Imagine that another year's about to roll over. Only instead of starting to write checks dated 2007, you'll be using the number 2020. Hard to picture? That's what I thought, until I realized 2020 will be upon us in a mere 13 years. That's only as far out ahead of us as 1994 is behind us. I don't know about you, but to me, 1994 seems like the day before yesterday. It's easy to remember the horses I had, the trails I rode, the outfits I wore to shows, the horse-mag articles I wrote. Suppose I sent my imagination forward instead of rearward? What would I see where my horse life's concerned?
Seeing as how I'll be 66 (going on 67) when 2020 rolls around, I suspect I'd see someone glad to have taken care of her own health--it takes a good measure of that to keep up with horsekeeping's labors. I'm already cognizant of how much harder the work seems than it did a decade ago. By 2020, I'm guessing I'd have a barnyard full of labor-saving devices, some of which haven't yet been invented but that'll find a growing market as time marches on. Like so many of those who currently keep the horse world's wheels turning, I'm a Baby Boomer. Thirteen years from now, my horse-owning generation will be 59-73 years old. Ultra-relaxed-fit Wranglers, anyone?
My current weanling colt and the full sibling expected in '07 would be in their teens. Would I still be engaged in small-scale horse breeding by 2020? Doubtful...see the above comments on health and workload. Meanwhile, though, my young show gelding would be pushing 20, enjoying his mellow-fellow years, and perhaps packing around a grandkid or two. Maybe those kids would play dress-up with the rhinestone-bedecked show clothes I've worn the last couple of seasons. Once all that bling-studded attire goes out of fashion, I doubt it'd be good for much else. "Wow, Grandma--you actually WORE this stuff? And fit into it? Amazing!" I can almost hear the incredulous comments.
If I expected to support horses, I'd probably still be working, perhaps heading up the Old Fogey Department at some media company with an equine-enthusiast division. My boss probably would be someone who's in college today--someone who couldn't remember when there was no e-mail, no digital photography, no horse breeding via shipped semen, no online message boards, no bloggers, no horsemen who traveled from show to show with a 2-horse trailer hitched to the bumper of a car. Talk about faded frames of reference.
Makes me hope that a good-sized segment of my fellow Boomers will follow me into senior-citizen horse ownership. Otherwise, who'd relate to my references about the good old days?