College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources | Agricultural & Resource Economics | Animal Science | Equine Program


I. Introduction

Horses were an integral part of daily life in the early history of Connecticut through their use in the building of roads, clearing of land, and provision of transportation. Today, horses continue to play an important role in the lives of Connecticut residents in the form of leisure pursuits and related business activities. Relative to its size and population, Connecticut is purported to have a large horse industry that is also making significant contributions to the economy, but formal documentation of such speculations has been lacking. This report summarizes the results of the first study to quantify the size of the state's horse industry and analyze its various demographic and economic characteristics.1

The report is organized as follows. Section II provides a brief review of the existing horse industry research, focusing on a recent American Horse Council Foundation study. Section III describes the procedure we used to determine the size of Connecticut’s horse population and discusses the results. Section IV presents the demographic characteristics of horse ownership and use in Connecticut including environmental, health, and safety impacts. Section V reports on the findings of the horse-related businesses survey. Section VI draws inferences from several different dimensions of the data collected and discusses the economic and statistical implications. Concluding remarks are offered in Section VII.

1 For a more detailed discussion, see Nadeau, Shah, Chaudhry, and Maripani (2006)