Piper Klemm Ph.D. Publisher’s Note – September 2017

Find this article inside TPH’s 2017 Fall Fashion Issue HERE 

Those who say “kids these days” to me already know that they’re in for an earful. Most “kids these days” that I know are doing their best, confronted with excessive expectations and access at younger and younger ages, a lack of constructive confrontation for their actions, and a world that is seemingly not thrilled to greet them- whether it be in the show ring, the workforce, or high academic achievement.

So, while I mentor The Plaid Horse interns, young riders on the circuit, and do my annual tour of college speaking engagements, what bothers me about “kids these days”? I would say that many young people today have very linear expectations. Given the nature of social media and instant gratification, their brains are conditioned to see A -> B. If I’m not getting B, why put in A? What about doing for the sake of doing or putting yourself out there for something that may work over time (could be days, weeks, months, or years), or may be a complete flop? For example… why write the article unless you’re sure it is getting published? Why buy that horse unless you’re sure it can move you up to the 3’6″? Unless B is on the table and mapped out, why begin a process?

This has many surrounding effects on academics, horsemanship, and to a big extent, adventure. Adventure is saying yes, when you’re not sure what you’re getting into. It is what makes brave horsemen, lifelong competitors, and entrepreneurs. Jumping in with two feet on a minor scale (e.g. taking photos you hope might get published) or a major scale (e.g. buying that horse) is how you learn, how you grow, and how you determine which cautions are necessary or frivolous for you personally.

What can we do to push ourselves and others to step into the unknown, to risk failure in order to experience personal success? The same process we use to educate – encourage, mentor, and lead by example. Riders – face your challenges with courage, not fear, in this Finals season. And we must explain the difference to the young people in your lives. Take the mystery away – show them what they’re going to confront and give them a framework for contextualizing the experience. Encourage your young equestrian to ride and love the process as much as the competition. Love to write and create as much as being published, experience the satisfaction of photographing a truly incredible moment.

So, go out there. Be kind and gracious without expectation. Give and be pleasantly surprised when things come back your way. Live in a manner that makes the world more palatable, pay back what you owe people, and leap straight from intention to action.


Find this article inside TPH’s 2017 Fall Fashion Issue HERE 

About the Author: Piper began her tenure as the Publisher of The Plaid Horse Magazine in 2014. She received her B.S. with Honors in Chemistry from Trinity College [Hartford, CT] in 2009 and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012. She is an active member of the hunter/jumper community, owning a fleet of lease ponies and showing in adult hunter divisions.
Read More from This Author »