From the Editor

Horse & Rider - - Contents - You can reach Jen­nifer Paul­son at jpaul­[email protected]­me­

Ev­ery few years, the Amer­i­can Horse Pub­li­ca­tions group, this year along with Zoetis, pro­duces an in-depth sur­vey to study our horse in­dus­try as a whole. Horse own­ers and care­tak­ers from all cor­ners of the horse world are asked to share their in­for­ma­tion and in­sights—all dis­ci­plines, all com­pet­i­tive lev­els, back­yard horse own­ers, man­agers of large sta­bles, ev­ery­one who touches a horse can take the sur­vey.

The in­for­ma­tion AHP gath­ers is ex­ten­sive. They re­quest gen­eral de­mo­graph­ics such as age, sex, and lo­ca­tion. But they also tackle deeper top­ics. The one that al­ways stands out to me en­tails the is­sues we face in the horse in­dus­try. Read on to see what they found.


For the fourth con­sec­u­tive AHP-con­ducted sur­vey, un­wanted horses rank at the top of re­spon­dents’ con­cerns, at 37.8-per­cent. The is­sue of un­wanted horses is some­thing our Equine Net­work group rec­og­nizes and sup­ports with its A Home for Ev­ery Horse ini­tia­tive, spon­sored by Pu­rina. (Learn more at AHomeFor

In sec­ond place, just 1.4 pre­cent be­hind, is the cost of horse­keep­ing. Boy howdy, can we re­late there! The ev­ery­day costs of hav­ing horses are enough on their own. Add in the threat of an emer­gency, and we’re all sav­ing ev­ery penny we can find to put to­ward the mind­ful care of our horses, not to men­tion the cost of the land we keep them on. (You can find many tips and tricks for pinch­ing pen­nies on Horse­

Round­ing out the top four con­cerns are the loss of trails and com­pe­ti­tion for open space. Whether you trail ride or pre­fer the arena, these is­sues should be con­cerns in your horse life. Loss of land and trails has far-reach­ing ef­fects. Read about how you can ac­tively sup­port the preser­va­tion of these ameni­ties in “On the Open Trail” on page 58.

In clos­ing, the re­port states, “Ac­cord­ing to past and present AHP sur­vey re­sults, nearly 10 years re­moved from the on­set of the Great Re­ces­sion of 2008 to 2009, the equine in­dus­try ap­pears to have firmly sta­bi­lized. In­dus­try par­tic­i­pants have made great strides in ad­dress­ing im­por­tant is­sues, such as the un­wanted horse is­sue, and now have their sights fo­cused on ad­di­tional chal­lenges, such as the scarcity of rid­ing ar­eas and open spa­ces.”

We join them in fo­cus­ing on these con­cerns and are in­ter­ested to read about what con­cerns you face in your horse life.


This isn’t the first time you’ve seen Madi­son Sham­baugh, aka “Mus­tang Maddy,” in the pages of H&R, but it is the first glimpse we’ve given you into how she be­came one of the most talked-about clin­i­cians on the scene. You’ll be in­ter­ested to learn that her rise to fame didn’t come easily. She started out the way most of us did: as a horse-crazy kid given mounts to ride that were be­yond her be­gin­ner skillset. Learn all about her horse life, be­gin­ning on page 38.


Whether we’re ready or not, fall (and then—gasp—win­ter) are on the hori­zon, and we want to help you be pre­pared for both. Turn to page 62 for a com­pre­hen­sive set of check­lists to get you, your horse, and your barn ready for fall’s cooler weather. On page 22, we of­fer up four new win­ter blan­kets for you to con­sider as you shop for the per­fect cover to keep your horse warm and toasty.

If your horse hasn’t been ex­posed to cattle, maybe it’s time to in­tro­duce him to some bovine friends. Se­nior Editor Jen­nifer Forsberg Meyer worked with trainer Christy Wood to put to­gether a sim­ple and safe method to add cattle to your rou­tine. In the rest of the is­sue you’ll find hints about ro­mal reins, in­sight­ful in­for­ma­tion about read­ing your horse’s fa­cial ex­pres­sions, and how to get a re­luc­tant horse to move for­ward—safely.

Be sure to share your thoughts about the is­sue—and the con­cerns fac­ing your horse life—by email­ing the ad­dress be­low. 

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