The Waterberg has always been a fairly isolated community battling the elements to make a living from the bush. That kind of hardship brings people together in a mutual support system that builds strong loyalty. The Waterberg in the 21st century is no different. Whether on an ecological or social basis the area is still difficult to exist in and is made up of characters who are prepared to face those difficulties proactively. As individuals or corporately the Waterberg community relies on active involvement and participation. The Afrikaans people have a saying " a boer maak a plan" - " a farmer makes a plan"- which suggests a strong self reliance but not just in an independent sense, more in an inter-dependent sense.
Horizon has embraced this ethos. As a business we see ourselves as part of the broader picture of the Waterberg. In the bread and butter of our daily living, we try to convey what is beautiful to us about our land, not just the wildlife or the mountains but the whole view, of people and community striving to build a better future in what could still be described as a frontier.
Our challenges are many; our wilderness environment is under pressure from residential development, poaching and economics; socially we have a burgeoning population in our local town Vaalwater, augmented by a large number of economic migrants from Zimbabwe and other neighbouring countries, and linked to that a growing sprawl; of shack dwellings, basic health and sanitation issues, and high levels of unemployment and HIV/AIDS infection rates. Yet these challenges can be met and dealt with if we face them together with determination and optimism. The partners of Horizon have always been committed as individuals to progress in the Waterberg taking active roles wherever possible. Our business ethos has become a continuation of that focus.
HORIZON HORSEBACK engages in and supports the following community initiatives and projects:
- WATERBERG BIOPSHERE RESERVE (NPO 074-684). Dedicated to conserving the area and stimulating sustainable economic growth and development. Committed to skills development among the youth of our area. www.waterbergbiosphere.org
Chairman: Dr. Rupert A.A. Baber (Horizon Horseback partner)
- WATERBERG WELFARE SOCIETY (NPO 019-865). Providing a service to people infected and affected with HIV/AIDS. www.waterbergwelfaresociety.org.za
Founder and treasurer : Dr. Tanya D. Baber (Horizon Horseback partner)
- ST JOHN'S THE BAPTIST CHURCH Soup Kitchen - Feeds 400-900 children a week.
Chairman of St John's: Shane Dowinton (Horizon Horseback partner)
- WATERBERG ACADEMY - Community school driven to provide an educated youth for the priveleged and underpriveleged alike. www.waterbergacademy.co.za
Board member: Laura Dowinton (Horizon Horseback partner)