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Re: [RC] Fw: AHA E-News Flash: Effective April 1, 2008 AHA to raise program... - SandyDSA

The issues at hand have to do with transparent communication, fairness in programs, and the LEVEL of increase.
Firstly, if stable levels of income vs. outgo had been maintained, and as Eric states, the rates have NOT risen commensurate with need over the decades, would it not have been prudent to manage better? This speaks poorly of the management at both AHRA and now AHA.
Secondly, AHRA was marginally better than now AHA at honestly communicating with the membership, and in my opinion (member for 30 plus years) much more timely.

Thirdly but not less importantly, while many would say, "well the programs should PAY for themselves", and not without some basis; however, I would LOVE to see how the income and its sources are balanced against the outflow, where it goes and the % allocated to every discipline. I will likely get trampled for this, but frankly, the lion's share of most everything in AHA goes to halter, EP and even WP, with the vast majority of riders/owners never participating in those things in the Class A Arabian shows. It FELT like it took an act of congress to finally get the true athletic Arabians - the sport horses - to have their niche, some sense of value. Sorry, but many people more and more are choosing not the beauty queen or king but the doing horse, since they both cost the same to feed, and of course few owners can actually train and show their very own horses in these most rewarded venues <TFIC> and so the entire industry of trainers etc are base in that premise. So, at all costs we must support THAT system lest the "industry fall flat. Seems like reduced new registrations indicates that it already IS. Why? Because of decisions like this. Count heads - how many people actually are part and parcel of the training/Arabian show industry? And if truth were told, how many of them actually MAKE any money with the Sweeps program etc? When did it STOP being about the quality and welfare of Arabians, and the satisfaction of those who know, love and RIDE their own Arabians - and start being about the "industry", the shows, the Sweeps, and.... Scottsdale?? Why should Scottsdale be allocated more reward that... Tevis, or the Arabian Cup or the National Cutting finals?? You will find Arabians doing ALL of these things, yet the lion's share of funding - OUR money - goes to these "top" disciplines. Anyone else remember when a handful of real knuckleheads wanted to reclassify halter as a performance class?? I guess if you judge the trainers...sigh!
The bottom line is that more and more, the little guy who rides his own horses, perhaps breeds a replacement foal every 3rd or 5th year, who spends a larger % of his disposable income, and wishes to GOD AHA cared more about him and his superbly beautiful and kind horses (than the jumping out of their skin in front of 5000 spectators style), and would stop sticking it to the little  guy  because that is the perception. I doubt that it is far from the truth.

So now, people like us will not be ABLE to cough up more for the various programs for 2 or 3 or even 4 working, active horses. What we WILL do is participate in open activities, where we can get more bang for our buck. Those other organizations seem to be able to do it - why can't AHA?? Do your math - I did. Our 5 horses from age 7 to TWENTY THREE, still participating, still active, still beautiful - would cost us an additional $300-800 a season, depending on weather and health. Not a lot of money? Okay then it won't hurt AHA to lose that amount - times about 10,000 people... just a thought. I am good at a math - worked for an accountant. It just seems to me from a logical, mathematical stand point that if one wants to increase participation and thereby overall income, one would not jack up fees across the board to rank and file at this level. Not good planning nor good business.
Now - enough of THAT - I have 4 fit horses to ride 10 to 15 miles EACH today - one is 22 years old. She got no reward for finishing another 25 miler a few months ago - except lots of carrots and hugs and a few days to loll in the pasture. Now, we will have to pay each time we report a competition, much more than before - for 4 distance horses.
I am curious - how is everyone else going to deal with this? I will check replies when I get back from horse number 2:)
Sandy Adams
Deep Sands Arabians

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