June 21, 2017, Georgetown, Texas—Time to Ride has reached a major milestone: connecting 100,000 new people to horses. The industry outreach program, created by an alliance of forward-thinking companies and organizations, focuses on increasing participation in the horse industry by engaging new enthusiasts in equine activities. When the Marketing Alliance formed in late 2011, its members agreed to work together toward one simple but lofty goal: to increase participation in the horse industry, in the face of major economic, demographic and cultural changes and challenges. “With all the pressures and distractions of modern life, the mental, physical and emotional benefits that riding and other horse activities provide are more essential than ever. Time to Ride focuses on sharing that message with moms and families across the country by encouraging them to get involved with horses in a variety of ways,” says Marketing Manager Christie Schulte.
Time to Ride programs are unique in their grassroots focus. Since 2014, its largest program, the Challenge, has engaged stables, clubs, and equine businesses across the nation through a summer contest to introduce as many newcomers as possible to horses. Professionals teaching entry-level riding and horsemanship provide opportunities for budding equestrians to learn the basics while filling the pipeline of future participants in every discipline and breed.
The impact is already visible. In 2016, 82 percent of participating hosts reported that the Challenge had a positive impact on their business. Jessica Taylor, owner of Taylor Ranch Arabians in Payson, Utah, shared her experience: “We had over 100 people at each [of two] open house[s]. We doubled our lesson program during each open house. We are holding 3 summer camps this year and hope to double our lesson program again. It’s great to be able to grow the horse industry and this program is so helpful and rewarding.” Testimonials from newcomers have been equally powerful, including this excerpt from essay contest winner Aimee P.: “Once I discovered horses, the longing for a sense of stability disappeared, and with it my uncertainty and fear. Now, at 20 years old, experiencing college, I can easily say that simple sense of belonging is the greatest gift I have ever received.”
Time to Ride is celebrating 100,000 new horse-human connections by sharing impact stories on social media with the hashtag #TTR100k. Join the movement to connect people with horses, encourage ownership, and bring industry partners together by connecting with Time to Ride on Facebook and Instagram.
The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance
Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: American Horse Council,American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, American Quarter Horse Association, Farnam, Merck, Merial, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, WaterShed Animal Fund, US Equestrian, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, American Paint Horse Association, ASPCA, Equibrand, National Reining Horse Association, Lumina Media, America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.
About the American Horse Council
The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s Marketing Alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.