Continuing Upward Trends in the Horse Industry

The 2018 Stable Management Fall Business Survey shows continuing improvement in the profitability of the equine industry.
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Stable Management's spring and fall surveys can provide information to help horse farm and stable owners and riding instructors make better business decisions.

The business of running a horse farm/stable or teaching riding lessons seems to be continuing on an upward trend based on the results of the Stable Management 2018 Fall Business Survey.

Think of these results as a benchmark to see how your equine business is performing. If you are not part of the upward trend, seek information to help you stabilize your current business and determine what you can do to increase your profitability. There are many articles on StableManagement.com that can help you.

In this survey we asked, “Has the economy affected your revenue this past year, and by how much?” More than 21% of respondents said business is up, compared to about 17% who said that in 2017 and 14% in 2016. See the chart below for a comparison between the 2018, 2017 and 2016 responses.

Along those lines, we asked, “How many boarders (clients) do you have?” There were increases in 2018 compared to 2017 for stables or riding instructors with three to 15 boarders/clients.

We also asked, “Have your numbers of boarders/clients increased or decreased in the last year?” See the chart below for a comparison between the 2018, 2017 and 2016 responses.

We asked, “What is your biggest profit center for your equine business?” Boarding has been the top money-maker for the respondents since the survey started in 2012, followed by lessons (teaching people) and training (teaching horses). There isn’t a linear progression in the rise or fall of any of the profit centers, which indicates that the same people are not answering the surveys each year.

The ranking of profit centers in 2018 was:

1. boarding
2. lessons
3. training
4. other
5. equine-assisted therapy
6. rehab/retirement
7. breeding
8. camp programs
9. sales (tied)
9. rescue (tied)
11. competitions/events (tied)
11. trail rides (tied)
13. racing

Under “other,” the respondents included non-profit, clinics and conditioning.

We at Stable Management will create more articles based on the spring and fall surveys we conducted and will post them on StableManagement.com. Make sure you are signed up for the monthly electronic newsletter to get alerts for the latest articles and news posted on our website. To sign up for the newsletter, simply go to StableManagement.com, look in the upper right-hand corner of any page and click on the “Sign Up For Our Newsletter” icon.