Breed Promotion: How You Can Make A Difference

By Sandy Sessink

Open Barn Day: October 28, 2017

Introducing Morgan horses to as many people as possible nationwide is going to be a priority of the American Morgan Horse Association. And if you care about the future of our breed, you will most definitely want to participate in this very important event.

Our goal is to promote Morgan horses on a national scale with a coordinated, one day event targeting the non-horse public. We are preparing to promote at least 100 open barns of any and every type, size and emphasis of discipline. Whether you have two or three horses that you just pleasure ride on the weekends, or you have a nationally successful show training stable, we need YOU! If you would spend a few hours on October 28th sharing your enthusiasm for the breed with people that are curious about horses, we may be able to introduce over 5,000 people to Morgans in an up close and personal way!

This is a way for all of us to contribute to the future of our breed without much effort. If you can do demonstrations, that would be great. If you can’t, that’s okay, too. If you have a bomb-proof horse on which you can give pony rides, fabulous. If you have a carriage horse, and room on your vehicle perhaps taking your guests for a ride is an option. Or, maybe you can show your visitors how to brush a horse. Even if you just allow people to pet a horse, feed him a carrot, or take a selfie with him, that would be wonderful. How you choose to share your love of Morgan horses on that day is entirely up to you. The hours you will be open is also your choice. The important thing is that you participate!


Visitors get up close and personal with a Morgan during the 2016 Open Barn Day in Ohio

AMHA will take care of the press releases, on line event listings, radio spots and other publicity for the occasion. We will also provide downloadable, printable flyers on which you can add your specific information to post in local businesses, preferably by October 18th. Look for those on the AMHA website soon.

Why should you take the time out of your busy schedule to do this? Aren’t you tired of showing in one horse classes? Don’t you want to be able to sell the colt you raised for a decent price? Who is going to breed to your stallion if no one is raising colts for fear of losing money? Wouldn’t you like the option of recouping your investment in the perfect equitation horse for your daughter after she heads off to college? If we don’t do everything we can to increase the base, and bring new people into the breed, it won’t matter how much we love Morgan horses, the breed will die on the vine.

Morgans make friends

A young Morgan makes a new friend during the 2016 Open Barn Day in Ohio.

Try to remember the very first time you saw a Morgan horse. It was life-altering for me. That feeling has never gone away. And it’s that feeling that has coursed through my veins for a lifetime of commitment to our breed. If we can provide that feeling for even a small percentage of the people we will reach, we will have accomplished a lot. We will have injected new blood into our industry, which we all know is a bit anemic these days.

October 28, 2017 will be AMHA’s “Day of the Morgan”, featuring the Open Barn Day that you all will be a part of. Take the first step right now, by filling out the form you will find on the AMHA website. Download the form, print it, fill it out and send it in as soon as possible. There are very few excuses that would justify anyone who has a barn, or even a pasture with Morgan horses in it to not join in this truly significant endeavor. If you have any questions, please call me, Sandy Sessink, at 248-207-4956.

It may have started with drastic fluctuations in our economy. But, many different factors have contributed to our falling numbers. It falls to all of us to take action. We have to ask ourselves if we do nothing, where does all of this end. Can anyone here say that if we can’t make a difference, someone down the road will?  And if no one does it, what happens to the breed?  Ask yourselves, if not us, who?  If not now, when?