Finding Fulfillment in Horses

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Sal Salvetti doesn’t mince words when it comes to describing what horses have done for him. “They saved my life,” he says. “When I stepped into a barn, I’d already had nearly 10 years of an adult life trying to get it right. I was successful at the different things that I did, but they never filled me up inside. I’ve always felt we really should do what we love to do. I never wanted to be that person living for the weekend and I was that person in the first part of my adult life. When you choose a profession it should be putting a square peg in a square hole. That’s what horses have given me. When I have my hands on a horse, I feel like a duck in water. Horses have enabled me to identify the thing that works for me and to have a life with it and earn a living with it. If it weren’t for them I’d still be walking around with that big hole inside of me.”

Sal professes to have hundreds of favorite horses. “It’s the horses that respond well that tend to be your favorites,” he notes. “They tend to have the personalities that match with you, where they allow you in. Just like with dressage, the ultimate is to blur the distinction between horse and rider and create a new single entity. That happens with me with horses in a massage sometimes – the distinction between the two of us is really blurred. There’s nothing else that exists around us. It’s just us and it becomes more of a ‘one’ thing. Those are the experiences that are the ultimate. It’s amazing. I live for it.”

Of course, Sal is not only grateful to the horses for helping him find fulfillment in life, but also to the humans connected to them. “I thank everyone who gave me the chance, especially those in the beginning who gave me a shot,” he avers. “That’s the other thing that’s so fulfilling about my life – the trust that people have in me with their horses.”

While creating a successful career with horses has been the central focus of Sal’s life for 10 years, he is now adding another dimension to his sense of fulfillment and shares, “Anybody who does the sporthorse thing has fallen into the trap of the travel and moving every six months. Some people are OK with it, some people grow tired of it, but with almost everybody it affects their relationships. I want to have a home, a year-round presence in New England, and develop the northeast market. I’ll always have a presence in the sporthorse world because it’s good for business and it’s where I learn from those riders, horses, and vets, but it’s really important for me to create a home in New England.”

Sal notes that he’ll never give up his practice in Wellington, but in the future he will limit his time there to a few weeks in November and December and then the majority of January, February, and March when the New England market is in the deep freeze and the Florida show season is peaking.

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