The Future of the Horse Industry and the Economy

As I watched the news last night, I heard a comment that the gas prices are almost certain to reach an average of $4.00/gal this spring. Here, in NE Ohio, it has been around $3.00/gal and my husband and I have reluctantly adjusted by trading in our big SUV for a smaller car and parking our pick-up in the garage. However, the thought of the price of gas going up to $4.00/gal makes my stomach churn and causes me to consider adjusting my summer plans.

The tanking economy, terrible housing market and threat of a recession is also all over the news, especially since it is an election year. The article “Economic Slump: Effect on the Horse Industry” written by the Center for Equine Business Studies on TheHorse.com discusses how important this issue is to those involved with horses:

The effect of ethanol, energy prices, and drought on feed prices can’t be overlooked for those with horses. Feed is an expense that the normal consumer does not have. High corn, soybean, and wheat prices are pulling prices higher for all crops, including alfalfa and other hay. Alfalfa prices have increased more than 20%, nationally, over the last year.
For businesses selling feed and equipment to horse owners, more questions arise. How recession-proof are horse owners? They are clearly hit by higher feed and fuel costs, but how will that translate to spending on other items? That will depend largely on how their jobs and businesses do during this economic slowdown. Not all areas of the economy are showing signs of trouble. Areas like oil and gas are doing well. But higher costs may have an effect on horse related activities, whether trail rides, cutting horse events, rodeos, and other events. It could also lead to lower prices for horses at sales. The horse industry, like all others, relies on a growing economy for its well-being. Some thought and planning will help the industry succeed in this troubling economy.

As I discussed in my previous post “Horse Shows and the Economy” I wonder how these gloomy predictions will affect horse shows. I now wonder how this is going to affect horse people as a whole, including all my friends that are trainers and make their living in the Horse Industry.
My question: How do you think this issue will affect not only your showing plans, but your over-all involvement with horses?

3 Responses to The Future of the Horse Industry and the Economy

  1. Jodi says:

    Its very scary as a small horse farm owner. Things are already bad in our area. People are giving away horses left & right or selling them for $100 or less. Now is the time for the Slaughter Houses to open back up so these horses people can NOT afford to take care of, have a place to go.

  2. Alicia says:

    Well, I can’t guess how this is affecting everyone, but I know our farm generally receives no less than 3 calls a week from buyers looking for videos of show horses, and our phone has gotten remarkably quiet in the last month or so. Also, interesting to note both the Quantity and the QUALITY (!) of the horses going through the Signature Sale. I fear the writing’s on the wall, folks….

  3. Black Eye Beth says:

    Scary, isn’t it…I went to buy straw for my mare to foal on and the guy quoted me at $4/bale (for STRAW!) I asked him why it was so expensive and he said that nobody can get shavings now (I assume because construction and wood use is down?) so everybody is switching to straw.

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