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New Hampshire Statewide Equine Economic Impact Study

by Lisa Derby Oden and the New Hampshire Horse Council, Inc.

Boarding credit Jackie Pierce smallerNew Hampshire horse owners participated in a survey conducted during late 2002 and early 2003. This survey was the first of its kind for the New Hampshire equine industry. The results document the economic contribution that horses, ponies, mules and donkeys make to New Hampshire agriculture, and demonstrate how the equine industry interrelates with other industries in the state, such as tourism.  The survey collected information about the breed, use and type of management, as well as included sections to determine acreage devoted to equine use, employment and economic data from horse owners.  The survey was a joint project of the New Hampshire Horse Council, Inc., and New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation.  The organizations coordinated with University of New Hampshire Department of Resource Economics and Development Funding for survey design, implementation, and results interpretation.  Data from this study will be correlated with results from questions asked on the October 2003 Granite State Poll, conducted by University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Funding came primarily from a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, and was also supported by Purina Mills, Poulin, Nutrena, Agway and Blue Seal.

Highlights of the study:

  • The survey generated a response rate of 41%.
  • 54% of the reported equines were in three counties – Hillsborough, Merrimack and Rockingham.
  • 5% of New Hampshire adults currently own one or more horse, pony, donkey or mule.
  • 7% of New Hampshire adults who do not currently own an equine are very interested in owning one, and another 6% are somewhat interested in owning one.
  • The estimated median value was $8,500.00 per equine.
  • Light horse breeds account for 71%; race horse breeds 13%; pony breeds, 7%; draft breeds 6%; and donkeys and mules 3%.
  • Pleasure riding, trail riding, and showing were the most common equine uses.

Farrier 2 credit International Museum of the Horse smaller

The total value of all equine-related assets reported by 2,353 respondents was $385 million. The median value for equine-related only land, fencing and buildings was $110,000. This figure does not represent other assets such as trucks, trailers, tack and equipment, stable supplies, tractors and other supplies.

The median paid for board and training fees was $3,000 annually.  62% of respondents keep their equine at their own residence. The median number of miles traveled by those that board their horses elsewhere in order to interact with their horse was 1,172 miles per year.

53% of respondents own a horse trailer or van.  The median number of miles the respondents that traveled with their horses to shows, trail rides, pleasure riding and for health care traveled was 400 miles.

Complete study reports are available at:

These figures are only for New Hampshire.  What would they be in your area or your state?  Such statistics are important for use in preserving an equestrian way of life.