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February 05, 2023 - BY Admin

Get your equestrian business ready - an FEI perspective.

The FEI looks at  five areas where we’ll see the greatest changes in the coming decade, so equestrian businesses can be ready to capitalise on them... 

 1. Social Media and Websites 

There’s no doubt that social media will only increase in popularity as the next decade unfolds. But we’re likely to see a shift towards more authentic engagement and a move away from vanity metrics. Instagram will be removing its “like” button, and other platforms are likely to follow suit, in an attempt to make user demographics more meaningful. 


Video content continues to grow, which is great news for horse business owners, as this sector is highly conducive to images and film. Advertising with stories will join free content on many social media sites, and over the next few years, it will be much easier to create seamless buyer interfaces to sell equestrian products via these platforms. 

For those equestrian businesses with websites, similar trends will be seen there. Buyers of merchandise want purchases to be even simpler, especially for those on the go. Therefore, mobile responsiveness for every website is a must. Graphics continue to become more sophisticated, with dark mode, 3D images, and sophisticated typography seen across all industries globally. 

Privacy concerns continue to grow. Equestrian business owners will likely feel this more than individuals. Expect to invest time and money in making websites, payment methods, and equine devices more resistant to cyber crime, especially until the bugs of impending 5G cellular changes are worked out. 


 2. Technology 

In technology, the advent of 5G is definitely the most talked-about topic. For most users, fifth-generation mobile speeds will mean ultra rapid download times, zero to no latency, and easier connectivity to the Internet of Things (IoT). But this technology is also expected to spark a new industrial revolution, creating new jobs whilst automating tasks that are currently performed by humans. The resulting improvements in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will be a subset of the 5G breakthrough. 

So, who in the equestrian world will benefit from 5G? Just about everybody: 

Manufacturers of sportswear and equine goods can capitalise on improved automation.

Venues will love fast mobile speeds for everything from audience scoring apps to live streaming to rapid security notifications and social media sharing. 

Riders, trainers, and breeders will eventually find VR (virtual reality) coming to the mainstream, which creates an immersive experience, whether for reviewing a Dressage test or creating videos of horses for sale. 


Because 5G technology requires a massive infrastructure change, it’s being rolled out slowly across the globe, with some major cities already using it. Areas that have been historically slow to adopt previous mobile technology will likewise see a later rollout than locales that are usually on the cutting edge. 


Digital horse assistants and monitoring systems continue to be utilised and will become more complex as the decade goes on. They will also likely come down in price as new competition enters the market and devices become more common. And as 5G mobile speeds become more prevalent, real-time horse monitoring will keep owners and vets up to speed with virtually no delays, even if they’re a continent away from their stables. 


 3. Equestrian Fashion 

In the world of apparel, equestrian fashion will see a growing fusion with technology, as clothing and equipment manufacturers vie for increased rider comfort and ease of use. Jumping and Eventing are already leading the way, due to the demands of these disciplines, and we can see other riding forms picking up on their trailblazing. 

Look for fabrics and cuts that allow better mobility, as well as improved ventilation. Materials will be more resistant to water and dirt, with better seat gripping and uncomplicated laundering instructions. Colour and contrasting trim in riding jackets are becoming more en vogue, and we see this on the international circuit with riders like Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) and Christian Ahlmann (GER). 

Helmets continue to improve in terms of safety, technical function, and comfort. We’ll see more helmets replacing top hats in Dressage, especially with gorgeous new designs that allow for individual style and national colours incorporated into the outer shell, such as with Charlotte Dujardin’s (GBR) helmet by Charles Owen, holder of a Royal Warrant and supplier to the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace. From inlaid crystals to removable sun visors, riding helmets of today are nothing like they were even five years ago. 

Similarly, riding vests for fall and impact protection have come a long way. Equestrians can now find airbag vests from FEI apparel partner Horse Pilot that do not impinge on movement and yet still provide discreet coverage of the body’s vital areas: neck, vertebral column, abdomen, and chest. 

 4. Environmental Issues 

Already 2020 has seen the result of environmental crisis with the devastating bushfires in Australia, following a summer of heat records across Europe. Climate change and the need for improved sustainability are felt nowhere more keenly than in agriculture, including horse farming and equestrian sport. Horse owners are likely to experience impact in multiple ways: 


  • Creating more sustainable pasture options, including low- or no-till
  • Using new techniques for replanting pastures after droughts and fires
  • Employing water conservation measures
  • Rethinking fireproofing and evacuation plans
  • Altering stabling, rugging, and workouts during weather extremes
  • Building green structures and increasing solar power use
  • Composting manure with proper aeration to reduce methane release
  • Recycling waste and other materials
  • Instituting sustainability initiatives with event planning
  • Reducing overall carbon footprint by travelling less, buying local feed and supplies, and utilizing fewer petroleum-powered machines

5. Stables and Equestrian Venues

Stable owners and managers of equestrian venues will certainly have plenty to contend with from the lists above. But they could face more challenges if the global economy takes a downturn or undergoes a recession, spurred by political unrest, a health pandemic, or a natural disaster. Experts predict, for example, that the economic impact of the recent Australian fires alone may exceed $4.4 billion. 

Whilst this may sound dour, shoring up an equestrian business can actually open the door to fun new ventures. Those who have weathered previous slow economies agree there are first two steps to take: reduce expenses and diversify income streams. Pay off debt, look for ways to cut monthly bills, and think about how to run leaner now, at leisure, rather than in a panic later. 

Also, explore ways to make a horse business go double or triple duty by: 

  • Becoming a judge, technical delegate, course designer, or official
  • Producing a video or book series
  • Taking on boarding or rehabbing horses
  • Hosting or teaching clinics
  • Brokering horse sales for a percent of profit
  • Getting trained as an equine chiropractor or massage therapist
  • Making money off a website through affiliate advertising or tack sales
  • Selling tickets to the stables for school groups
  • Hosting weddings and other events at the stables

Stable owners and trainers should also think about raising prices during times of relative prosperity. Offer extras at the stables to justify fee increases. Take a look at pricing tiers to see where fees have stagnated whilst other costs, like show fees and horse keeping, have not.