I just got back from my local hardware/farm supply and horse tack store. The place is huge, bigger than our local Home Depot. I usually like to take a look around the horse section even if I am there for something other than animal related shopping. They normally have 30-40 top name brands of saddles at any one time. The saddle section use to be so packed with saddles that I would have needed a slimming pill just to squeeze down the aisle. I use to love to dream about owning one of those $4K western show saddles with all the silver, but I just wouldn't use it that much for shows anymore. This visit was different….very different. The area where the saddles were normally kept had dog treat and small livestock feed and treats. They had moved what saddles they had to a far corner. I could only see 12 saddles total in the entire store.
At the checkout stand I asked what happened to all the saddles. I was told that they were making drastic cutbacks to selling saddles and they would not be getting many in anymore. The local demand for horse related equipment has plummeted. More people than every before are getting rid of their horses.
That news, of a still falling horse market does not sound as if retail stores have a good outlook for the holiday season ahead. I hope your area is doing better economically than mine.