For several months this spring the Virginia Horse Journal had an ongoing discussion about whether there is a recession in the Virginia Horse Industry. One of the points that everyone agreed on was that the rising cost of gas was having an impact on horse ownership. Due to an increase in transportation costs prices of feed and supplies are going up. We will see an increase in the cost of hay this year in the Charlottesville, Virginia and Albemarle County area due to the higher price of fuel to run the tractors and hay making equipment. Luckily so far this summer we have had ample rainfall; so we should be able to buy hay locally and not need to incur the added expense of shipping hay in from other states.
Many stables are seeing customers cutting back on extras. They are taking fewer lessons and going to fewer horseshows. The stable owners are forced to raise shipping fees which also results in a smaller number of cllients who are able to afford showing. Unfortunately it is a no win situation as stable owners will either need to raise board or cut back on services. It looks like we will need to tighten our belts for a little while until the Virginia horse industry rides out the next few months before it can rebound as it always does.
In the meantime, if you are thinking of buying a farm, it may be the perfect opportunity to get the price of a lifetime. Buying or selling, I would be happy to talk with you about the Central Virginia and Albemarle County real estate market.