Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fewer & Fewer Breeders Spells Trouble For Horse Industry

Last week a read Western's Horsemen's current issue that addresses the state of the horse breeding aspect of the horse industry.  It pretty much confirmed what we've been seeing for the past couple of years: a drastic downturn in foal crops, small breeders, and now large, longtime mare and breeding operations scaling down to help reduce their costs.

Coincidentally my vet was out Sunday to check on my sore-footed mare . . . and when I asked if he had had any foals this year he told me "one" and that was the only one for this year.  He then told me he'd sold off several of his broodmares last fall to cut back on expenses. I was a little surprised.  At the same time it's a real attest to the state of the horse industry:  we're not talking about losing the backyard horse person, or even the recreational horse owner: when professionals are cutting back to lower their costs we can't deny that the horse business is in real trouble.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Proposed Gas Tax Increase Will Be Bad For Michgan's Horse Industry

As if the horse industry in our state hasn't taken a big enough hit between our high unemployment, and last year's drought and hay shortage . . . .now our governor is talking about increasing the tax on gasoline by 35 cents.  That's a lot.  And while I agree that our state needs to find some extra funding to help repair our terrible roads, the gas tax will really hurt the horse industry.

Already people here are struggling to keep their horses - either from suffering a downsize in their income, or the increase in feed costs . .  .  .and for may- it's both.

The gas tax will not only affect the cost of hay next year, but will also affect many who show.  We're already seeing fewer people willing to haul to shows more then one-hour from their home.  Adding 35 cents to a gallon will make it even tougher to justify traveling to very many out-of-town equine evemts.

I urge everyone to contact their state representative and tell them this increase will hurt both the horse industry and our state's ag community.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Horses Are Starting To Shed . . . .

Hopefully Mr. Groundhog was right in his prediction last weekend that Spring will be early . . . .

As we await another winter storm today here in the Midwest that's expected to merge with another storm for those of you who live on the East Coast I find some comfort in the sighting of one of my horses starting to shed!

Yes, it's true.  As I finished lunging Joey, my 6-yr-old AQHA (an abbreviated session as the footing was not good with our 12+ inches of snow) I rubbed his forehead and was surprised to see white hairs falling out of his blaze.  Horses are always a good indicator of the weather to come.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Wholesome Ads Still Are In Favor With Americans

It has been great to see the reviews this morning of the Super Bowl ads, as well as the tweets, praising the "Brotherhood" Budweiser Clydesdale ad, and the Dodge Ram " So God Made A Farmer" spot.

It goes to show that sex doesn't always sell.  We still want to see emotion, gratitude, and a connection with nature . . . . despite our high-tech society.

These companies should be commended for giving those of us who love God, farming, and horses something to really feel good about!!!