and horse shows too. This is how I got involved with mounted archery in the first place.
The marketplace has been phenomenal in cleaning out the unwanted junk from our homes. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” rings true. I have used the marketplace a number of times with both good and bad experiences. We now have the opportunity to review our transactions with others to weed out the dishonest ones. The “mutual friends” feature can even potentially help us make decisions on whether to do business with someone.
Facebook has been extraordinary for helping this Green Horseman on a budget. I have found the PVC tubes, fencing, fence posts, tack, blankets, all for a fraction of what I would have paid new. Saving that money allowed me to get ahead of schedule in providing the best facility and care for my boys.
Facebook has done quite a bit of good and it also has its skeletons. Wherever you go there will always be crazy people who want to do harm. That happens on Craigslist, Facebook, and anywhere you look.
In the end I believe Facebook wants to do good.
For years, Facebook has had a policy banning the sale of animals. Though it offers no reasoning in the policies I believe it came from a good place in preventing animal abuse and animal wrongdoing. It also seems to be coming from the pressuring of activist groups who don’t believe animals should be kept as pets in the first place (I’m talking about you, PETA!).
I believe a good home is one that enriches the animal’s life as much as it does the human. My animals have freedom, know they are loved and respected, and above all, my animals live stress-free knowing they always have shelter and food available to them. To say they shouldn’t be kept is outlandish.
I believe Facebook’s policy came from a good place but I strongly believe it does more harm than good…especially in the horse industry.
Many groups exist within the horse world to buy/sell horse supplies, tack, blankets, apparel, etc. It is also used to advertise horses in need of homes. Some horses are being adopted out by rescue groups, others are being offered privately. Some horses are competition level and some are being rehomed because a person simply cannot afford to keep up the cost of owning a horse. There is one thing these horses have in common.
They are in need of new homes. They need the RIGHT homes. A horse cannot simply be “pulled from the shelf as is” and be the right fit for someone. A horse needs the right person with the right skill level, the right situation, and the right timing. A person needs the right horse, the right training level, the right price point, and the right timing. It’s not always as simple as a neighbor saying “hey I need to sell my horse…want it?” It is our responsibility as horse owners and lovers to match the right horse to the right human. A person might visit 30 horses before they find the right one.
We live in a country (United States) where nearly 100,000 horses are shipped over the borders to slaughter every year. Most of these horses are in good condition and are good horses. These slaughtered horses failed to find homes when they needed them. They are horses that got lost looking for THEIR right people. Zeno Bay and VaiVia were discarded because their humans failed to find them the right humans. We don’t know about their past but we are thankful they survived….and they survived because of the networking and rallying done all on Facebook!
Shall we rewind for a moment and revisit the last section…
These slaughtered horses failed to find the homes they needed when they needed them. They are horses that got lost looking for their right people.
Imagine if Facebook allowed us to post these horses freely without trying to find loopholes or tricky wording. We may go through a transition period at first…but just imagine finding YOUR UNICORN. Horses may have a chance to find the right situation once and for all.
More horses would find the person. More people would find the right horse. Fewer horses would find themselves in situations where their people could not find a home for them.
Maybe the perfect horse is currently living states away or across the country; Facebook could make that networking much easier.
Maybe you’re involved with a niche riding discipline and want a horse pre-trained for it (mounted archery, endurance, barrels, etc). Facebook’s groups could help find that horse near or far.
Maybe you are into a specific breed (OTTB? Morgans? Mustangs?). Again, Facebook can help search within that narrow window while reaching a larger group.
Anyone who says “It’s a Small World After All” must not realize just how small the equestrian world is. Equestrians have connections all around the globe. Even little ole’ me knows horsepeople in Idaho, California, Nevada, Florida, etc. The connections and reputations made in the horse world run deep. It’s possible that if you’re looking at purchasing a horse (and they are on Facebook) they may have some mutual connections that can speak to the person’s care and training of the horse in question.
If I were considering purchasing a horse I would LOVE to know more about the person. The trainer’s style of horsemanship and training philosophies might differ from mine and I’d want to know that. If sales were openly allowed on Facebook it might help to know who among my friends knows the seller.
Most importantly selling horses on Facebook helps our rescue groups in more ways than one. Rescue groups can find homes more easily for their current residents. By adopting out their horses they make room for the next ones in need of safety.
By allowing sales on Facebook it might prevent some horses from ever needing rescue in the first place.
The downsides of allowing horse sales on Facebook are the same with any sale of horses anywhere. Selling horses can be a tricky business. Horses act differently with different handlers and horse keeping styles. Sales and trades go south. Some sellers are dishonest and might drug their horses.
This isn’t a reason to ban the sale of horses. It’s going to happen wherever the sales take place. In the end, horses need to find the right homes and Facebook makes for a perfect outlet in order to do so.
My argument is not likely to go anywhere. I am nothing more than plankton among the open sea that is the internet and this will not likely ever pass the eyes of any decision-maker for Facebook. I write this argument for us regardless because the message needs to be out there. Horses need homes and the current rules, though placed with good intentions, do more harm than good.