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Michael North

An author who documented the economic impact on the United States and European Union in regards to the American ban on horse slaughter for human consumption.


1 -    What is the single greatest change you have witnessed in the equestrian world during your life time?

Decreased use as a work animal and beast of burden, to more of a pastime recreation animal.


2 -    Do you ride?



3 -    Do you own a horse?

Yes.  Quarter Horse


4 -    Who is your favourite horse in history?

Doc Bar, the American Quarter Horse who was known as the king of cutting horses and Peppy Humo, a grand champion working cow horse.


5 -    Who do you think was the most influential equestrian human in history and why?

Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show.


6 -    What was your greatest equestrian influence from books or cinema when you were young?

Black Stallion- Video and Books


7 -    What equestrian book would you recommend today and why?

Currently I don’t have one.  I could use some suggestions


8 -    How did you initially become interested in your specific equestrian specialty?

At the age of 15 I began working for a training and boarding stable.  I immediately became fascinated with reining discipline, showing and rodeo horses.  I was inspired by these horse trainers and the maneuvers the horses were able to achieve.  I wanted to be able to do this as well.


9 -    What prompted you to enter that field?

Opportunities to learn, compete and win…or lose.


10 -    Did someone encourage your decision or inspire you?

First, the horse trainers at the Draper, Utah arena.  Second, my first 4-H instructor who was patient and encouraging me to ride better.  Finally, more recently, the cowboys who work hard to win top performances in any discipline.  These are they who are the unknown, the underdog, that may not have the money or support but beat the odds to win.


11 -  When did you begin your research, investigation, work?

In 2003 at the beginning of my graduate work, I began looking at horses sold for slaughter and pending legislation that was abreast.


12 -    What do you think is your most important discovery, achievement or insight regarding your equestrian work?

Gathering current, real time information to estimate, as accurately as possible, the economic impact of a US mandated slaughter horse ban.


13 -    What modern technology, techniques and media have you found most helpful?



14 -    What part of your work do you find most fulfilling?

Most thesis research papers are read by few.  I was able to write on a topic that is interesting to many and hopefully has made a difference.


15 -    What’s been your biggest disappointment in your work?

It is hard to make a living as a horse humanitarian.  Doing research and writing is a tough business to earn money. 


16 -    How do you explain the gulf between academic equestrian investigation and the average horse owner?

The average horse owner, or the public as a whole, likes to read exciting, juicy, gossiping, salacious articles or magazines whether or not it is fact.  Academic articles dearth emotion, sarcasm and the overall focus on selling papers.  In depth analysis and technical jargon loses the average reader, plus today people would rather watch it on their IPod.


17 -    What equestrian subjects are in need of more research and investigation?

How do we keep the next generation interested in horses, cowboys and farming.  The kids today have a huge variety of entertainment and the Agricultural  industry steadily loses market share.


18 -    Which part of the equestrian world would you like to see reformed and why?

Reform cannot be forced.  We can only invite, innovate and find ways to keep the equestrian world available to everyone, not just the well-to-do.

Some animal activists and activist groups have a very negative influence on agriculture, turning young people away from an interest in equine disciplines.  I would like to see reform in how these influential groups push their agenda.


19 -    How do you traditionally deliver your findings or message and how would you ideally like to do so?

Traditionally it is through accredited academic papers and publications.  Sometimes you may see an article in a newspaper.  New media like Websites, Blogs, Podcasts, Youtube, commercials and TV reaches many more than the traditional methods.


20 -    What intellectual, technical or ethical advances would you like to see in the horse world?

A horse shoeing machine.

More opportunities for novice and new riders to get involved in showing and eventing.


21 -    Do you foresee any difficulties for the horse world in the immediate future?

There are many horses in this country that do not have a value.  These unwanted horse are victims of economic hard times, abundance of supply, and a lack of a market for low-end horses.  This is the difficulty we are now facing and will continue in the future.


22 -    What is the greatest challenge facing the horse world in the long term?

The ever widening variety of entertainment and increasing substitutes for horses.  Do I buy a horse or a motorbike?


23 -     What books, magazines, websites, etc. can people read and review to learn more about your work?

Journal of Agribusiness, Spring 2005


24 -    Any final thoughts?

Thanks to the Long Riders Guild for looking for new opportunities to educate and increase the interest in Equine disciplines.  I love the equine industry and hope for a great future for our horses.


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