The Future Looks Bright

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Each morning, the newspaper brings more gloom. It’s so bad at times that I find myself turning to the comic pages first. That colorful tongue-in-cheek look at life is a great way to begin the day. It’s a momentary escape from a seemingly never-ending gray forecast.

This recession will soon be over. I firmly believe that, and I also think that much of the cause came from people who lost a grip on reality, unwittingly living on precarious salaries that caused them to believe they were infallible. Fortunately, those of us lucky enough to have horses know that they keep a person grounded (some of them in more ways than one). And they’re a lifelong commitment few of us could live without. As Peter Winants, former publisher of The Chronicle of the Horse and a great horseman, once said, ”In a recession people cut back on everything except necessities, but to horse people, their horses are necessities.”

If you’ve looked at the equine industry, I doubt you’ve noted a drop in the prices of horses for sale or an increase in the number of them for sale. We’re holding onto our necessities. We may be making more economical purchasing decisions, such as choosing to reflock a saddle rather than replace it, but that’s not a bad thing.

There’s no reason not to send your otherwise good riding boots to the shoemaker for new soles, and it’s just plain sensible to patch and repair blankets. Horse owners and barn managers are turning to a back-to-the-basics approach to everyday horsemanship in order to stay afloat. We’re right on board there.

Over the coming months, we’ll bring an even stronger focus on products and financial decisions . . . insightful discussions like this month’s article about bitless bridles, which will help you decide if it’s a worthwhile purchase. We’ll tell you what works (chemical fly sprays) and what doesn’t (most herbals). We’re going to revamp our pricing to ”street” prices, so you know when you’re paying too much.

Instead of new-product reviews you see on websites — the ones that sound like ”gotta-have-it” ads — we’ll take those new gizmos and compare them to traditional tools that are used for the same job. We’ve never lost sight of commonsense when it comes to helping you shrewdly spend your money, and we aren’t going to change that now.

With Horse Journal, we’ve always prided ourselves with the knowledge that a reader will get back the cost of the subscription and more over the course of a year. Reader Cindae Wilson of Pennsylvania echoed that belief: ”With the economy being what it is these days I have cut back on my subscriptions, but I won’t let my Horse Journal run out! You provide too much useful and unbiased information to let that happen.”

We will help you ride out this recession in any way we can. If you have a question or a need, call us. Customer service can be reached at 800-474-7887 or e-mail at customer_service@belvoir.com. You can also call me directly at the editorial office at 315-468-0627 or via e-mail at hjeditor@twcny.rr.com.

We’re proud that Horse Journal is strong, and we remain committed to helping you save money caring for your ”necessities.” While our new colorful look helps break up the gray outlook of daily life, our equine financial advice will give you something well worth banking on.

Cynthia Foley