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Results from recent surveys of both horse owners and farriers indicate there are more positive signs for growth in the equine industry than we’ve seen in nearly a decade. While we’re not yet ready for a return to the glory times that took place prior to the 2008 recession, there’s data to indicate better times are ahead for farriers, footcare product suppliers, horse owners and trainers alike.
Data from a recent American Horse Publications (AHP) survey sponsored by Zoetis of 10,662 horse owners shows 89% expect to own or manage the same number or more horses in 2016 than this year. Some 21% of owners intend to expand horse numbers while only 11% see themselves working with fewer horses next year.
A recent American Farriers Journal survey shows 61% of our readers are working on more horses this year than in 2013. Nearly one quarter of these farriers are working with the same number of horses this year.
As we look back at the 40-year history of American Farriers Journal (Pages 46 to 55), it’s good to see the horse industry is stabilizing once again.
Among owners and farm managers that answered the AHP survey, 72% use their horses for pleasure and trail riding. Some 28% are involved in dressage, one-third ride competitively, 15% are riding instructors and/or trainers while 13% are horse breeders.
Even so, 30% of these respondents have one or more horses that are left idle, are retired or are not worked on a…