Cost Concerns Favor Older Horse Owners

Even though there hasn’t been a major shift in U.S. horse numbers in recent years, the age of owners is trending higher due in part to their higher incomes as it continues to take more dollars to support an equine hobby or business each year. 

Earlier this year, the American Horse Publications group, which consists of equine media professionals, conducted its fifth online nationwide equine industry survey. Sponsored by Zoetis, the survey drew 7,267 responses from folks who own or manage horses across the country. 

Some 24% of horse owners have annual household incomes between $100,000-$149,999 per year while 18% of families earn over $150,000 per year. Yet 40% of horse owners still have annual household incomes of less than $75,000 and are struggling to find ways to deal with higher costs to support their equestrian habits.

Kids are Gone

Some 55% of horse owners live in households with two family members, which means the kids are grown and no longer living at home. Most families have only one member involved with horses.

The latest survey data confirms that there have been few changes in total U.S. horse numbers in recent years. Some 75% of owners own the same number of horses in 2020 while 10% own more horses and 15% have fewer horses. Only 10% of owners over 65 years of age (the retirement years) expect to increase horse numbers while 31% in the 18-34 age category expect to own more horses in the future.

Less than 3% of…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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