Researchers at the University of Kentucky are seeking participants for a survey about the horse industry. The goal is to better understand who participates in horse activities and sports.
Called “Portrait of a Rider: Characterizing Active Participants in Horse Activities and Horse Sports,” the survey aims to help determine socioeconomic factors and type of participation of equestrians, which includes any person who interacts with horses. Compared to the amount of research on horse health, little research has been conducted on equestrians, despite the economic importance of this industry globally.
The survey includes questions about how participants are involved in the industry, income levels, education and to what degree horses were a part of each survey-taker’s background. The survey does not ask for a participant’s name, email or other contact information.
“This survey is an important step in making sure we understand who participates in the industry, where they are and generally get more details on their backgrounds,” University of Kentucky researcher Karin Pekarchik said in a statement. “There are some pressures that affect participation rates and workforce development in different areas of the industry, and this is one way to give everyone an opportunity to be counted.”
Although there are generalizations about who participates in equestrian activities, it is unclear if those generalizations are reflective of accurate socioeconomic factors or are perceptions based on stereotypes.
“This survey is aimed at understanding potential disparities that we have observed, but are not widely documented in the various sectors of equestrian participation,” said Kimberly Tumlin, another researcher involved in the survey.
Pekarchik and Tumlin hope to receive completed surveys from at least 1,000 people so they can create a statistically valid portrait of participants in horse activities. The online survey is open to anyone over the age of 18 and will be distributed in the United States and internationally. The survey will be open until March 31.
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