National Day of the Horse Date in the current year: December 13, 2024

National Day of the Horse National Day of the Horse, sometimes referred to as National Horse Day, is observed annually on December 13. It was created to highlight the historic, cultural, and economic contribution of horses and celebrate these majestic animals that have been by our side for millennia.

The horse was domesticated by humans thousands of years before the Common Era. It is believed to have happened somewhere in the Eurasian Steppe; the earliest archeological evidence of domesticated horses was found in Kazakhstan and Ukraine. From there, domesticated horses spread across Eurasia. They were widely used for agricultural work, transportation, and warfare as early as 3000 BCE.

The use of horses for their initial purposes (except for maybe agriculture) has declined since those early days, but these animals have remained loyal companions to humans. Today, horses are used in a variety of sports competitions, as well as in recreational activities, entertainment, therapy, and police work.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, there were around 33,500,000 domesticated horses in the Americas as of 2008, with an estimated 9,500,000 in the United States alone. The American Horse Council claims that the direct impact of horse-related activities on the US economy is more than $39 billion; if we take into account indirect spending, the impact is more than $102 billion. So it is not surprising at all that Americans celebrate National Day of the Horse in honor of these amazing animals.

December 13 was designated as National Day of the Horse by a United States Senate resolution in 2004, and has been celebrated every year since. It should be noted, however, that the resolution didn’t go any further than that, so National Day of the Horse is not an officially recognized federal holiday. Nevertheless, it is supported and endorsed by many equine organizations, including the American Horse Council - the only national association in the United States that represents every segment of the country’s equine industry.

How can you celebrate National Day of the Horse? Well, the perfect way to celebrate horses is to learn more about them! You can look up interesting facts about horses online, watch a documentary about horses, read a novel featuring horses (Black Beauty by Anna Sewell is a classic), or book a horseback riding lesson.

Donating to an equine charity is another great way to celebrate National Horse Day. There are a lot of charities dedicated to helping horses in need; you can choose one of them or make small donations to several charities because even a couple of dollars can make a difference. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday by sharing your personal stories about horses and the joy they have brought to your life on social media with the hashtags #NationalDayOfTheHorse and #NationalHorseDay.

National Horse Day should not be confused with National Horse Protection Day, sometimes referred to as World Horse Day. Celebrated on March 1, National Horse Protection Day was established by pet and family lifestyle expert Colleen Paige to raise awareness of equine welfare.

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National Day of the Horse, National Horse Day, observances in the US, nature-related observances, equine welfare