Perhaps my view is a bit jaundiced by location. I live in an area where poverty is rampant. Seven years ago, over 50% of the students at the elementary school my daughter then attended qualified for free or reduced price lunches through the school. The figure is closer to 80% now. A lot of those students would go hungry on the weekends if it weren't for a local church's backpack ministry that provides packages of foods that don't require heating or refrigeration. I doubt most of those packages would meet Michelle Obama's standards for healthy lunches. I doubt the kids care.
The pain is still very much present further up the social scale. Take a drive to nearby Marion County and you'll see any number of small to medium-sized farms for sale. Some of those signs have been out there for years. The government may tell you that jobs are being created, but that's not much comfort to people who have lost good full-time positions and are now scrambling to make ends meet on a patchwork of part-time jobs at much lower wages. Most of the jobs available are in service industries, never a very high-paying sector to begin with and worse than ever now that full-time jobs have become a liability for employers.
For the folks at the top of the horse industry, things aren't looking bad. But it wouldn't take much to shove the lower and middle markets into another downward spiral. A surge in energy costs due to ideology-driven EPA overregulation could do the trick; so could a spate of bad weather running up the cost of hay and feed supplies. Maybe the optimism at the top is justified, but the view down here is a lot less rosy.