National Day of the Horse

Every year since 2004, December 13th is celebrated as the National Day of the Horse. Designated by Congress as a day to encourage people to remember the contribution of horses throughout history and in the modern era, both to the economy and to the character of the United States. This national day might only be a young tradition, but horses have always been intrinsic to American life. They have been our companions for thousands of years.

Horses’ contribution to society has greatly helped its advancement. From cultivating the land to help grow crops for early settlers and working on ranches to round up wild stock, they have contributed greatly to the U.S. economy. In general, horses contribute approximately $9.2 billion to the U.S. economy. As well as their agricultural input, they also provide equine therapy; a method that enhances physical and emotional healing by utilizing the connection between people and horses.

Getty Images / Moment / Tabitha Roth

Each year enthusiasts all over the country gather together and show their appreciation for these magnificent creatures. Even if you’ve never been on a horse before, or if you’re a seasoned rider, there are so many ways that you can celebrate in order to recognize this day. There are multiple places where you can arrange a horseback ride. If that’s not your thing, why not dedicate your next movie night to horse movies with classics like Black Beauty and National Velvet.

Many people choose to use this time to read books about horses, both fictional and historical. There’s also a lot of organizations dedicated to helping horses. You can always do a bit of research and find out how you can help them out as your contribution to this day. The American Horse Council encourages people to recognize the importance of this national day and released a short video explaining the work they do, asking people to repost with the hashtag #NationalDayofTheHorse.