Thanks to the input of the steering committee and scores of fans who commented here and on social media, the Best Horse Practices Summit now has a new logo.
It was picked by readers and then fine-tuned (per reader suggestions) by talented designer, T.J. Zark of Hello Zark, a brand and design company.
We hope you love it as much as we do!
The brand helps illustrate what the Summit is all about: horse questions, making connections, and the beautiful mountain setting of Durango, Colorado. The deep red color was preferred over the other options as it reminded many of their horses. At the suggestion of several fans, we made the horse’s muzzle a bit more realistic and swapped out the thought bubbles for clearer, more science-oriented hexagon connections.
Thanks everyone for your input!
Here’s a bit more about Zark, the BHPS brand creator and one of our new Patron Sponsors.
T.J. Zark recalls:
My mom moved our family from Southern California to the middle of cattle country in Nebraska when I was about five years old. While my siblings seemed horrified, I could not have been happier.
After a short while, I was cut loose on a 19 year-old, retired barrel horse to run and roam where I pleased. I rode her everywhere. I rode the pastures and the canyons. I rode to town and tried to keep the poor thing in the backyard, so she could be closer to me in the house.
This was big country and horses were a necessity. I was given real jobs on horseback and learned things I didn’t fully appreciate at the time. The summer when I was ten, we started a dozen untouched colts. What a thrill to watch them learn to trust and suddenly have them going “with” you. I thought this would be the trajectory of my life. Cowboys, cows, horses, and the hay field.
Life didn’t go that way and it wasn’t until my late 40’s that I realized I could have horses again. Then, I discovered how little instinct, trust, and connection I had as an adult.
At this stage, several horse owners lavished their advice on me. Most of it involved buying some device or piece of restraining tack. It only took a couple purchases for me to know I couldn’t go that direction. Their approach was coming from an impulse created by consumerism, where money fixes our problems, rather than time and effort.
Be the person my horse needs me to be – That’s what I wanted. So, I did what any obsessive person would do, I took a sabbatical from my career and headed back to cattle country. I planned to stay a month and I stayed for seven years.
On that first day, I was given copies of “True Unity: Willing Communication between Horse and Human” by Tom Dorrance, and “True Horsemanship Through Feel” by Bill Dorrance and Leslie Desmond.
I spent those seven years riding with people who were better than me, working with cattle, horses, and cow dogs as often as I could. I emerged a tiny bit of the horseman I’d longed to be. (what years were these? And what happened after that – return to corporate world?)
Why do I support the Best Horse Practices Summit?
I believe horsemanship is a beautiful and endlessly unfolding discipline.
I believe knowledge comes from many sources and sometimes from unlikely people and places.
There is wisdom found in folklore and science.
The Best Horse Practices Summit will advance our dialogue on what works for horses and their humans from an expansive knowledge base.
My old, retired barrel-racing mare offered me a really good deal. In many ways, she raised me. It’s my hope that we learn to offer horses a better deal every single day and that we strive for that continually.