NAHMS Equine Survey Findings

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herd of horses trees

11% of horse facilities reported 20 or more horses, which comprises 42% of all horses in the U.S.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System’s (NAHMS) Equine 2015 study collected data regarding health and management practices from a representative sample of equine operations in 28 states. It was a cooperative effort between two U.S. Department of Agriculture Agencies: the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

The purpose of the Equine 2015 study is to provide comprehensive health and management information as well as facts and figures about the state of the equine industry. The corresponding report highlights demographic

Here are some findings of interest:

  • The most common breed is the Quarter Horse (42.1%), with the greatest number located in the West and Central region.
  • Draft horses are more prevalent in the Northeast region (15.2%).
  • The highest percentage of Tennessee Walkers was found in the Southeast region (15.1%).
  • The vast majority of horse owners maintain full-size horses (93.8%), a figure that includes draft horses, but not miniatures.
  • A higher percentage of donkeys or burros were reported in horse facilities located in operations in the South Central (23.7%) and Southeast regions (18.8%).

The report also includes key information about the size of horse operations across the country. For example, the study highlights:

  • Approximately 89% of the horse operations included in the survey have 19 or less horses on the property and that group makes up of 58% of the entire horse population in the United States.
  • The other 11% of horse facilities reported 20 or more horses, which comprises 42% of all horses in the US.

The full findings from the survey and corresponding Info Sheets are available at no charge at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/monitoring-and-surveillance/nahms/nahms_equine_studies.