The HAS University of Applied Sciences’ Equestrian Monitor 2020 is out. The 9th edition of this report was published on 30 October. This year the focus is on capitalising on the sector's sense of pride.
Our Horse Event has been cancelled, so this year all subscribers to De Hippische Ondernemer (The Equestrian Entrepreneur) will find the Equestrian Monitor in their letterbox. This means a huge increase in circulation. The Equestrian Monitor is composed of various studies conducted and collected together by HAS University of Applied Sciences and the Trendpanel Paard (horse trend panel). This year the focus is on capitalising on the sector's sense of pride.
The bond with the horse is important
For many years, their close bond with their horse has been the most important reason why people continue their activities in the equestrian sector. In this year's Dutch National Equestrian Survey, HAS University of Applied Sciences has shed more light on what a good bond is, and how it can be strengthened. The main conclusions from this study are that the most important aspect of a close bond is 'confidence' and that the rider's personal profile influences what a rider finds important in that bond.
Showing the value of interacting with horses
Within the equestrian world, different groups often emphasise different aspects of this bond and these differences are often used to openly cast doubt on the sincerity of the bond that someone else feels with their horse. There is a clear mission for the equestrian world to demonstate the power and value of interacting with horses to the outside world. These internal divisions over the sincerity of the bond with horses diminish the strength of that message.
Safeguarding horse welfare
The 2019 public opinion survey also stresses the importance of welfare. The Dutch public sees no problem in keeping horses, as long as the horse sector safeguards horse welfare. This is currently a matter of self-regulation and Dutch public opinion supports this. It is up to the sector to maintain that support: to demonstrate that welfare is a priority and to make use of the opportunities available to show the importance we attach to welfare in visible and measurable terms.
Welfare was also a focus area in the HAS University of Applied Sciences’ research project 'The gap in the market'. This research identifies opportunities for animal-friendly innovations aimed at improving the horse's sporting performance. A survey of 203 riders shows that riders are mainly looking for help with training, nutrition and their own physical and mental condition.
The following studies have been compiled in the Equestrian Monitor:
- Public Opinion Survey 2019, Trendpanel
- Dutch National Equestrian Survey 2020, HAS University of Applied Sciences
- Innovation research, HAS University of Applied Sciences
- Equestrian Sector Monitor, ABAB Accountants and Consultants