By the end of the century, the British equestrian community is hoping for more diversity, enhanced technology and better road safety, alongside an increase in sustainable practices.

The findings follow research by the British Horse Society (BHS), who undertook a survey to celebrate their 75th anniversary. Participants included more than 2,000 members, who shared their predictions and priorities over the next 75 years.

“As we proudly celebrate our 75th anniversary and all that has been achieved, looking forward is incredibly important too,” said James Hick, CEO of the BHS. “The results of our member survey really are quite fascinating. With personal wellbeing continuing to top society’s agenda, it is perhaps not surprising that 79 percent of BHS members believe riding will become a recognised therapy.

“We are working incredibly hard to make equestrianism more inclusive and are having some fantastic success in this area with our Changing Lives through Horses programme, but there is much more to be done and so I am really pleased that over two thirds of members see this as a top priority too.

“Road safety remains another focus for us, as does growing career opportunities for equestrians and more scientific research into horse care and welfare.

“As a passionate equestrian myself, it was also great to see that mucking out could be a thing of the past with 75 percent of respondents expecting automated systems to be the norm – although I’m sure that’s one task we’ll never see the end of.”

The survey’s key findings included:

  • Encouraging people from more diverse ethnic and social backgrounds to enjoy horses is a top priority for over two thirds (67%) of members.
  • 79% of members believe riding will become a recognised therapy.
  • 45% believe there will be dedicated off-road infrastructure for equines in most towns and villages, while 86% see improvements to off-road access as a priority. In 2021, 66 horses were killed on UK roads and 126 riders injured.
  • 50% of members predict the availability of virtual reality riding lessons.
  • Recyclable bedding will be commonplace, according to 67% of members.
  • 48% can see horse manure becoming a valuable alternative fuel.

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