American Horse Publications and Zoetis have published the results of AHP’s 2015 Equine Survey. The survey included results from 10,662 horse owners. Here are some interesting highlights:
The equine industry has found stability and shows positive signs of growth, especially among young adult horse owners and event participants…
36.2% of respondents ages 18 to 24 said they expect to own or manage more horses in 2016 than they did in 2015
Results also show an estimated one of every three horses owned/managed by respondents is idle, retired or otherwise not working.
Respondents were most likely to view their horses as family members (67.4%), companion animals (62.7%), performance partners (57.6%) and/or best friends (55.9%). A smaller percentage of respondents viewed their horses as an investment (22.4%), livestock animal (21.1%) or employee (7.8%).
As in the 2010 and 2012 surveys, the issue of unwanted horses (and what to do with them) remains the most significant challenge facing the industry today; however, the percentage of respondents identifying the issue has been declining (62.9% in 2010, 55.8% in 2012 and 53.7% in 2015). The cost of horsekeeping (47.1%) and overbreeding (37.3%) continue to be important issues, but land-related issues, such as loss of riding areas and competition for open space, are becoming increasingly important.
Details of the survey are only available to AHP members, but you can click AHP 2015 Equine Survey to read a summary that’s available to the public.