Fun Farm Friends - Horses
Wisconsin-Horse.com tells us there are 9.2 million horses in the US, not including those that roam free. It says the most popular breeds come from Wisconsin. It has been estimated that there are nearly 180,000 horses in Wisconsin valued at $1.28 million.
The Wisconsin Horse Council (WHC) has said the horse industry generates $723 million in direct contribution to the GDP, adds $1.286 billion to the Wisconsin economy, and has a $2.241 billion economic impact. Jobs? It provides over 26,000 jobs.
Wisconsin’s geography is diverse. Horses here have a lot of room to grow and live. The state also has a lot of farms which can host horses, and train and breed them.
Horseback riding is popular in the state. Most do not own a horse and they live in metropolitan areas. There are many stables, boarding services, campgrounds, and resorts at which people can ride and learn to ride. The state also has many trails over which one can ride and enjoy the natural surroundings. There are also safe havens for horses in need.
There are fairs throughout the state that feature horses. You can get quite a show of their strength and personality by watching a rodeo or just riding them and caring for them.
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has one of the strongest equine programs in the nation, with more than 70 well-bred horses.
Horses can be used fir logging operations, agritourism operations like hayrides, wagon rides or sleigh rides. They complete tasks around the farm, such as hauling compost and manure, or plowing snow. They help move large numbers of sheep or cattle from one place to another. They pull plows through fields and transport crops. Indeed the horse drove operation of the farm before tractors came on the scene, and some farmers still use them for that purpose.
Horses have existed in North America for thousands of years. During one period, they were thought to be extinct. But the population increased markedly when the Spaniards brought them over. The likelihood is high that any horse you see in the state descended from those brought by the Spanish.
There are hundreds of horse breeds in the world, too many to identify here. But you can see here there are people just loving and enjoying them and their companionship.