Readers Express Concerns about Future of Equine Industry

More than 1,220 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "What are you most worried about for the future in the equine industry?"

results of poll on worries about the future of the equine industry

 

 

Results were as follows: 

  • Unwanted horses 57.63% (706)
  • Rising costs of owning horses 51.43% (630)
  • Loss of equestrian spaces 33.71% (413)
  • Parasite resistance 11.35% (139)
  • Emerging diseases 7.18% (88)
  • Other (please specify) 5.80% (71)
  • Lack of vaccines for impending diseases 4.49% (55)

Readers shared their worries in the comments below.

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  • The economy is going to create more horses that people cannot afford to keep.
  • everything keeps going up!
  • Loss of trails, locally and in state and Federal lands.
  • pro horse slauther house
  • Too many inferior horses being bred, not enough quality trainers and riding instructors.
  • unwanted horses and the rising costs, especially of hay and bedding
  • just breaks my heart to see horses being bred for a market that isn't strong anymore
  • rescues like ours have high cost feed bills & back yard breeders cause 4 too many unwanted horses
  • Please stop breeding horses for simple pleasure...we have too many and they are sold for human food
  • & lack of vaccines for new diseases
  • I have one with metabolic syndrome - slow onset laminitis
  • quality hay production
  • Over breeding and backyard breeding. Nursemare foals are also disturbing.
  • The Equine Industry as a whole sufferes from neglected,abused .Bigger fines a must
  • irresponsible breeding, ownership, or suffering on the part of the horses due to financial situation
  • taunting & cruelty to horses by kids (with nothing better to do)
  • We are assured that we are getting our horses parasite free. To many horses on smaller pastures
  • That owners will ignore the preventative messures such as Chiro. Sports Massage, Dental etc.
  • I just think that there's too much breeding while horse go without homes
  • If there is no place to live or to ride ?????
  • too much control by PETA, HSUS, EPA, etc
  • loss of wild horses
  • equine abandonment /lack of finances
  • Over breeding by greedy horse owners only interested in the money and not about the horses
  • Too many irresponsible people buying/breeding horses. They aren't toys!.
  • loss of trails
  • After losing a horse to EPM this summer, I hope for vaccines/better treatment for the disease.
  • Each of your topics are a of concern to all equestrians-unwanted horses are a great concern also!
  • Overbreeding and slaughter are my biggest worries
  • Loss of trails throughout the country.
  • Over Breeding! And Crappy Breeding...Its crazy!
  • Ugh...I know about horses...but I need more expert advice.My worries are about my project!
  • neglect and abuse
  • all the wild horses will be captured and become extinct
  • Need Lyme Disease Vaccine
  • Emotional and physical equine health being overlooked by industry leaders and clubs.
  • could easily choose all of the above
  • All this Natural Horsemanship Stuff - not all is horsefriendly. We must learn to read the Horse!
  • Between the rising costs and loss of riding areas, horses are not easy to keep anymore.
  • I would like to own 2 horses, but the cost keeps me to just one.
  • Tick borne diseases are a problem in my area. I can easily pick 6 to 10 ticks off each horse per day
  • fewer people involved in the industry, too few young people being exposed to horses
  • we need to put a stop to all the backyard breeding and rescue the horses living that need homes for
  • with peta ect getting money from gov. we r in more trouble with regard to horse slauthger. it is a n
  • laws preventing owners from obtaining vaccines/antibiotics to treat their own animals
  • horses were fine until people messed them up!
  • The prices of everything is going up. No job, no horse, then what?
  • To much government interference,chips,etc.
  • too many people do not know the responsibility of owning a horse; they think of 'my little pony'.
  • Lack of equine veterinarians
  • Too many owners consider horses a throw-away hobby & are the 1st thing to go in a financial crunch
  • Closed slaughter houses are causing more suffering for unwanted horses.
  • Rural areas are starting to experience the building frenzie.
  • There have always been unwanted and starved horses, but now with the internet we can see more.
  • Many horse owners have been forced in to giving up their animals due to the econy-No Slaughter!
  • lack of interest in our up and coming gereration
  • with the slaughter horses not being sold prices of horses falling down so low that good horses are d
  • so many horses are being put down because their owners can't afford them.
  • Trying save foals from the "nurse mare" industry.
  • Mis treatment of stock not checked
  • Availability of quality hay due to serious water shortages
  • over population of unwanted and/or unusable horses
  • Decline in racing options
  • horse racing industry in Ohio
  • No ban on slaughter
  • most worried about obnoxious, limiting laws written by people who have never taken care of a horse
  • So many horses are slaughtered for stupid reasons (like many animals I might add).
  • the racehorse industry is in trouble
  • horse slaughter staying banned: it hurts the horse industry so much having that banned
  • I've seen too many cases here in central VA where there are many adoptable, unwanted & uncared for
  • unwanted horse problem is messing up the market
  • Government rules rugulations and interference (ie: money grabbing)
  • NAIS!!!!!
  • Human drugs eg Pergolide for Cushings being withdrawn by regulatory bodies.
  • what to do with unwanted horses and rising cost to keep healthy
  • Lack of hay and bedding being available and affordable
  • We dont need to ship our unwanted horses to Mexico. we nned to do it humanely in the states.
  • On going horse abuse, market down, horse meat high on black market.
  • Law's to demand Micro chipping
  • all horses should have a place to retire when finished w/ their careers...
  • irresponsible and uneducated horse owners go along with unwanted horses
  • This will surely lead to destroying more horses, maybe even bring back US slaughter houses.
  • Alarming lack of equine (or even large animal) veterinarians! My vet just changed to cats/dogs only!
  • cost of keeping horses is going up to where only rich will be able to afford them
