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One among Many

If you live in a horse community, you know that many people simply love their horses and many will have more than two or six. If you live in a patch that is sparsely zoned for horse properties, you might wonder if you are the only horse aficionado on the block. For anyone who has ever wondered just how many horses are being kept in the United States, there are some interesting numbers to peruse.
According to the National AG Statistics Service of the USDA, there were – on December 31, 1998 – 5.3 million horses reportedly kept in the United States. Granted, some might have gone unreported, but by and large this does appear to be a correct figure. To properly understand the figure, you need to keep in mind that what actually had been asked during the surveys the USDA conducted were how many equines a horse owner had. This means that not only horses – strictly speaking – but also donkeys, burros, mules, and ponies were included in the agency count.
Yet before you decide to take these figures to the bank, remember that there are some discrepancies between the agency’s numbers and the numbers that some of the individual states may have. For example, the state of Virginia reported in the year 1995 that within its border there were 225,000 horses accounted for while the USDA only counted 150,000. A similar discrepancy was noted in a collection of seven counties located within Maryland which were estimated to have about 80,976 horses in 1994 only to have the USDA claim that the entire state of Maryland only has 45,000 horses! Lat but not least, there is the noted differential in numbers between the United States Equine Marketing Association with its 1996 estimate of 11,429,361 horses, which is more than two times the amount of horses the USDA claims are currently found on United States soil.

Thus, while you might be skeptical of the USDA, here are the numbers in thousands – by state – it has released: Alabama, 130; Alaska, 2.4 ; Arizona, 135; Arkansas, 70; California, 240; Colorado, 145; Connecticut, 26; Delaware, 10; Florida, 170; Georgia, 70; Hawaii, 7; Idaho, 145; Illinois, 100; Indiana, 140; Iowa, 100; Kansas, 105; Kentucky, 155, Louisiana, 65; Maine, 17; Maryland, 45; Massachusetts, 35; Michigan, 130; Minnesota, 155; Mississippi, 75; Missouri, 140; Montana, 130; Nebraska, 75; Nevada, 70; New Hampshire, 8; New Jersey, 45; New Mexico, 65; New York, 155; North Carolina, 140; North Dakota, 40; Ohio, 160; Oklahoma, 170; Oregon, 120; Pennsylvania, 170; Rhode Island, 2; South Carolina, 65; South Dakota, 75; Tennessee, 190; Texas, 600; Utah, 75; Vermont, 20; Virginia, 150; Washington, 155; West Virginia, 43; Wisconsin, 120; Wyoming, 62.

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For cutting and reining horse events, you definitely need a saddle that’s designed to help you "ride in balance and sit the stop." First, you want a saddle that was designed and built specifically for reining or cutting. Both of these designs have their individual advantages but remember, just because the manufacturer "calls" it a reining saddle doesn’t mean it was designed "well" for reining.

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