I am here in Boise ID for the Horse Affairs expo. There’s been a good crowd here this weekend and although spending is down a little, there’s no shortage of enthusiasm for all things horses. There are several good clinic9ians here and a great educational program, as well as some good entertainment.
It was very fun for me this weekend to finally meet a person that I have admired from afar for the past couple decades—Juli Thorson, from Horse & Rider magazine. You have no doubt read some of Juli’s articles in various horse publications in the past; I have always followed her work and enjoyed her insights about the horse industry. We had a nice dinner Friday night with Stacey and Jesse Westfall and Charles and Anne Wilhelm. It was fun to swap stories about the crazy funny things that have happened at expos and clinics and to laugh at each other’s tales.
Yesterday, Juli Thorson, Richard Shrake and I had a very thought-provoking discussion about where we are headed in the horse industry in the next ten years. How will the recession and the unwanted horse issue, combined with the subsequent kabosh on the breeding industry affect the horse population ten years down the road? What about the move away from the show ring and toward trail and recreational riding? And what will happen when us baby boomers have moved along to more docile endeavors, who will fuel the horse industry then? These are all real concerns and important factors that will influence the shape of our industry in the future. I just wish I had a crystal ball.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now as it relates to horses? What about this summer—will the economy affect the plans you’ll make with your horses? I’ll be cutting back a little on the competitions I attend this year, but not because of the economy—because I have a fuller travel schedule this year and am doing more clinics. I am optimistic that it’s going to be a good year and if our clinic registrations are any indication, it’s going to be a busy summer!
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Enjoy the ride!
For training tips from Julie, visit the Training Library at http://juliegoodnight.com/q&a.php and check out her online store--full of training tools and DVDs-- at http://juliegoodnight.com/products.html