Hello all, I am new to the site. I was referred here by another forum (thoroughbredchampions). I am doing some research for an article that may become a book and I want to get opinions from people involved in horses, and there's no better way to do that than go straight to the fans, so I'm cross-posting this on several forums. Thank you for your time.

I'm postulating a theory about the horse in contemporary American culture. As we all know the horse's popularity has declined substantially in the average person's life--technology has replaced the horse in everything except sport and pleasure. My question is, why does even that remain?

I just want some musings, type whatever you think on these topics. I am at the shallow end of my research, just wanting to get a general read on the opinions of people involved in the issue. You don't have to give me your name and I won't be quoting you or anything, just tell me how you feel and what your connection to horses is--especially if you're in the industry. Here are the things I want to talk about:

What is it about horses in sport/pleasure that cannot be replaced by technology, like everything else? (I am thinking of how intertwined the species was with us before the invention of the car.)
What are the good and bad things (if any) about the species' "retirement" from everyday human life?
Is their current niche (sport and pleasure) good or bad (or both) for horses? For humans?
What do we, as a society, miss without horses?
What do horses mean to you personally?
Finally, what does this current trend suggest about the species' future in our lives?

Thank you very much for your thoughts. Also, if anyone knows of people to pass this on to, especially people involved in the industry or scholars (I haven't found any besides myself interested in horses in culture), please do so. And I would like to cross-post this on other forums, in several disciplines preferably. Does anyone have suggestions of good sites?

Again, thank you. I hope this sparks some interesting discussion.