Somebody Else’s Problem. Worthy Cause II

Rodney’s backyard.

The Equine Land Conservation Resource won the 2012 American Horse Publicationss Equine Industry Vision Award, presented last weekend at a breakfast hosted by Pfizer Animal Health [more payback].

Equine Land Conservation Resource “is an educational and networking resource for horsemen and communities. Since all land is saved locally, we provide the information horsemen need to protect horse lands and trails in their home town.” They ask, “Where will you ride, drive, compete, race, raise foals, and grow hay in the future?” [Bold mine.]

I have enough room to ride, don’t trail ride, don’t raise foals & barns in my area opening rather than closing. So why should I care? Because a decline in the horse industry will effect me eventually. Worldwide population is urbanizing. That means fewer kids growing up in horse/farm families. To draw urban residents into riding, ELCR estimates that barns need to be within 30 miles of an urban center. So, loss of land in the densely-packed BosWash corridor will ripple out to the farthest windswept reaches. If the number of riders shrinks dramatically, entries will go down at shows, and shows will have to consolidate or fold. Ditto tack stores, vet clinics, and magazines for which I write.

I am tempted to quote Niemöller but that seems disrespectful [exegesis here]. Still, the underlying sentiment holds. Other people’s problems are my problems.

What are your equine land requirements? Are they being threatened?

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