The Equestrian Industry

Photo by Rafael Toledano Illán on Unsplash. The Equestrian Industry.

The equestrian industry is a million dollar business involving every state of the US. However, it can be hard to pinpoint specific statistics on how much the industry contributes to the economy. To fix this problem, the American Horse Council commissioned a study in 2017 to get more accurate numbers. The study focuses on the financial information and trends that are shaping the equestrian industry. It was able to show how much money the horse industry is making and in what ways. Additionally, the horse industry contributes $50 billion to the GDP of the United States. According to the study, there are 7.2 million horses in the country. The following list shows estimated numbers of horses by activity from the AHC’s study.

US Horse Industry Statistics

  • Recreation Horses—3,141,449 Horses
    • Privately owned as pets. Also, these horses do not farm or in any way produce substantial income.
  • Showing Horses—1,227,986 Horses
    • Performance show horses. Shows include reining, jumping, and much more from a wide array of horse training.
  • Racing Horses—1,224,482 Horses
    • Racing event horses. These include popular derbies like those found at Santa Anita Park in California or the Churchill Downs in Kentucky.
  • Working Horses- 537,261 Horses
    • Working horses refers to horses that are used to perform a task, typically by agricultural means.

Is the equestrian industry an exclusive club? This is a common misconception. Actually, nearly half of the horse owners in the US are from the middle class, earning $25,000 to $75,000 annually. Also, many people make a living in this industry. The equestrian industry has a direct employment impact of 988,394 jobs. Additionally, the industry itself contributes $38 billion in direct wages, salaries, and benefits. Are you one of the many horse owners in the US? Looking to relocate to the state of Colorado? Our team at Colorado Horse Property is made up of highly-qualified, horse-person realtors. Contact Colorado Horse Property today!

FAQs Colorado Horse Properties

Photo by Filipe Dos Santos Mendes on Unsplash. Horse properties.

Owning a horse property means that you can have your horses at home. This is a fact that’s much more appealing than the alternative of keeping your horses boarded off-site. Not only is it less convenient, it is also very expensive. Therefore, if you’re planning on becoming first time horse buyers, you might have to move in order to have the space and freedom you need. Here are some facts about horse properties that we get asked about a lot. You should consider them when looking for a home for you and your horse.

Frequently Asked Questions about Horse Properties

Space is very important and you should determine how much land you need before you start looking at properties. Three acres may be sufficient if you want to have a small backyard barn with two horses, but that will differ from person to person. Plan ahead of time of how much you want to grow your herd. You may need more land than you originally thought. Then there’s barns. Some horse properties will already have them and some of them will not. Just because a house is zoned for horses and other animals doesn’t mean that the previous owner had them. Therefore, the property might not have a barn. There are many barn builders in the state of Colorado. Plan out how much of a barn you will need and then shop around.

What about pastures? Are they already available on the property? Are they large enough to support the number of horses that you plan on having? If possible, look at the quality of the grass in the pastures. Having pastures with lots of grass can help to reduce your hay bill during the summer. Finally, take a step back and look at the overall layout of the property. Is the barn located behind the house or off to the side? Are the pastures easily accessible by road? A property’s layout can be a major feature which isn’t easily changed. The Realtors here at Colorado Horse Property know what to look for when it comes to horse properties and can help you find the perfect home for you. Give the Colorado Horse Property team a call today!

Three Draft Horse Myths

draft horse myths

What Are Draft Horses?

The Daft Horse is a breed of large horses. For instance, the Shire Horse, Sampson, a Draft Horse, holds the world record for the biggest horse. Old horse owners bred Draft Horse’s to be a working animal, doing hard tasks such as plowing and other farm labor. There are several breeds of Draft horses, like the Irish Draft, the Latvian, and the Breton. These breeds exhibit varying characteristics, but all share common traits of strength, patience, and a docile temperament. These traits originally made them indispensable to generations of pre-industrial farmers. However, you have probably dismissed draft horses for riding because of common misconceptions associated with these breeds. The following are some myths about Draft Horses and the truths behind them.

