While Colorado and Denver in particular may be a “Cow Town” in the historical sense, we’ve seen such an increase and change of demographics, that our industry continues to be at risk of simply disappearing. Based on historical trends and industry reports, some of the biggest threats to the equine industry in Colorado are currently:
- Drought and wildfires: Colorado is prone to drought and wildfires, which can impact the availability of feed and water for horses, as well as pose a threat to the safety and wellbeing of horses and their owners.
- Disease outbreaks: Equine infectious diseases such as West Nile virus, equine influenza, and strangles can spread quickly in horse populations, potentially leading to illness and death. Outbreaks of equine diseases can cause significant economic losses for horse owners and the industry as a whole.
- Urbanization and loss of open space: As Colorado’s population continues to grow, urbanization and development can lead to loss of open space and land that is suitable for horses. This can make it more difficult for horse owners to find affordable and accessible facilities for their animals, and limit the opportunities for equine-related activities and events.
- Changes in legislation: Changes in state or federal legislation related to the equine industry, such as new regulations or taxes, can impact the profitability and viability of equine businesses and organizations in Colorado.
- Economic downturns: Economic downturns or recessions can impact the disposable income of horse owners, leading to reduced spending on horses and related activities. This can result in decreased demand for equine services and products, and lead to closures of equine businesses and organizations.
It’s important to note that these are just a few of the potential threats to the equine industry in Colorado, and the specific challenges and risks facing the industry may vary depending on the location, type of equine business, and other factors.
There are several significant threats to the equine industry in Colorado, including:
- Urbanization: Colorado’s population is growing rapidly, and as urban areas expand, land that was once used for agriculture and equine activities is being developed into residential and commercial spaces. This can make it difficult for equine businesses to find affordable land for facilities and grazing.
- Water availability: Water is a scarce resource in Colorado, and equine businesses may struggle to find adequate water supplies for their operations, particularly during times of drought.
- Cost of feed: The cost of hay and other feed for horses can be high in Colorado, particularly during drought conditions when hay production is limited.
- Regulatory challenges: The equine industry is subject to a range of regulations at the federal, state, and local levels, which can be costly and time-consuming to comply with.
- Economic downturns: The equine industry, like many other industries, is vulnerable to economic downturns, which can lead to reduced demand for equine-related services and products.
- Equine diseases: Equine diseases, such as equine influenza and West Nile virus, can be a significant threat to the equine industry, particularly if they spread rapidly through the horse population. Outbreaks can result in quarantine orders and travel restrictions, which can disrupt equine events and activities.