Horses in the United States
In 2008, there were an estimated 9. 2 million horses in the United States. Modern use of the horse in the U.S. is primarily for recreation and entertainment. The horse became extinct on the continent approximately 8,000–12,000 years ago.
About Horses in the United States in brief
Horses have been a crucial component of American life and culture since the founding of the nation. In 2008, there were an estimated 9. 2 million horses in the United States. There are about 82,000 feral horses that roam freely in the wild in certain parts of the country. Horses remained an integral part of American rural and urban life until the 20th century, when the widespread emergence of mechanization caused their use for industrial, economic, and transportation purposes to decline. Modern use of the horse in the U.S. is primarily for recreation and entertainment, though some horses are still used for specialized tasks. The horse became extinct on the continent approximately 8,000–12,000 years ago. In 1493, on Christopher Columbus’ second voyage to the Americas, Spanish horses, representing E. caballus, were brought back to North America, first to the Virgin Islands; they were reintroduced to the continental mainland by Hernán Cortés in 1519.
The first horses to return to the main continent were specifically identified as the Spanish Horse. They predominated the southeast and western United States from 16th century until about 1850, when larger breeds with larger bodies were introduced. These horses were the ancestral group of the breeds or strains known today. They were the stock of the Colonial Horse, which predominated through the 17th century and into the 19th century. The modern horse is the result of crossbreeding with breeds from Spain and others from breeding establishments set up by Spanish in the Caribbean in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. It is the most popular horse breed in the world, followed by the American Quarter Horse, the American Saddlebred, and the Arabian Horse. It was the first horse to be domesticated in North America and is the only one to survive into the 21st century.