How a Government Shutdown Would’ve Affected the Horse Biz


Hey there, partner. This is The Oxer by Pegasus. The newsletter that takes you out of your tack room and into the global equestrian industry.

🐴 Here’s what we’ve got for you today:

  • How a government shutdown would’ve affected the horse biz: Answering any “what if’s” you have.

  • This is what an urban equestrian center is: The biggest study on UECs and its findings.

  • How to get a front-row seat to your regional equestrian industry: Hear the latest episode on The Pegasus Podcast with Shawna Mills, admin of the Facebook group Southern New Hampshire Equestrians.

  • How to get a job as an equestrian sales rep in Britain: Leonie Peacock, founder of Kick On Recruitment, on The Pegasus Podcast.

  • Final Foals: Check them out after the second story of this edition.

Before we get into it, have you signed up to try out Pegasus’s beta?

If not, head to Pegasus, click “get early access,” and sign up today!


Get ready for some great stories this week 👇

🇺🇸 The US Government Shutdown Was Avoided, but How Could It Have Affected Horses?

What happened?

  • The US government narrowly avoided a government shutdown.

  • If the government were to shut down, here’s how it would affect the horse world.

Our jump on the subject

Government shutdowns aren’t an infrequent occurrence to the American people.

There have been ten government shutdowns in the past 40 years, whereas in most countries a government shutdown is usually parallel with “revolution, invasion, or disaster.”

We’re an equestrian business newsletter, so we won’t go too deep in the weeds related to why government shutdowns happen so frequently in the United States.

That being said, it should be noted that a government shutdown could have dire consequences on horses in the country.

When a government shutdown happens in America, it’s usually because the legislative branch did not pass a bill that keeps all of the government’s services funded, aka the budget.

You can think of it like a startup running out of money, but in the government’s case it’s only temporary because we do have the money—it just happens when members of the legislative branch don’t agree on the allocation of that money by a certain deadline.



As a result, “nonessential” services that the federal government of the US normally funds are no longer funded until legislation was passed to keep it working. Some of these services may have funding outside of the annual budget that could keep them running.

An essential service that is related to horses in America includes “animal quarantine import/export activity,” meaning that horses that come through US borders will still be inspected by the USDA and will continue “certain veterinary activities.” This is probably deemed as an essential service because it’s a health and safety issue.

However, parks and recreation are usually deemed as nonessential services. This means that, if a government shutdown were to happen, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Fish and Wildlife Service would all cease operations until a budget were to be passed.

If you depend on public land for trail riding, you wouldn’t have been able to use it.



Finally, and probably most detrimentally, a government shutdown would have stopped the processing of visa applications and temporary worker programs.

This would have prevented employers in our industry from getting the workers that they need—exacerbating the shortage of labor we already have.

If you’re a competitor from outside of the States and needed a visa to come and compete, you probably would’ve had your visa delayed as well.


What happened?

  • A study by British Equestrian and the Sport & Recreation Alliance has found that urban equestrian centers (UECs) have a positive impact on the communities in which they operate.

  • The study, which interviewed staff and volunteers at 13 UECs in the UK, found that these centers provide a sense of community, favorable social outcomes, and benefits to physical and mental wellbeing.

  • They offer a variety of educational and social programs, such as riding lessons, horse therapy, and community events.

  • About half of the UECs studied are nonprofits, whereas the other half are private ventures.

Our jump on the subject

One reason why the study took place is that there hasn’t been a comprehensive research profile on the operations of urban equestrian centers overall.

There’s even a lack of clarity on what exactly defines an urban equestrian center.

In the report, the UECs that were studied share the following characteristics:

  • They are in or near an urban environment.

  • Have a smaller arena or they don’t have one at all.

  • They may use public ground for riding activities.



Such research, therefore, is needed in order for us riders plus the general public to better understand what UECs are and how they work.

Researchers found that there are over 80 UECs in the UK, but chose to study these 13 specifically due to factors such as being able to travel to one in 20 minutes from the city.

A remarkable feature of the UECs studied was the evident ethnic diversity.


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