Friday, August 5, 2016

Why does the outdoor recreation community ignore horseback riders? - Full Article

We love and make use of our public lands, but we get no respect.

Maddy Butcher
Aug. 2, 2016 Web Exclusive

The cover of a recent outdoor-gear catalog featured two men on horseback looking cool and competent. Marvelous, I said to myself: An outdoor recreation company is acknowledging that horse riders also love the outdoors.

Alas, the photo caption made no mention of horses, their utility or their traditional use in that country. For me, it was just another example of how the outdoor recreation community ignores people who prefer to get outdoors on horseback. We love and make use of our public lands, but we get no respect, either on the trail or in the trade.

Consider outdoor recreational marketing. Along with about 27,000 annual people, I’ve been attending the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City for years. It’s the major buying event for retailers and a major networking event for everyone else.

When I go, I make a point of wearing cowboy boots and jeans, and I like to explain to people selling outdoor gear exactly why I’m there. I talk about how we horse folks explore the wilds as much as bikers, hikers, runners and boaters...

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