“You’ve got to go, and that’s what we’re doing,” says Robert Hirsch, president of the Horse Industry Association of America, a trade group.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that the horse doesn’t fall into the trap that we’re in.”
Hirsch and others say that while the horse industry has a lot to live up to, there is no reason to think that its future will be as rosy as the ones we see now.
“It’s going to be very hard,” Hirsch says.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of time to build on what’s going on.”
As the horse trade and industry have grown, so has the number of horses being taken from owners for slaughter and sold as pets.
While the horse has historically been a source of income for families, as more people are taking up equestria as their own, many of those horses are being sold for more than their value.
The demand for horses for sale on the Internet has grown as well, and there is evidence that the demand is growing at an alarming rate.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, horse and carriage industries have lost $14.7 billion in sales since the start of 2010.
And that number includes a $1.6 billion loss in the last two years alone.
That’s more than $100 million in losses per year since 2010.
Many of those losses were caused by the recent recession, which has seen the industry drop by 30 percent.
The horse industry is also facing a growing number of health issues.
The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that nearly 100 million horses are euthanized each year in the United States.
Many horses are taken from their owners and sold for less than their worth, and the trade in the equine remains largely unregulated.
But Hirsch worries that the problem will only get worse.
“You’re seeing more and more horses being bought, bred and raised in facilities that are not licensed and inspected,” he says.
And the animals are often taken from families who don’t have the proper knowledge about how to care for them.
“There’s a whole market out there for horses,” Hinkle says.
The problem, Hirsch points out, is that there are very few safeguards that are in place.
“When a horse is taken from its owner and used in this way, there’s no vet, no training, no vet-approved medications, no medical exam, no proper nutrition, no socialization,” he explains.
“This is not an environment that’s safe.”
For example, he says, horses are routinely given antibiotics before they are allowed to get out of the barn.
And he points to the case of a woman who bought a horse for $100,000 and paid only $20 a day for it to be trained.
But it took three years to have the horse up to speed with the rules.
And a recent study found that more than 30 percent of the horses purchased in the U.S. are euthanasized.
“The problem with the horse-sales industry is that it’s just too big to be controlled,” Hille says.
In the end, Hille wants to see the industry do what he and his colleagues want it to do.
“In a perfect world, there would be no horse-related injuries, no animal abuse, no euthanasia, no horse slaughter,” he said.
But the problem is that these things aren’t happening.
“Horses are used for everything from the most mundane to the most bizarre,” Hicken says.
For example: The United Kingdom, where the breed is still used for its wool and fiber, has a very high rate of horse deaths, and a recent investigation by the Royal Horse and Burro Society (RHBS) revealed that the animals involved in some of the worst deaths were bred for the sport.
There are also horse breeders who are not only making money off the horse, but are also putting a strain on the animal’s health.
“All of these horses are so overused, and yet we see these horrific incidents,” Hickel says.
So what’s next?
Hicken and his fellow advocates say that the way to improve the situation for the horse is to do what they can to change the way people think about horses and the way the industry works.
“What we have to do is change the attitude, not just of consumers, but of horse owners as well,” Hike says.
He wants to change how people think and how they buy.
“If we can change the attitudes, we can transform the industry,” he concludes.
And they’re not the only ones who think this way.
Horse-sport organizations have come out in support of the industry.
In March, the American Horse Show Association (AHSA) wrote a letter to Congress urging Congress to pass legislation to protect horse welfare.
The letter said that the industry was