Draft Horse Myths

  1. Riders can’t mount a Draft Horse unaided on the trail.
    This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the Draft Horse. Common sense tells us that it is difficult to mount a tall horse on the trail. However, there are ways to overcome this. Start by training your draft horse to stand still while you mount. You can even train your horse to kneel, making mounting easier.
  2. Draft horses are slow.
    Uneducated riders might look at a Draft Horse and think they are genetically modified or overweight. This is not true. Yes, Draft Horses are much taller than the horses people typically ride, but they were bred that way just others are bred to be smaller. A healthy draft horse has just as much energy and is just as capable of cantering and galloping as any other breed.
  3. Draft horses are harness horses, not riding horses.
    Yes, their size makes them great harness horses. They can pull wagons and plows with ease. But don’t think they can’t be saddled up as well. Not all Draft breeds are incredibly big. Don’t forget about the Gypsy Vanner, the Norwegian Fjord, the Haflinger, and the Friesian.

For more information about Draft Horse, contact Colorado Horse Property today. If you are looking for horse property in Colorado, contact one of our horse-person realtors for help.

A Seeing Eye…Horse?

Guide Horses

That’s right. Instead of getting the traditional seeing eye dog, a lot of people in the blind community are getting guide horses. They are provided by The Guide Horse Foundation. The foundation was founded in 1999 to provide miniature horses as assistance animals to blind users living in rural environments. There are several perceived advantages to using a horse rather than a dog. Miniature horses, with an average lifespan of thirty years, live much longer than dogs, and for those allergic to or frightened of dogs, a horse could make a good alternative. However, while a dog can adapt to many different home situations, a horse must live outdoors, requiring a shelter and room to move about when not on duty.

Training Guide Horses

The process of training a guide horse is rigorous and takes about eight months for each horse. Initially, the horse is trained in basic lead work, in which the horse is taught to move at the speed that the handler commands and to navigate common obstacles. On average, miniature horses may live one-third longer than large horses. Miniature horses chosen for assistance horse training weigh approximately 55–100 pounds. Eyesight is vital for a guide animal for blind users. Horses generally possess excellent vision. With eyes placed on the sides of their heads, they possess nearly 350 degree vision, are sensitive to motion in their field of vision, and often detect a potential hazard before their sighted trainers. Horses also have excellent night vision and can see clearly in almost total darkness. Read our blog to find out more on miniature horses. Looking for a horse property? Contact Colorado Horse Property today and talk to one of our horse-person realtors.

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Colorado Horse Property

Miniature Horses

Miniature Horse

Defining The Miniature Horse

Miniature horses have won the hearts of many. Let’s look at what defines a miniature horse and their history to figure out how. In short, miniature horses are defined by their size. They can be found in many regions, like Europe and the Americas. They are the result of centuries of selective breeding. Depending on the breed, the height of miniature horses is usually less than 34–38 inches. They are measured at the last hairs of the mane, which are found at the withers. Some miniature horses are only  considered to be very small ponies. Others retain horse characteristics and are still considered “horses.” Miniature horses have various colors and coat patterns like their taller ancestors.

Miniature Horses in History

These horses were first bred in Europe in the 1600s. By 1765 they were seen frequently as the pets of nobility. Others were used in coal mines as a way of transporting goods down tunnels. This was in a response to improved child labor laws. Miniature horses and ponies that were used in the mines were called “pit ponies.” Shetland ponies were most frequently seen, although any small, strong ponies that would fit in the small mine shafts were used as pit ponies. The first small horses in the United States date to 1861, when John Rarey imported four Shetland ponies, one of which was 24 inches (61 cm) tall. Additional small British horses, as well as small Dutch mine horses, were brought to the US throughout the late 1800s.

There are many horse show opportunities offered by registries and show sanctioning organizations worldwide. Many classes are offered, including halter (horse conformation), in-hand hunter and jumper, driving, liberty, costume, obstacle or trail classes, and showmanship. For more information on horse related topics like horse properties for sale, contact Colorado Horse Property today.

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Colorado Horse Property

Horse Stable Surfaces and Flooring

Stable Flooring

What Surface or Flooring is Best for Your Horses?

So you’re thinking about building or renovating your stables and you don’t know what surface you should use for your horse? We can help. Most of the specialists will tell you that one of the most important things for your horse’s health is what they walk on. What a horse walks on has such an impact on their joints. The following is a list of surfaces commonly used in horse stables. For more information, contact Colorado Horse Property today. I you are looking for a horse property for sale, one of our horse-person Realtors® are standing by.

