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While the backyard horse doesn’t always spark an image of high spending, a closer look at the recreational part of the U.S. horse industry paints a much different picture. Data from the American Horse Council’s “Economic Impact of the Horse Industry On The United States” confirms the size and impact of the recreational horse business.
Based on the data, almost 4 million horses are involved in the recreational market, making it by far the largest segment of the overall U.S. horse population. Annual recreational spending represents $32 billion, including $11.9 billion in direct purchases and $20 billion in other indirect and related effect expenses.
Statistics on full-time, part-time and seasonal employees were converted into a full-time equivalent basis to accurately determine the number of jobs generated by the horse industry. This analysis revealed that recreational horses generate 128,324 full-time equivalent positions. When indirect and induced employment numbers are analyzed, jobs in the recreational end of the horse business jump to 435,082 full-time equivalent positions.