Can the horse sector not escape exorbitant price increases?

With sharply increasing inflation, it is clear that prices, also in the horse sector, will rise. Think stocking rates and lessons. However, this happens sparingly, for fear of misunderstandings and customers walking away. But still: Equestrian entrepreneurs must eventually pass the real costs into their prices. It is impossible to keep equestrian sports within the reach of everyone.

Susan Boss, financial advisor Horse & Profit Photo Bart Honingh

From: Susan
I totally agree. I do a lot of management, so I simply see that there is a lot of poverty among entrepreneurs. Horseback riding is not only meant for the wealthy, but the entrepreneurs have to earn more. Nowadays anyone with an ordinary income can buy a horse. For years there has been fierce competition, which means that prices are very low. These margins are not feasible for entrepreneurs. They keep showing up because it’s still an elite sport. The client argues that the businessman is wealthy. They only see what they are paying the entrepreneur, but they never see the costs incurred by the entrepreneur. It’s time for the entrepreneur to be open about it. In ninety percent of cases, the entrepreneur can never retire, is never allowed to get sick and work long hours compared to an amateur (client). However, the entrepreneur suffers from a lot of misery because the requirements are high. If nothing changes, a much bigger problem will arise. Pension stables become empty or at the expense of the horses’ welfare. Prices should go up, but at the expense. I think customers will become more creative. If they can no longer pay for their horse, there is someone they can share their horse with through a lease.

Solvej Rob, dressage rider and pensioner’s stable

From: Solvej
Although I regret that increased costs are making equestrian sports (even) less accessible to those on lower incomes, I think it is much needed. Like everyone else, realize how important horses are to your development, but the situation is unsustainable. Partly due to today’s society, people expect more and more, and there is also more knowledge these days. Owners rightly desire the best for their horses, preferably unlimited roughage, plenty of pasture, dry pasture, top soil, large stables, high quality fodder and a stable keeper available 24/7. Previously they were content with simple chests, a few simple straws and pellets, and grazing only in summer, and cell phones for asking questions at the craziest times were not available. Fortunately, that has changed! However, expenses and labor intensity have increased significantly as a result, but parking prices have not grown proportionately. Many equestrian entrepreneurs have no pension or AOW and work (well) below minimum wage, but at the same time many are expected of them. The current inflation is making it worse, and I’m afraid we have to accept that horse ownership is not for everyone. We hope that the municipalities will contribute to making our beautiful sport available to families who cannot afford it, but need to love these animals through social funds.

Ronald Bookers, owner of the Beukers riding school

Who: Ronald
Yes, but I find it very difficult. At a higher price, you are depriving some children of riding. I find it difficult, because in my riding school I see many children enjoy riding. We have eight or nine kids in the class. I’m thinking of making my collection bigger now. I’ve heard from other equestrian centers that they go from an hour of lessons to 45 minutes. This is a good option I think the only problem with this, even if you expand a group, is that it often takes ten minutes to switch groups. If you only drive 45 minutes and have ten minutes of work to switch groups, most only drive 35 minutes. It wasn’t long for these kids. Everything has obstacles. However, I will go to a larger group and will apply a price increase from May 1. The stable goes up anyway. We’ve already gone up from February 1, but I’ll go up again from June 1 or July. What I’m very busy with is buying food. Normally I make winter stock from straw in summer, but now I buy bales from last year. I try to keep costs down with what I buy now. Pressing a bale could become more expensive by up to ten euros this summer. And the price of a diesel tractor is already sixty or seventy cents higher than last year.

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