Surfaces

Soil, Sand, or Clay Surfaces—Chances are, the area that you’re stall is built on top of already has one of these three surfaces to begin with. Leaving this surface intact is inexpensive and a healthy option for your horse. However, your floors may require daily upkeep so they stay level. The soil will eventually have to be replaced over time.

Even clay surfaces will require a lot of maintenance in horse stalls. If the clay surface gets wet, it can be dangerously slippery for your horse. Horses are known to inadvertently dig holes in clay where they are most often positioned. If you decide to use or keep a clay surface, remember to use a layer of crushed gravel underneath.

Crushed Limestone Surfaces—Opposed to a more natural surface, this type of surface will have to be installed. The benefit of crushed limestone is that it provides good drainage if properly installed with several inches over a bed of sand. It’s also a non-slip surface. However, limestone can pack to an almost concrete-like hardness, which means stall mats and/or deep bedding will be needed to provide comfortable footing for your horse.

Gravel of Crusher Dust Surfaces—Fine gravel or crusher dust can be a comfortable, safe stall flooring. It must be well packed and level when it is put in. The benefit of crushed gravel is that it provides good drainage if properly installed several inches thick. It’s also a non-slip surface. However, gravel or Crusher dust is not as easy to clean as concrete. Over time the gravel will compact down which means stall mats and/or deep bedding will be needed to provide comfortable footing for your horse.

Asphalt Surfaces—Asphalt is a bit easier on a horse’s legs than concrete and can be made so it drains relatively well. When first laid, asphalt is non-slip, but may become slicker over time. It needs to be laid thick enough that it does not crack. It’s easy to clean, although disinfecting the porous surface may be difficult. Asphalt may be one of the less-expensive options for stall floors and aisles.

Flooring

Concrete Flooring—Concrete flooring is very common in stables. It is very durable and easy to clean and is hard to damage. It can be slippery, so while very smooth finished concrete may be attractive and easy to sweep in feed and tack rooms, textured concrete is better for stalls and aisles. If horses are kept in for long periods of time, it will be healthier for their legs if rubber stall mats are laid over the concrete, or at very least, the stall is bedded deeply. It also tends to be very cold and damp, so some horses may be reluctant to lie down in their stalls.

Rubber Mat Flooring—Several types of Rubber mats are available for stalls and stable walkways. Equestrian mats are easier to clean than gravel or natural ground as they can be hosed down or swept. A thick rubber mat provides great cushioning for your horse’s legs as well as insulation. Rubber mats are best if laid over a nice flat surface that drains well. They are often used on top on concrete and usually come in the form of interlocking tiles that can be cut to fit your stalls or chosen area.

Wood Flooring—Wood was once the standard flooring material in horse stables. Wood floors are easier on a horse’s legs than many other choices. It’s warm, non-slip when dry and has relatively low upkeep. Treated wood is required to prevent rot from urine and water spills, and to dissuade rodents and bugs from chewing through it. The wood planks should be at least two inches thick and sit atop a base of sand or gravel for drainage. Any spaces between planks need to be filled with sand so that feed and bedding don’t spill through.

The downside of wood floors is that they can be slippery when wet, they can hold odor, can be damaged by pawing horses and can be hard to disinfect. The cost of plank flooring is one factor that makes this a less popular option than it once was.

Interlocking Brick Flooring—Interlocking brick or pavers are attractive but present the same problems as concrete floors. Because of the grooves between the pavers, they can be a bit harder to clean. Rubber and synthetic bricks are other options, and these are easy on a horse’s legs, provide good drainage and are non-slip. This is probably the most expensive option for stall and aisle flooring.

Grid Flooring—Several types of grid floors are available for stalls. These honeycomb-patterned grids are laid over a few inches of sand or crushed gravel and then filled with crushed gravel or stone dust to make a floor that drains well.

Colorado Horse Property

Types of Horse Barns and Sheds

Horse Barn

What Type of Horse Barn Suites Your Needs?

One of the things that horse owners have to keep in mind when moving, is what type of outbuildings they’ll need. Maybe you need a small shed for your horses or maybe you require a bigger horse barn. But what type of shed or barn fits your needs the best? Below is a list of the most common horse barns and sheds.

If you are looking for horse property in Colorado, consider contacting one of our horse-person Realtors at Colorado Horse Property. You can also search our site for horse properties for sale and properties for sale with barns.

