A joint 2021 survey of horse owners from Zoetis and American Horse Publications gave an update on the health of the equine industry. Looking at horse-keeping costs, 85% of respondents report that their horse-keeping costs have increased since 2018. Common areas in which costs have increased include feed, veterinary services and animal health products.

The largest climb in horse-keeping costs over the previous 3 years appears with barn supply costs (nearly doubling). Horse owners also identified fuel and transportation costs as another pain point. The survey authors note that had survey data been collected months later, costs influenced by lumber and fuel prices would have made a greater mark in results because of the influence of COVID on these areas. Farrier services appeared in the “other” category, but did not impact survey results compared with other reasons.

Don’t expect clients to dump their horses in the face of increasing costs.

“Looking at how to accommodate horse-keeping costs, most respondents reported they will reduce expenditures in other areas of their lives (60%), attend fewer competitions (22.2%) and pursue other income opportunities (21.3%),” report the survey authors.

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