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  • Writer's pictureThe PFERA Team

How horse breeders can THRIVE in the 21st century

When computers started making their way into homes in the 1980's, no one could imagine the impact they would have. For the average person and business owner, there was little to show that this level of technology would be here to stay. Businesses had been operating for so long off of manual labour and pen&paper, there was a risk of switching to something so new and unproven.

Fast forward to today, we know that technology (while ever evolving) is here to stay. No one can debate that it hasn't done wonders in improving efficiency, productivity and bottom lines. If it didn't, the tech industry wouldn't exist and we would have gone back to horse drawn plows decades ago.

So why are so many in the horse world still resisting the change when all other agriculture industries have taken it in stride?

Is it because product turnover in agriculture is much quicker?

Animal agriculture and cash crop farms are selling product every few months or using rotational farming to have a consistent income. On the other hand, many horse breeders have to wait a year or longer before they are selling offspring and turning a profit.

Does this mean technology isn't a worthwhile investment for horse breeders? No! Just the opposite. The long sale cycle means horse breeders have even more pressure to stay within their means and maximize efficiency to turn the highest profit when it comes to sell. Upfront costs such as stud fees, ongoing expenses like veterinary work, risk of accidents, and the ever changing market can have breeders holding their breath until the horse loads on the trailer to their new owner.

Is it because breeders aren't operating their farms like a business?

There seems to be a fine line where breeders consider themselves hobbyists as opposed to business owners. The truth is, whether you have 2 mares or 200, if you're investing significant amounts to breed your horses with the goal of selling them, you are a business.

Horses aren't a new commodity, they've been sold for centuries and the demand will always be there. However, it doesn't mean your share of the market is secure. Someone can always come along and put you out of business solely based off of the fact that they have learned to breed and manage their business in a smarter way.

The truth is, if you want your breeding operation to thrive in the 21st century, you're going to have to place strategic goals to improve and grow your breeding business. Embracing technology is a huge step forward (and can be scary for some), but the FoalPoint team is here to help you every step of the way.

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