Horse Barns

Pole Barn—A Pole Barn is different from other types of barns because its framing is built of wood roof trusses connected to vertical columns. These barns also have secondary structural members such as wall headers, roof purlins and wall girts to support the exterior cladding.

Post and Beam Barn—A Post and Beam Barn uses heavier wooden timbers than other types of barns. The wooden timbers join together with either carved wood joinery or metal heavy duty plates. Post and beam barns have an exposed structural frame, which a lot of horse owners like for the aesthetics.

Modular Barn—A Modular Barn is a type of horse barn that is delivered completely built or delivered in pre-built sections and assembled on location. Completely built modular barns include portable horse sheds, small storage barns and similar buildings. This type of barn is typically more affordable.

Gable Barn—A Gable Barn is  simple a type of horn barn that has a triangular shaped roof.  The roof on the Gable Barn has a single slope on each side of the roof. Because of the natural A-shape of a gable barn, they are also referred to as A-Frame Barns.

Gambrel Barn—A Gambrel Barn is a type of barn that has a double sloped roof on each side, with lower slopes having a steeper roof pitch than the upper slope. Gambrel Barns are also sometimes called Dutch Barns. A Gambrel Barn is mostly constructed for the purpose of having extra attic space.

Bank Barn—A Bank Barn is a type of horse barn that’s built into the side of a hill. This unique building style is to provide access to both first and second floors at ground level or via a built-up ramp. The first floor of a Bank Barn is built with either cement blocks filled with concrete or poured concrete walls, to make it stronger.

Monitor Barn—A Monitor Barn is a type of barn that has the center portion of its roof raised or pushed up from the main portion of the roof. This raised roof is typically supported by the addition of knee walls. This type of barn is also commonly referred to as a Raid-Roof Barn.

Horse Sheds

Lean To Shed—A Lean-to Shed is a type of shed built with a large front overhang which is supported by posts and headers. This overhanging room provides better protection for your horses that experience regularly experience poor weather conditions. The overhanging section can be enclosed if you decide to build on to the structure.

Run In Shed—A Run-in Shed is a type of shed with three sides and an open front that provides horses and other farm animals with a temporary shelter from weather elements. This type of shed was originally built for horses to literally run into the shed. A Run-in Shed can also be used as a loafing shed.

Shed Row—A Shed Row is a horse shed with a single row of stalls. You can think of a Shed Row as a Lean-to Shed without the overhanging roof structure. You can also think of a Shed Row as a Run-in Shed that is covered on all sides. In other words, this type of shed is the middle ground between the other two types of sheds.

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Colorado Horse Property

11 Unusual Horse Terms

Zebroid
  1. Broodmare—another word for a mare or an adult female horse that is used for horse breeding.
  2. Cob—A stocky, rather small equine, or a large pony. Often a general description, but also applied to certain breeds such as the Welsh Cob. A bridle size designed for horses with small or short heads. Usually keeps a long browband and throatlatch to accommodate the wide forehead and jowls of cobs and other horses with somewhat wedge-shaped heads, such as the Arabian or the Morgan.
  3. Croup—The topline and immediate underlying musculature of the hindquarters. Runs from the tail to the loin, and from the point of the hip to the point of the buttock.
  4. Daisy Cutter—An equine that moves with long but low movement. Considered highly desirable in hunter-type horses.
  5. Damsire—The sire of the dam of a horse, analogous to the maternal grandfather in humans. Often known as the broodmare sire or maternal grandsire.
  6. Frog—A tough, rubbery, triangular part of the underside of a horse hoof that acts as a shock absorber for the horse’s foot and also assists in blood circulation of the lower leg.
  7. Jennet—A small, gaited equine of the Middle Ages, developed originally in Spain, used as a riding animal. Another word for a female donkey.
  8. Outlaw—A horse that is vicious or cannot be handled by humans.
  9. Quirt—Short-handled, flexible, weighted whip, of braided leather or rawhide, that is used by some Western-style riders.
  10. Typey—Slang for a horse that conforms to its breed standards, or type.
  11. Zebroid— Hybrid offspring of a zebra crossed on another equine, term includes the zorse, zony and zedonk.

