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Data from a recent survey of over 11,000 folks who own, lease or manage horses indicates they expect to continue participating in the equine industry at the same level in the future as now. In fact, some expect to add more horses over the next few years, despite the struggling economy.
This recent industry study was conducted by American Horse Publications, a trade group of several hundred equine media members that includes American Farriers Journal.
This is the largest survey of U.S. hands-on horse owners and managers that has ever been conducted. Some 89% of respondents were women, which is consistent with results from other equine surveys.
Many of the respondents stated that they would make sacrifices in other areas of their lives to continue their involvement in the equine industry. Yet even though the majority of respondents will continue their equine-related activities, this does not diminish the potential hardships faced by others in the industry.
“Respondents are also clear that the welfare of the horse is of the utmost importance as individuals and policy makers make decisions regarding the future of the equine industry,” says Jill Stowe, a University of Kentucky ag economist who did the data analysis.
Nearly 75% of the survey respondents ride for pleasure and trail ride, 26% do dressage and 35% ride competitively in an average of five events per year.
Slightly less than 50% of survey participants reported annual household incomes under $75,000. Some 13% of the respondents had annual household…