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From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: The State of Our Market

What makes a viable market that provides success for its members? A viable market needs breadth. A growing market provides more opportunity for everyone to succeed.   

What are the greatest threats to any market?  

When what we provide – horses – is a want, not a need. Our owners and exhibitors participate primarily because it is a fun hobby.  Their lives will go on if a want is not met. So when they choose to walk away from the market, their lives aren’t significantly affected.  

When the market shrinks and is no longer viable. When too few people are writing fewer checks to even fewer breeders and professionals, the market collapses. How could this happen? When our product carries a cost fewer and fewer can afford, the market shrinks. When the opportunities to show less-expensive horses don’t exist, market shrinks.  

When the overall experience becomes less fun, the market shrinks. Owners and exhibitors get fatigue and disappointment when their hobby becomes less pleasurable. This can happen when chaos, backbiting and gossip overrun a recreational activity. 

The real concern here is for the professionals in our space, especially trainers and those breeders who make their livelihood from a viable market. 

We need to come together to expand this market by making it a wonderful experience for as many people as possible. We need to stand together to find ways to market our product and bring more people into the industry. 

Your ASHA is actively pursuing creative, viable options to do just that. We will continue to keep you posted on our efforts.

Marty Schaffel, ASHA Interim President

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