Skip to content

From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: The Need to Reinvent Ourselves



When I started my company, I was the first employee. I had to wake up every day selling products and services to customers. And do everything else as well. That was my self imposed job description. 

As I started hiring employees over time, I realized I had to reinvent myself. My role was changing. I was still selling, but selling a different product. With numerous employees now working for me, I realized I was now selling a vision for opportunity and success to my employees and customers. Things had changed.

The same goes for all of us in the horse business. Things change and we have got to reinvent ourselves. Our businesses change. The market changed. There was a time when the seats were filled at shows. A time when relatively inexpensive horses won classes at major shows. When doing business on a handshake was customary. 

But things change and we must continue to reinvent ourselves as trainers, breeders and exhibitors.  Change is one of the toughest of life’s challenges. It is uncomfortable. It is disruptive. It interferes with what we are accustomed to. But it is necessary to survive!

Over many years of owning my company I had to reinvent the company six or seven times. I had no choice.  Times were constantly changing. I had to reinvent myself as a leader. Once again, the size of my company had changed and the rules of government made me do things differently.  Whether I liked it or not!

My friends, so is the case for our industry. Things have been changing. Fewer seats are filled in the stands. We have fewer shows.  We have fewer horses bred and registered. Government regulation is different. Therefore, in order to meet these changes, we all must reinvent ourselves. If we don’t, we will be left behind or spoken about in the past tense. The greatest threat to our future is our failure to recognize how we all must continue to reinvent ourselves. And our associations must also continue to reinvent themselves.  It isn’t easy. It isn’t comfortable. But the alternative is being thought of as part of the past rather than the future. Bob Dylan wrote, “The Times They are a Changing.” And they wait for no one. 

Marty Schaffel, ASHA President

More Stories

  • **Updated Event Cancellations

    Saddle Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse events. Read More
  • American Saddlebred Museum Gift Shop Sidewalk Sale

    The American Saddlebred Museum and Gift Shop is pleased to announce a special Sidewalk Sale on October 1 & 2.  Deals galore will be happening on the sidewalk of the Museum.  Stop by to shop for equestrian gifts, apparel and much more.  Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Read More
  • Latest Issue 9 21 20

    Read More
  • From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: Change Is Not Easy

    Robert Samuelson is a well-respected columnist on topics of economics and human behavior. He has been writing since the early ’70s.  He wrote his farewell column this week, and I excerpted the above quotation from him... Read More
  • CH Fiasco Succumbs to Heart Failure

    CH Fiasco, the first ever Western Country Pleasure World’s Champion of Champions died of heart failure September 13th at Michael Craghead Stables in Fresno, California. The big, beautiful bay gelding set the standard for the Western country pleasure division with Doug Glick. Read More
  • UPHA Update

    COVID-19 has caused many changes in our world and has had a significant impact on our sport. We have all learned to wear our face coverings, practice social distancing and elbow bump instead of shaking hands or giving hugs. It has been a steep learning curve, but our equine industry has risen to the challenge and prevailed when many other sports have faltered. Read More
  • UPHA/American Royal National Championship Horse Show Update

    With concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our guests, community members, volunteers, and our employees is our top priority. We are working to make sure our operations will run smoothly and safely for all our attendees at the 2020 UPHA/American Royal National Championship Horse Show in November.  Read More
  • Osteen Captures the All American Action

    Rick Osteen, official photographer at the All American Horse Classic, has proofs available online at www.rickosteen.com and despite not being able to set up his viewing table he and wife Joni are fulfilling orders as quickly as possible. Read More
  • Rock Creek Cancelled

    The Board of Directors of the Rock Creek Riding Club regret to announce that they have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s show.  We had high hopes that rescheduling the traditional June show for October would allow us to do justice to the Rock Creek tradition even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read More
  • American Saddlebred Museum Accepting Consignments

    The American Saddlebred Museum is pleased to accept consignments for the next Equine Art, Antique, and Rare Book Auction taking place in July 2021. To prepare for this much loved event, the Museum is accepting consignments until February 1, 2021. Read More