More people got involved in horseback riding during the pandemic due to the outdoor nature of the sport. This is according to Pam Prince of Trident Farm in Deerfield. Trident Farm boards, trains and breeds horses — they’ve got about 60 horses on the farm.
Prince says like other businesses, her family’s farm had to shut down at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trident Farm received grants and loans through federal and local relief programs to help with expenses, such as feed, when the business was unable to hold lessons.
Trident Farm was able to open back up to the public quickly because it was outdoors. Pam says it’s a sport that drew new riders, both adult-age and kids, and the business grew. She adds she believes the interest will continue even after the pandemic is over. The anecdotal response from clients is that riding and caring for horses is enjoyable, a fun family activity and good exercise.
Prince also gives Mid-West Farm Report a feel for just how labor intensive horses are — the animals require a lot of attention. Horses require vet visits, careful feeding and special grooming. Trident Farm feeds its horses free-choice hay, meaning hay is out all the time. It includes both grass and alfalfa hay. Not all stables use the same ratios. Trident Farm also has a grain nutrition program curated to each horse.
She says costs have been relatively steady for the grain, but hay continues to go up every year.