The American Association of Equine Practitioners presented recently a study by Keith Kleine, MS Director of Industry Relations, about the current trends in the horse industry in the USA. The overall picture shows a steady decline of the horse population in the USA, as well as a substantial decline in the horse registrations of all breeds.
Below some graphs of the present make up of horses and horse owners within the USA and their development trends:
Now to the present trend that has been observable for the last decade and a half:
These stats paint a sad picture of the horse industry. Surveys among horse owners reveal some of the reasons for the overall decline:
If interested in the whole detailed presentation of Mr. Keith Kleine, you can visit this site: Current Trends In The Horse Industry
Besides the economic stress factors, the horse industry has other challenges to deal with:
- Younger generations have multiple other interests besides horses and riding
- Increased public concern about horse welfare
- Decreased public knowledge about horses and what constitutes good horsemanship
For all of us who love horses and their companionship, these statistics above give reasons for concern. How can we, the national and international horse community, stop and maybe reverse that trend? A few ideas come into my mind:
- Education of the public about the horse sports and animal welfare
- Setting an example for good animal husbandry and horsemanship
- Working at the community level within local horse clubs
- Lobbying at state and federal level for horse trails, facilities and equestrian sports
- Joining equestrian clubs and associations
- Writing blogs, articles, letters to the editors
EasyCare has been a leader in the horse industry in terms of innovation of horse and rider products that makes the life of horses and riders easier and healthier. But more than that, though, EasyCare has been setting an example for horsemanship, horse welfare and public education. EasyCare has been involved in various equestrian disciplines as sponsor, contributor, educator, blogger and their staff is competing in many disciplines. If we look for guidance, the staff of EasyCare has been setting a shining example in the whole equestrian world.
The hoof care clinics EasyCare and I have been conducting for many years now, serve as an example on how to use hoof trimming methods and hoof protection that serve the horses well and additionally show the public that we all care about horse welfare. Taking a stand against horse abuse, cruelty, excesses in the show world and on the endurance circuit gives us all more credibility and we can show the world that we, the horse owners, hoof care practitioners and riders, are concerned and caring. Hoof care is holistic. In our clinics we always stressed that point.
To proof my point, just read some of Daisy Bicking's blogs, or of Landreville Hoof Care, or one of my previous blogs about my clinics I am teaching every year. November this year, I will be traveling to Norway and Switzerland for all encompassing Hoof Care Clinics, where I will not only show and demonstrate EasyCare's broad spectrum of hoof protection but also lobby for the horse industry and the welfare of the horse throughout. Reports will be coming up.
Despite the dismal and somewhat sobering graphs I showed earlier, I remain optimistic that with joint effort we can reverse that declining trend and make a difference in the world.
From the Bootmeister