1965-Voice Of The Tennessee Walking Horse 1965 March Voice - Page 8

EQUINE INDUSTRY (Continued from Page 6) WHY THE HORSE BOOM? Obviously, we are in the midst of a horse boom. Here are the reasons back of it: 1. Horses have become a status symbol. In the mid­ dle ages, the rich man rode a horse and the poor man walked. When I was a boy, the rich man rode in a horseless carriage and the poor man had a horse. Today, the rich man has a horse and the poor man has a car. 2. There are more and more race tracks, and these have stimulated horse production. 3. More leisure time and more emphasis on physi­ cal fitness and the outdoors have accentuated in­ terest in horses. 4. More parents and others are coming to recognize that horses are wonderful companions for boys and girls; they shower their love and affection on horses, the animals occupy their time, and the youngsters don't get into trouble. 5. Many older folks associate horses with hot, dirty work — I’m referring to draft horses and mules, of course. However, in the thinking of the younger generation, horses are fun. Today’s youngsters never followed a “foot burner” (walk­ ing plow), and few of them would know how to harness a draft horse. LIKE TOPSY Like topsy, the light horse industry grew, with­ out the benefit of any overall, central planning or guidance. With the passing of the draft horse, a big void was left when (1) the Horse and Mule Associa­ tion of America was inactivated. (2) the Army Re­ mount Service was stilled, and (3) those great draft horse specialists of the U. S. Department of Agricul­ ture and our Land Grant Colleges retired in the thirties and forties and were not replaced. Certainly, many associations, organizations, and individuals serving the industry are rendering yeoman service; but their uncoordinated efforts are like so many pop guns in an arsenal. There is a crying, but unfilled, need for an overall organization, serving all horse­ men and all horse organizations and associations. And time is of the essence of bringing this about. Basically, most of the problems plaguing the rapidly growing light horse industry stem from (1) the inexperience of many of those entering it (but far be it from most of them ever to admit that they're amateurs), (2) the breeding and using of more horses in suburban areas, rather than on farms and ranches, (3) the cost-price squeeze, which is affecting all in­ dustries, and (4) tax authorities who fail to recognize that much of the light horse industry is a legitimate business with a profit potential — and not a hobby. WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT Specifically, what are the needs of the light horse industry, and what action should be taken to meet them? Here they are: We Need More Enlightened and Progressive Leadership 8 I am much more concerned about some of the folks currently in positions of leadership in the light horse industry than I am about their horses. The areas giving me cause for anxiety are pointed up in the challenges which follow: I CHALLENGE HORSE BREED REGISTRIES Most horse breed registries are doing a good job. Generally speaking, they are staffed by dedi­ cated men and women who give unselfishly of their time and talents for the good of the breed. In my judgment, however, their programs would be strengthened were they to— 1. Have their field staffs or paid representatives, openly and with announced intention, to represent the buyer rather than the seller. This is logical because they are interested in establishing new breeders, and the latter generally need help. This proposed innovation also takes cognizance of the fact that “no man can serve two masters.” 2. Make greater use of open registries; that is, register certain animals even though both parents are not re­ corded. Set rigid stipulations and introduce needed genes, openly and with benefit, to the breed. Usually this is accomplished through an Appendix Registry or a Tentative Registry, but with provisions to ad­ vance to foundation status. Currently, some such open registry provision applies to the following breeds: American Albino, Appaloosa, Connemara Pony, Mo­ rocco Spotted Horse, Palomino, Pinto, Pony of the Americas, Quarter Horse, Standardbred and Tennessee Walking Horse. 3. Make increased use of artificial insemination. Of the light horse registries, only three accept foals produced through A.I. without requiring either reinforcement by natural service, use of non-frozen semen, or use of semen on owner's place. 4. Channel more of their revenue into research and edu­ cation. I CHALLENGE HORSE AUCTIONS The old time central horse and mule markets of the draft horse era have passed into oblivion. Oc­ casionally, unscrupulous traders plied their trade tricks in these auctions. But, generally speaking, those in charge of central horse markets prided themselves on honesty and integrity. Today, altogether too many horse auctions have reverted to public gathering places where unsuspect­ ing buyers get fleeced by fast horse traders. It’s time for a change. Otherwise, horse auctions will not survive. As evidence of this statement, if any evi­ dence is needed, note (1) scarcity of buyers actually remaining in the bleachers at the end of most horse auctions, and (2) the number of high priced horses that are not taken to new homes following many sales. I CHALLENGE HORSE SHOWS The rule books — AHSA, state, and/or local pretty much spell out the regulations governing the classes; and the numerous details relative to adver­ tising, stabling, tickets, parking, concessions, etc., are much alike. The keys to successful horse shows are: 1. Manager—He must know and have a flare for horse shows, and he must operate as a benevolent dictator — reach decisions and move. 2. Organization—The manager should prepare an organ­ ization chart and job descriptions; then select respon­ sible people, delegate responsibility, and correlate the event. (Continued on Page 10) VOICE of The Tennessee Walking Horse