Horses are an important part of many people’s lives. From showing, racing, pleasure, companionship and work, horses play a special role in our lives and deserve to be recognized. National Horse Day was created as a day for us humans to reflect and be thankful for the role horses play in our lives and society. In this blog, we cover what the day formally means and how you and your equine companion can celebrate it.
History of National Horse Day
In 2004, Congress designated December 13th as National Horse Day. It’s a day to remember the economic, historic, and cultural contributions that horses have made. According to the American Horse Council, the equine industry in general, contributes roughly $50 billion to the US economy. Historically, horses have been an important part of rural life, helping to plow fields, moving people, food and supplies, and corralling livestock. Today, America’s farms and ranches still rely on horses to help with many of the daily chores, but horses are also seen as prized competitors and loyal companions. And let’s not forget that many gentle equines provide sweet, thoughtful equine therapy. Horses have essentially woven themselves into the fabric of our lives.
Equine enthusiasts across the country come together on December 13th each year to show their appreciation for these amazing creatures. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or have never been on a horse in your life, we have included some ways you can recognize this special day!
National Horse Day Activities
Spend time with your horse: A gift anyone can appreciate–human or horse–is the gift of quality time. Spend the afternoon with your equine companion and take some extra time to do some different activities. Try riding on a new trail, giving your horse a new and interesting toy, or spend some more time with them out in the pasture as they run, romp, and roll around.
Spoil your horse with a spa day: Maintaining your horse’s physical health is so important, and a spa day is the perfect way to give your horse the treatment they deserve! Take the day to give your horse a thorough groom and bath. When giving your horse a bath, try using products that soothe the skin and give your horse’s coat a nice shine.
Make your horse some homemade treats: If you are a horse owner, you know how much they love to eat! But no matter how cute they may be, we can’t simply feed them a snack that we would eat. Instead, it’s important to keep them healthy and happy with a balanced diet. There are some foods we know horses love–such as carrots and apples. So, why not take those and combine them with safe ingredients to make some delicious horse-friendly treats? If you don’t have a horse of your own, find out if there’s an equine therapy program nearby whose horses would enjoy something special from your kitchen. Homemade treats are a nice way to show our equine companions our love and appreciation. And there’s nothing like knowing that you’ve made them from scratch!
Watch a horse move: The next best thing to spending time with your horse is settling in to watch horse-themed movies. “Seabiscuit,” “Black Beauty,” “War Horse,” and “National Velvet” are just a few recommended classics and certainly some favorites of equine enthusiasts. “Dreamer,” “Secretariat,” and “Buck” are contemporary favorites that are sure to deepen your appreciation for your equine companion.
Donate to an equine charity: The financial need is great at most horse rescues, many of which rely on private donations to pay for everything from feed and hay to medication and veterinary care. They also often need many volunteer hands on deck to help with daily horse care, finding foster and adoptive homes, and hosting adoption events. Whether you donate supplies, time or money, giving to an equine rescue is an excellent way to honor the equines in your life and your love of horses.
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At the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), our number one priority is to promote the health and wellbeing of your pets. That is why we created the NASC audit program and the Quality Seal, which helps you identify animal health and nutritional supplements that come from responsible suppliers committed to producing the highest quality, most consistent products available. Visit our website to learn more and to see a list of NASC members that have earned the Quality Seal.