Caroline Hegarty is a lifelong horse rider and enthusiast. Born in Ireland, her passion for horses began when she was six years old, and continued when she moved to California in 1993.
Separating fact from fiction
As she navigated the world of professionals within the horse industry, she found that there were significant variations and disagreements within the various areas of expertise, that sometimes led to negative repercussions for her and her horses. She began to wonder who to trust to guide her in the proper care, welfare and training of her and her horses.
As she learnt more about the workings of the industry, she also became acutely aware of the huge number of horses being abused, discarded and sent to slaughter – young, old, healthy or crippled. She was so moved by this, that she felt she needed to expand her vision to beyond her own personal needs – to try to raise public awareness and provide information to others who could provide proper care for their horses with the benefit of fact-based information and guidance.
Research and evidence-based videos
In 2015, she founded Equitopia. Together with a close friend, Kathryn Lauritzen of Padma Video, Equitopia launched their first video, “The Biomechanics of Engagement” in 2016.
From this beginning, the investigation continued and Equitopia has since launched research and evidence based videos on topics ranging from saddle fit, nutrition, training, footcare to the fascinating world of behaviour and understanding how horses learn.
Equitopia has also rescued a number of horses from various parts of the industry and are in the process of developing short documentaries that follow the stories of these horses (and one zebra-pony cross) from arrival at Equitopia’s leased barn in California to diagnosis, treatment and rehab.
Building a network of experts
Since 2017, Equitopia has greatly expanded the number of highly qualified, well respected professionals who can help Equitopia achieve its mission of spreading education and awareness, while helping decrease the number of horses being discarded from this giant industry.
As Equitopia’s content continues to gain in popularity, requests for more detailed information on the philosophies presented in the videos have been pouring in. Caroline is working towards meeting this demand through developing online courses.
Building a community
Caroline believes there is a real need for reliable information on how to provide proper care and training for horses and humans. Equitopia now offers a members’ programme for owners and trainers, and horse enthusiasts who need easy access to research and evidence-based information and connection with a community of like minds who want a world where horses and humans live in harmony.SIGN UP NOW