Flair, LLC teamed up with Dr. David Marlin and Science Supplements USA to launch a survey for those located in the US and Canada to better understand the effects of COVID-19 on horse owners, riders, trainers, grooms, stable managers, and other equestrian professionals.
Over 4,000 participants completed the recent survey to evaluate the impact that COVID-19 is having on horse owners, riders, trainers, grooms, stable manager, and other equestrians. While there is no evidence that COVID 19 is a problem for horses, over 40% of respondents reported they have had to change their horse’s management because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some findings from the survey include:
Over half of respondents reported their interactions with their horse has changed. For those that had to make changes, 58% said the changes were not their own choice.
60% of respondents did not have to reduce the number of times per day they visited their horse(s).
Regarding the ability to ride their horse, 35% of respondents reported they could still ride as normal. 28% reduced their riding – either due to restraints place upon them by others or due to their own choice, and almost 30% reported not being able to continue riding their horse – either due to restraints placed upon them or by others. For 6% of respondents, their horse is not ridden or was not being ridden.
A large majority, over 86%, reported they have not been advised nor have they seen advice suggesting they alter their horse’s management to full time turn out (in order to limit the need to travel/visit the barn for feeding/handling/cleaning stalls).
A large majority, nearly 88%, reported their horse is not likely to have to undergo prolonged stall confinement as a result of COVID-19.
In light of the changes to routine needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19, 9% were concerned for the health of their horse, almost 27% were slightly concerned, and almost 64% were not concerned for the health of their horse.
Of the 2,221 respondents that keep their horse at a barn (not privately), nearly 84% reported their barn has implemented measures to allow for social distancing and most felt the measures are satisfactory.
Approximately 40% are concerned that the ongoing situation may make it difficult to provide for their horses’ needs (e.g. board costs, feed, forage, farrier bills, vet bills).
The 5-minute survey closed midnight CST Saturday, April 4, 2020. The research team is comprised of Dr David Marlin PhD, Cambridge, UK; Louisa Taylor BVM BVS (Hons) BVMedSci (Hons) MRCVS; Dr Jane Williams PhD, Hartpury University, UK; Dr Shannon Pratt-Phillips PhD, North Carolina State University; and Jenna Kutzner-Mulligan MS, Science Supplements USA. This North America survey was supported by a joint partnership between Science Supplements USA and Flair, LLC. A similar survey was conducted for those located the UK and for those located in Australia.