Poll Recap: Business or Hobby?

Of the 552 respondents, 418 (76%) said they were involved with horses primarily as a hobby.

Photo: Thinkstock

There are many opportunities to get involved in the horse industry, whether your primary role is a horse owner, volunteer, or equine businessperson.

In last week’s online poll, we asked our readers if they were involved with horses in the capacity of a business or a hobby. More than 550 people responded and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 552 respondents, 418 (76%) said they were involved with horses primarily as a hobby. The remaining 134 respondents (24%) said they were involved with horses through business.

Additionally, more than 100 people commented about their involvement with horses:

Several people commented about their horse hobby-related activities:

  • “I trail ride.”
  • “We used to have a breeding and training operation, but now it's primarily hobby.”
  • “An expensive, time consuming hobby of 5 horses-wouldn't have it any other way!”
  • “I have my horse at home now and ride for pleasure. I no longer show.”
  • “Hobby. In a business, there are too many personalities to deal with-not for me.”
  • “Time spent out on the trail, in the barn and in the pasture with my two TWH is major stress relief!”
  • “Trail riding, get the feeling of complete happiness.”
  • “My two are my full time hobby and expensive ones at that!”
  • “Always a hobby...my money pit, but worth it all!”
  • “I ride for pleasure, trail riding and camping with my horse.”
  • “Hobby, but starting to give riding lessons for a fee.”
  • “I am retired and enjoying my horses.”
  • “We raise and show working American Quarter Horses.”
  • “I have horses to ride and compete on, but I do not earn any income with them.”

Others indicated that they were involved wit horses through business:

  • “Veterinarian”
  • “Barn/Broodmare manager of nearly 20 yrs. I find it more fulfilling to work with horses than own one.”
  • “Boarding Facility”
  • “Running a boarding stable with 7 horses.”
  • “Equine chiropractor”
  • “Equine Biosecurity and First Aid Instruction”
  • “I'm a groom for dressage barn and also a critter sitter.”
  • “Supplement business CEO”
  • “Thoroughbred racehorse trainer”
  • “We own a boarding stable and offer training and lesson. I am also in vet school studying equine med!”
  • “PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor”
  • “I am an authorized DAC Vitamin and Mineral Supplement dealer in Southern California.”
  • “I own a boarding and training facility in Kansas!”
  • “Farrier”
  • “Stable manager with hopes to become a trainer/instructor”
  • “Equine photography and horse care services”
  • “Full time nutritionist, veterinarian, muscle worker and acupuncturist.”
  • “Equine business marketing”
  • “I work as a groom on a competition yard on a stud”
  • “EAL-EAP facilitator and natural horsemanship instructor”
  • “Equine Sports Massage Therapy”

Some said they were involved with horses both as a business and a hobby:

  • “Both, my business is an equine reference lab. I also own several horses that I trail ride.”
  • “Business in season. I ride for pleasure both in and off season.”
  • “There should be a choice for both. I train and give riding instruction, but also keep my own horses.”
  • “Both. I own horses and riding is my hobby but I'm also a barefoot trimmer and vet tech.”
  • “Both! I'm a farrier plus I ride for pleasure.”
  • “Both, really. Pleasure ride and Sheriff Posse”
  • “Ponies are my hobby, fixing and making horse related equipment is my business.”

A few respondents commented that they volunteer with horse organizations:

  • “No business, but volunteer for Ohio Horseman's Council.”
  • “Volunteer, therapeutic riding program.”
  • “I work as a volunteer at a 501c3 NPO in horse rescue and I have four horses of my own as a hobby.”

And others left general comments:

  • “I just love having my 2 Arabians to hang out with, brush, ride and listen to them munching on hay.”
  • “It's more of a lifestyle, really.”
  • “My horse is not just a hobby--he is my post-retirement reason for getting up everyday!”
  • “They are the air I breathe. Is breathing considered a business or a hobby?”
  • “It's a life, more than a business.”
  • “I would have loved for it to be a business, but wasn't in the cards.”

Horse owners can find many horse health care and management resources on TheHorse.com, ranging from caring for a horse’s basic needs and choosing the right horse for your lifestyle, to knowing your horse’s health parameters and when to call the veterinarian.

For those of you who operate or are involved in an equine business, we also have several equine business management resources on TheHorse.com, including equine lease, sales, and boarding contracts, liability releases for equine businesses, and interpreting taxspeak as it applies to the horse industry.

This week, we want to know: how do you help your horse shed his winter hair coat? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com/polls

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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