It’s a tough world, a tough economy and a tough business. The horse industry is floundering. Horse people are trying to keep afloat an industry overstuffed with horses. Each and every day ratemyhorsepro.com reports on new abuse and neglect cases. There are multiple stories about how horses are being abandoned by their owners.
There are stories about how people can’t afford their horses any more.
Then there are those who are scraping by- who wonder if they’ll make it to tomorrow. This group is the one I belong to. I am the voice of the next generation of horse breeders. I, like many horse crazy young people, jumped into the horse world assuming there would be a place for me.
I was wrong. That didn’t deter me. Sure, I didn’t have a family name to connect me with well known horse professionals and sure, I was flat broke but I had the dream.
I had the dream.
So, I chased that dream and I bred my mare. I am a Trakehner breeder. I want to help promote and grow the Trakehner breed. I want to own a Trakehner breeding farm. When I bred my mare I didn’t have that train of thought (though). What I wanted was a legacy from her. I wanted a piece of her that would live on past her death.
I’ve always been fascinated with breeding horses and horse genetics but I never thought that I would want to own a breeding farm. Now, I realize I do want to own a successful and sustainable horse farm. However, I don’t know if I’ll be able to achieve that dream.
Here’s the problem (there are several)
I am homeless and I don’t have enough income to rent (nor buy a home). I’m single and moving back home with my mom isn’t a viable option. I have two horses I want to keep. They are the two things I’ve managed to hold on to during this crazy era of my life.
I am not alone. Many young breeders are facing this dilemma. In the next 20 years the horse population is going to be skewed. We need smarter, goal oriented young breeders who are devoted to breeding registrable, high quality foals of various breeds. At this time, there are too many unregistered horses. Too many horses that were bred for all the wrong reasons.
We’ve been irresponsible. It is time to look at the facts. The horse industry is aging. The old greats are getting old and the young guns aren’t around because they’ve been driven away by high costs and low rewards.
We’ve walked away from the industry we love because the industry doesn’t love us.
I find it frustrating that I cannot get the help I need. I need guidance so that I can establish a firm foundation. I need to know I will thrive so that I can devote my energies to breeding the next generation of competition horses. However, the support system doesn’t exist. My breed has no representation in my home state.
Connecticut’s Department of Agriculture doesn’t consider horses under their purview. Infact, there is little to no support for those just starting out in the horse industry.
I’ve talked with multiple horse people who are used up, burnt out and tired of putting all of their efforts into an industry that doesn’t care about them.
If the horse industry doesn’t reach out and help the next generation of horse breeders and young guns, in 20 years the horse industry will be a ghost town of memories and by-gone suppositions.
Let’s start changing things. Let’s make the horse industry sustainable. I, as a Trakehner breeder, have a very clear goal. I hope that there are others who are willing to help me build this goal into success.
Spread the word, let’s catch fire together.