  • I am worried for the horses who are either wild or because of the economy their owners can't keep
  • Industry collapse
  • People need to be more vigilant with regard to breeding;not only grade horse but all reg.breeds too
  • Not so much unwanted horses - but what to do with them
  • Unwanted horses and many people simply can't afford them anymore.
  • This can be a deadly situation, especially in the case of very contagious, fatal diseases.
  • It is getting to expensive to own horses let alone show them to insure their worth on paper.
  • Poor sales market
  • horse slaughter is on the uprise again. wish more people could afford to keep their horses
  • Horses have gone from a way of life to a luxury, but where I live its a luxury few can afford!
  • overbreeding causing excess animals and no where to keep them
  • I'm afraid horse slaughter plants might reopen-they are NOT the answer for unwanted horses!!!!!!
  • Hay shortage, feed costs rising =abandoned horses..sad
  • are still taking up open space at an alarming rate! NEED TO STOP
  • loss of trails
  • very worried about the amount of hores being returned to rescue centers, and more being abandoned
  • Lack of affordable, good quality hay.
  • It is so sad to see the horses leaving this town, except for the influx of the Mexican Charros
  • losing land just to keep horses along with places to ride and costs.
  • Boarding close to home - expensive. Least expensive - too far away
  • That people will be mis-led to believe that reinstating slaughter is an answer to the unwanted horse
  • Scary how many free horses I've been offered this year.
  • what will we do when we can't ride?
  • Price decline on horses
  • Steps need to be taken to discourage breeding.
  • Individual efforts to adopt can't equal the unwanteds churned out by the industry each year
  • abused horses
  • Since most horse owners like to trail ride, we need to worry about retaining trails and horse camps.
  • more breeding, motre unwanted for rescues to bear the cost of
  • That the liberal left will restrict my rights taking from me to give to thoes who do not
  • This is the main comntributer to unwanted horses & rising costs. Screw Tract Homes!!!
  • I'm worried that I won't be able to care for my horses as I would prefer to
  • We need more research NOW to develop new dewormers and inexpensive, easy-to-use "at home" fecaltests
  • In this area people are coming in for the country life but don't want the dust and flies
  • BLM's poor handling of the Mustangs.
  • I'm bothered bt the fact that people are stealing and slaughtering horses for meat.
  • here in west aust most of out trails are closed due to developement for housing & not replaced .
  • possible return of slaughter
  • Most worriesome is the current & future shortage of equine vets; without them, where will we be?
  • we need a vaccine for Pigeon Fever-PLEASE contact the about this concern
  • I'm very concerned about the plight of the unwanted horse more than any other issue. As humans, I b
  • Hay prices & impacts on horse ownership... ending in financial stresses = unwanted horses.
  • Lack of vets to replace retiring vets in the south. VERY SCARY!
  • The loss of our parks for my trail riding
  • i want horse slaughter to stop.
  • Loss of common sense
  • I think the rising cost of keep horses coupled with careless breed will lead to many homeless horse
  • parasite resistance is REAL and not enough people are paying attention - it's deadly!!
  • all of the above
  • lack of market to sell nice horses
  • There are so many aren't there. Unwanted horses and $$ go together.
  • Overbreeding of horses without a purpose
  • NAIS making horse owership impossible for the average person
  • No place to ride out anymore. Too many people!
  • Loss of value of the horses, can not sell horses anymore.
  • TO many unwanted horses! plus, it is crazy expensive!!! but i still luv it!
  • loss of cropland
  • Animal rights fanatics ,so called abuse confiscations .
  • ever increasing government overreach, e.g. USDA mandates for farm registries & mandatory transponder
  • poor breeding practices
  • I fear loss of farm/green space to housing developments, so horses have nowhere to go.
  • With many people lossing their homes...the animals like the people often have nowhere to go.
  • What I am most worried about is related to unwanted horses, but more to do with expendible horses.
  • availability of quality bedding eg. shavings due to pellet stove/furnace use
  • Continued cruelty via slaughter and mustang gathers
  • rising costs of owning horses and unwanted horses are related
  • Horse Slaughter
  • Rising costs of owning is one factor in the unwanted horse situation
  • horse slaughter,when you make the choice to own a horse you must accept the responsibility for their
  • In the Chicago area we are loosing more & more places to keep & ride our horses & it costs more too
  • Trails being closed to horses.
  • Not just the use of space but also loss of agricultural farmland in general to development.
  • I have had three horses given to me because the owners could not care for them.
  • I worry about becoming numb to the unwanted horse problem.
  • Must retain land and costs low
  • I've taken as many rescues as I can. I'm on the verge of having to find a rescue for myself!
  • lack of outside interest in equine-related sports
  • People overbreeding
  • Loss of farms/agriculture
  • All are real future issues
  • Worsening economy
  • Rank it. Loss of Equestrain spaces, Cost and unwanted horses
  • people are casting aside nice horses...very sad
  • We need to re-open the slaughter houses.
  • Overbreeding & low demand causing abandonment all over. Rescues have no $ to take them in.
  • lack of professional services in rural areas, especially equine vets
  • the dollar driven horse slaughter industry revival. don't want it, don't need it, better not reopen
  • If a group is allowed to make a change- horse slaughter- they should have to provide a solution
  • Too much breeding the Jockey club report 37,426 mares bred in 10 states-just a drop in the bucket.
  • I worry about a decline in good horsemanship.
  • the loss of trail access is happening now as well as cost of keeping horses
  • Over breeding & horse slaughter
  • The costs are ridiculous
  • All of these are worrisome.Wish I knew the answer
  • Both reckless breeding and racehorses

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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