This post could go a lot of different ways...I have played the words out in my head 100 different times. But at the end of the day, the most helpful approach is to keep it about the horses.
These two are just representatives for hundreds of other horses and stories we can tell since we started working together in 2015. They got to where they are in different ways. One was on purpose, one was just a viable sale through an online auction. We are done looking for the whys...the blame.
We have arrived at the reality that using dealers, horse traders, and auctions is currently considered an acceptable and viable way to move our Saddlebreds. So that changes what we ask for…
1. Stallion reports to be reconciled with registrations, with an additional small fee added for breeders who choose to not register, but allows the horse to be registered if found. This allows us to know the real numbers we are dealing with.
2. Networking and relationship with the Amish communities to capture horses bred, deceased, and to provide accurate information to keep registry updated.
3. Aftercare Program - Safety net programming for horses that are in need of obvious medical or mental intervention and care due to failing to thrive in their current purpose.
4. Repurpose/Versatility Program - Direct resource support to owners, breeders and trainers of the American Saddlebred horse to provide outlets for non-Saddleseat type horses an outlet for growing, training and networking to other disciplines or lesson programs as an alternative to dealers and low end auctions.
Some examples for funding for any of this could be pulled from optional access points for members to donate when joining UPHA or ASHBA, a network of shows willing to participate in offering optional donation options when doing entries for shows or our industry in person or online sales offering an optional opportunity for consigners to donate a percentage, at their discretion, of their sales back toward this programming. If you weren’t asked by us, but by ASHBA or UPHA would you give to help the horses then?
We want change…these are just some of the ways we propose to get it. Until then we will tell their stories, and we will say their names.