Are farriers the least affected members of the equine industry during the global coronavirus pandemic? The owner of a Dutch stable believes so.

Emile Hendrix, a former Dutch top rider and owner of Stal Hendrix, told that while horse trading, competitions, riding schools and trade stables are being hit hard financially by the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there are two specific corners of the equestrian world that are relatively unaffected.

“The only ‘group’ of people that are not as much affected by all of this are farriers and suppliers of horse feed,” Hendrix says. “They provide essential need for the horses. Of course, hooves keep on growing and horses keep on eating. So, at least they can be sure of their jobs.”

According to an American Farriers Journal survey that was conducted March 19-25, about half of farriers in the United States are concerned about the financial longevity of their farrier businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak, but remain optimistic about the future. Another 21% are slightly worried, while 19% are very concerned if the situation progresses for 6 weeks or more. Only 12% were not worried at all. (Read more below.)

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The survey also found that:

• 50% of farriers say cancelled events such as horse shows, rodeos and races have affected their business.

• 40% say clients have stretched out appointments or changed their footcare needs.

• 36% say they are spending more time disinfecting before and after interacting with horses, clients, trainers, etc.

• 27% say it hasn’t affected their business at all.

• 7% say client services have been limited due to travel restrictions.

• 6% say barns have banned outside professionals, including farriers.

• 6% are not servicing clients because they live in an area where it is recommended that they self-quarantine.

• 3% have lapsed in paying more so than normal.

• 3% are unable to leave home because kids are out of school or have to take the kids with them.

How has COVID-19 affected you and your farrier business? Do you think farriers are the least affected in the equine industry? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comment section below.

Gain more insight on how COVID-19 is affecting the farrier industry by reading the Special Report “Farriers Report on COVID-19 Business Practices” in the April 2020 issue of American Farriers Journal.