Each Friday morning, we will be sharing several facts and figures that will be helpful in seeing how you measure up business-wise with other farriers. This edition of Friday's Farrier Facts & Figures is sponsored by Markel Insurance Co. To read more from this series, click here.

How Many Horses, Ponies, Mules, Burros And Donkeys Are In The United States?

In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau placed the number of these animals living on farms at 3,913,938. This represented a decrease from 4,028,827 animals reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2007.

The 2012 figures include 3,621,348 horses and ponies living on 504,795 farms, or an average of 7.2 horses per location.

There were 292,590 mules, burros and donkeys living on 98,379 farms in 2012, an average of 3 animals per farm.

The Census Bureau definition of a farm is a place that sells $1,000 of agricultural products annually.

—Changes in the U.S. Equine Industry Report, 1998-2015, U.S. Department of Agriculture

When Radiographs Are Needed

When radiographs are absolutely necessary with a problem horse and a client refuses to contact a veterinarian to shoot the X-rays, here’s what farriers do:

  • 35% of farriers insist that a veterinarian be brought out for an examination or they will refuse to work on the horse.
  • 57% of farriers try to make the horse as comfortable as possible.
  • 8% figure out another way to do with the concerns.

— 2016 International Hoof-Care Summit survey