10 Terms Only Horse Lovers Know

Horse Sand Roll
  1. Amble—A general term for a range of four beat intermediate speed horse gaits. These gaits are approximately the speed of a trot or pace but far smoother to ride. Various terms for lateral ambling gaits, based on style, speed or rhythm of gait and breed of horse.
    These include the slow gait, single foot, running walk, stepping pace, paso llano, rack, tölt, and paso largo. Ambling refers to lateral gaits but may be applied to all four beat intermediate speed gaits. These include the diagonal four-beat gait referred to be terms such as fox trot, pasitrote, and trocha.
  2. Balking—When a horse refuses to move. Multiple causes, including disobedience, fright, and pain or injury.
  3. Bolting—When a horse suddenly runs away, with or without a rider. When a horse eats its feed too rapidly.
  4. Bucking—A behavior where the horse lowers its head and rapidly kicks its hind feet into the air. At liberty, seen as an expression of excess energy or high spirit, under saddle is generally considered a disobedience, except in sports such as the rodeo sports of Saddle bronc and bareback riding, where the horse is deliberately encouraged to attempt to dislodge its rider.
  5. Canter—A three-beat horse gait, with both front and rear legs on one side landing further forward than those on the other side – see lead below. In Western riding, the canter is known as a lope. The order in which the feet hit the ground varies depending on which legs are leading, but the gait begins with the outside hind, followed by the simultaneous landing of the outside front and inside hind, finished by the inside front.
    There is a moment during a canter when all four hooves of the horse are off the ground, known as the moment of suspension. A similar gait is the gallop (see below) which is performed at a higher speed, when the second beat is broken into two footfalls, making it a four-beat gait.
  6. Counter Canter—A form of the canter where the equine is deliberately asked to canter on a curve with the outside leg leading, which is opposite of usual. Also known as galop faux, false canter, or counter lead. It is used to help build muscle and suppleness in a horse.
  7. Dressage—A classical form of equine training, involving the gradual training of the horse in stages. An Olympic level equine sport based on classical principles of horsemanship, involving taking tests designed to gauge the training level of horses in classical dressage. Lower levels of dressage competition are organized by national equestrian organizations, but the higher levels, including the Olympics, are governed by the Federation Equestre Internationale.
  8. Hand—A measurement of the height of a horse. Originally taken from the size of a grown man’s hand but now standardized to 4 inches. The measurement is usually taken from the ground to the withers. If expressed with a period and number after it, the number represents additional inches, so 15.3 hands (“fifteen-three”) would be 15 times four inches, plus three inches – that is, 63 inches (160 cm).
  9. Rearing—When a horse rises up on its hind legs. If performed while being handled by humans, is usually considered a severe, dangerous disobedience. Occasionally, horses are trained to rear on command for uses such as film or circus work. Rearing may occur while an animal is loose, being ridden, or while being handled by a human from the ground.
  10. Sand Roll—A stall or yard covered with deep sand, which is used by horses to roll in after exercise.

Colorado Horse Tack

Colorado Horse Tack

Horse Tack for Sale

If you’ve ever spent a day on a ranch and aided in the care of horses, then you’ve probably been in a tack room. Inside would have been bridles, bits, halters, shanks, saddles, pads, wraps, fly masks, and blankets. Also, there are buckets and grooming tool organizers stuffed with brushes, combs, hoof pick, sponges, chamois, sprays, shampoo. This is horse tack. Anything used to dress or care for the horses nearby. Most of these items can by hung up on the wall, with a few items stored in cupboards. Cupboard items may include cleaners, conditioners, polishes, rags, and sponges to maintain all that tack and equipment.

Make sure to lock up your tack room at the end of the work day. The cost of all that tack and gear is astronomical. The comfort and safety of your horse is paramount. Therefore, it is essential to take extra steps,making sure that your tack and equipment is kept safe. Also, cleaning your tack is important. As much as tack should be cleaned regularly and the bit and stirrups washed and wiped dry, the challenges of keeping tack in perfect condition can be overcome by having them in a secure and dry place. Leaving your tack outside and in the elements will greatly reduce their lifespan.

A lot of your tack will be made out of leather. Leather is treated animal skin and has about 25 percent of its original moisture. Today’s tanning process, which takes about six weeks, permanently alters the protein structure in the skin, making it more durable and less susceptible to damage from bacteria. Knowing how to care for your leather products in your tack room is very important. Looking for Colorado horse property for sale? Contact one of our horse-person realtors today.

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