"The horse has come to us by chance, not by choice. Of all the animals that have naturally come from the wild, there are very few that have shown any disposition to tolerate man and live with him on the terms we impose. In the mental make-up of the horse there is a quality of submission that has benefited man to no end. The horse will carry out duties without reward. He is a giving creature who asks for nothing. Horses have served as man's partner throughout the history of civilization, through the centuries without complaint they have served in war, commerce, agriculture and entertainment. They have born men and munitions into battle, pulled wagons and carriages, plowed fields, provided endless sport; polo, racing, dressage, fox hunting, three-day eventing, show jumping, reining... just to name but a few. Horses are embedded in our culture and our memories. The horse has an athleticism, grace and power. Beyond the horses physical attributes and his contributions to human well-being I am astounded, above all else, by his inner self, his spirit and his sweet and generous nature. The horse's adaptability and willingness to serve us has earned them a special place in our hearts. He is not a conquest of man. It is his nature to accept 'what is' with nobility. I think horses have helped give all of us in this room a wonderful life. Thanks to them I have received great personal satisfaction and felt closer to nature. Countless people experience the fulfillment of spending their days around horses. This is one of the best way to use one's time on earth. We are together tonight because of our bond with horses, let us protect and guard these wonderful creatures to the best of our ability."
Joe is an amazing horseman and gentleman, and this statement exemplifies why so many of us hold him in such high esteem. He deserves every honor that comes his way. I sincerely hope he is with us for many, many more years. The horse world certainly needs his wisdom and perspective. Congratulations, Joe!!!
When I cliniced with him I asked him to sign my Touch of Class Breyer and he seemed a little misty about her and said "she did everything we humans could've ever asked of her." He's always been one of my equestrian heros.