COVID-19 and the Horse Industry
COVID-19 and the Horse Industry: It’s safe to say that there is hardly an industry not hit by the pandemic. Regardless of if the changes faced by various industries are positive or negative, the unexpected impact of the coronavirus has been unsettling.
While several other industries struggle to survive, the horse industry hasn’t been any better. If you are wondering how COVID-19 has affected the horse industry, you are just in time for this discussion.
No more horse shows or games
Not long after the pandemic spread and attained its global status, all local horse shows were shut down. Olympic Games and other international equestrian games have also been postponed to the nearest possible future.
This action was promptly taken by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) in addition to suspending selection trials, events, clinics, and training camps. For several event officials and organizers, this meant a loss of income, although many of the canceled or postponed events were already halfway through the preparation stage.
Equestrian lovers, judges, and officials now have to deal with the uncertainty of not knowing when and if things will return to normal concerning horse events, shows, and games.
Fundraising is thinning out
A large part of the horse industry depends on the donation of horse lovers and equestrian supporters. Now, with the pandemic making several potential donors financially unstable, donations are either being eliminated from most lists or reduced significantly.
It’s also no longer feasible to host fundraising events, which was previously an effective way to raise funds for the horse industry.
Rescue organizations have taken a hit
It’s possible you haven’t thought about the horse rescue organizations lately, and while there’s no blame being shared, that is precisely why this area has taken a massive hit.
Equine rescue organizations have seen a drastic reduction in finances and volunteers, which are important parts of what these organizations do. Potential volunteers have had no choice but to stay home following social distancing and lockdown rules. Previously organized fosters have also withdrawn their commitments because of the situation with the crisis. Many are worried about their job security and other impacts on their personal life, and this makes it almost impossible to consider horse adoption like before.
Caring for horses is a bit different
A recent study on the effects of COVID-19 on horse owners showed that
- 60% of horse owners have not reduced the number of times they visit their horses daily.
- 35% of horse owners still ride their horse as normal while 28% have reduced horse riding. Another 30% no longer ride their horses at all.
For horse owners the effects of the COVID-19 crisis have hit differently, giving some more time to bond with their loving friends and made others worried about interactions with their horses. There is also more challenge and stress with caring for your horse due to restrictions here and there and a reduction in helpful hands.
Aside from these impacts on the horse industry, virtual horse lessons and events are picking up.
Read more from I On The Scene: HERE.