December 13th: National Day of the Horse

December 09, 2022 2 min read

What is National Horse Day?

National Horse Day is celebrated every year on December 13th in the United States. It’s a day to remember the economic, historical, and cultural contributions that horses have made to our country. With over4.6 million Americans involved in the horse industry and 2 million horse owners, many people celebrate these amazing animals every year. Whether you are an active horse lover or prefer to admire horses from afar, here are some fun things to know about National Horse Day.

History of the National Horse Day

In 2004, Congress designated December 13 as National Horse Day. It is a day to celebrate and appreciate the role horses have had in building our country and their role in modern America. Horses shaped America’s history from the first settlers. They provided transportation for the earliest settlers, allowing them to travel to undiscovered areas. Horses were the only power for farming and logging. While it is easy to see horses' impact before the Industrial Revolution, you may not be aware of the massive economic impact horses have in today’s society.

After the Civil War, the popularity of horse racing flourished. The desire to compete and display horsemanship skills encouraged horse shows to appear nationally. The stories of heroes and their trusted horses began playing on the radio and television. Today, horses are not as central to the daily lives of Americans as they once were. 

Most horses in the United States are domesticated. However, you can see wild horses in government-designated Herd Management Areas in ten western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. The primitive Native American horses died out 13,000 years ago. European colonists reintroduced today’s wild horses into America in the late 1400s. 

Horses contribute roughly $9.2 billion to the US economy annually. In many areas in the country, horsepower is used for plowing fields, moving supplies in rural areas, and moving livestock. Horses are also used as guide animals and for equine therapy. Aside from work, many people own horses for showing and pleasure. 

As horse owners, we know the value of a horse doesn’t necessarily lie in the purchase price or the amount you pay for boarding, training, and feeding them. Horses are our partners, our confidants, and our friends. The emotional value of a horse far exceeds the monetary value of a horse lover.

National Horse Day Statistics

In honor of National Horse Day, we thought we’d share some exciting horse statistics from theAmerican Horse Council!

  • Horses contribute $9.2 billion to the United States economy annually.
  • There are 9.2 million horses in the United States.
  • About 600 wild horses live on islands off the coast of Georgia and North Carolina. These horses were left centuries ago by settlers.
  • The horse industry directly provides 460,000 full-time jobs.

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