Economic Horse Fact #3

Now we discuss some demographics to see how you can better understand who your potential customers are and related trends…

  • How are the players in the horse industry?  As you would expect, the horse owners are the largest percentage with 50% and 42% for California and the US, respectively.  However, family members make up only 28% in California compared to 43% in the US.  Why are families more involved on the other states?  Having a supportive family is important given the time and financial outlays.  Does that show some opportunity for the breed and other organizations to make the sport more appealing to families?  I think you’ll see a trend in future posts about how expanding the age demographic is important to the industry as a whole but especially for California.  This is quite an interesting statistic!  And keep this in mind when designing your social media marketing campaign.
  • Here’s another surprising statistic as it runs counter to the income levels commonly perceived would own a horse.

Income Range             California %    US %

$25,000-$49,999                     18                    23

$50,000-$74,999                     20                    22

$75,000-$$99,999                   16                    16

$100,000-$124,999                 15                    10

So participating or owning a horse can be more affordable than what people may think.  For your business, what income levels do you need to be targeting? 

  • The age of the horse owner is, in my opinion, the most concerning trend.  The majority of horse owners are over the age of 45:

Horse Owners Age     California %    US %

45 – 59                         45                    41

30 – 40                        33                    35

18 – 29                        15                    16

Is your business prepared if the older rider has to downsize or sell their horse for physical or financial reasons?  Can you modify your operations to capture a percentage of the older owner market?  Or do the people in their 20’s come back to the industry once their careers and families are more settled?  What have you observed?

If in California families are not as involved, do California horse businesses have more of challenge “replacing” their customers since fewer children may be exposed to the industry as compared to other states? 

Of note is that the income and age levels are comparable for California and the US.  So we are facing the same challenges are the rest of the nation in these areas.

These topics will receive substantial time at on Equine Forum on January 13 from 5:30 to 8 pm.   We’ve posed several good questions in this post and will expand further how to use this information in your business.

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