Building the Horse Industry One Trailer Ride at a Time
I often hear about the equine industry’s push to get new people involved. During these conversations, there is particular emphasis on increasing youth participation. The thinking is that for the horse industry to survive, it needs young people standing in line to take up the torch as the current equestrians age out. However, I think the industry would do equally well to try to reach out to existing adult horse owners and riders. I feel that we can do more to get present-day horse owners further involved in the industry.
I suspect many owners would like to be more active with their horses but are limited by a lack of resources. Most industry activities require you to have a trained horse and the means to transport him. When I’ve had these available, I attended lessons, clinics, shows, and trail rides frequently. When I have not, I sat at home watching other people travel and have fun with their horses. Nothing can make you feel more alienated from an industry than constantly looking in from the outside.
I’m not the only person who has encountered this. I remember attending a horse club meeting and overhearing a new member who could participate in club activities with her horse but did not own a trailer. I was confident someone would offer to give her a ride or connect her with another member who could. After all, here was someone who had gone out of her way to attend a meeting where she didn’t know anybody and fork over her hard-earned dollars for dues. Instead, she was told that to participate she needed to get her own
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