Sunday, April 29, 2012

Boom, Bust & Echo

 Boom, Bust and Echo is a book written by David Foot, a professor of economics at the University of Toronto, on population demographics.  Canada has a very large population of baby boomers. While working as a professional in the computer industry, I was asked to study these trends and came upon this book.  Its a good read.

   According to David's website "When it was first published in 1996, Boom, Bust and Echo became a national phenomenon that demonstrated the power of demographics to help us understand the past and forecast the future. The book was on the Canadian best-seller lists for over 3 years and has sold more than 300,000 copies."
  How can we apply this to the horse industry? Perhaps we can tell the future trends of our industry to our benefit?
   Looking at the chart in the photo, most Canadians as of 2011, are between the ages of 45 and 54. In fact, the most number of babies born was in 1961. I know this because I was born in 1961. There is a significant drop off in ages 35 to 44 and again an even bigger drop in the younger ages.  This would mean that there are fewer horse people between those ages as compared to the 45 to 54 age group. This will obviously have an impact on the horse industry as a whole.
  Horse&Rider magazine did an article talking about the baby boomers and their affect on the horse industry. What does David Foot say about these numbers?
  According to his article,Get ready for the small town boom, David explains how baby boomers will be retiring to the small towns.  Great!  "With retirement looming over the next two decades, many Boomers will be seeking a slower paced life...Smaller communities can offer a viable alternative for the Boomers' retirement. Moving to a smaller community can provide them with an opportunity to cash in their city house and possibly add to their ever-challenged nest egg for retirement. "

  Perhaps these Boomers will want to spend some of their retirement money on horses?  Perhaps Boomers will now get that horse that they've always dreamed of owning. Let's hope so. The article continues: "By examining the spending and activity patterns of seniors, communities can develop facilities and services that will be attractive to this growing demographic. "
 I think this is where the horse industry needs to focus.  David finishes the article by explaining that if  "rural areas are going to take on the challenge of providing healthy and fulfilling lives to an aging population with a rapidly growing active young seniors group, they will need to create an inventory of existing community attributes and a plan to develop appropriate facilities and services for the retiring Boomers. "
   Barns dedicated to young seniors?  Older, well trained horses?  More trail riding activities?  I don't know if Baby boomers are interested in showing?  But they may want to get their grandkids involved.
   I certainly have seen the start of this trend. More and more of my students are baby boomers who are in retirement or just ready to enter retirement, who want to finally have a horse and learn how to ride better. Humm... Something to think about..

Putting my spin on my retirement!
@KISS Reiners

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