Agritourism includes equine tourism. Equine tourism includes using horses for horseback riding lessons, trail-riding opportunities, boarding facilities and reproduction services and may provide profitable value-added businesses.
According to the 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture (2009), there were more than 4 million horses on farms in the United States. Texas accounted for 10 percent of the total, followed by California and Kentucky.
The U.S. horse industry contributes $39 billion in direct economic impact, according to a 2005 study conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP for the American Horse Council Foundation. The U.S. horse population was estimated at 9.2 million.
In a separate study on “backyard” horses released in 2007, the American Horse Council found more than 3.9 million horses were used specifically for recreational activities. Of those, 1.4 million were quarter horses. Another 228,000 were thoroughbreds and 2.3 million were listed as other breeds.
The backyard horse study also indicated the effect on gross domestic product was $32 billion. Of that, $11.9 billion was in direct effects and $20 billion in indirect and induced effects from horses used for the recreation industry.
- Agricultural Tourism - This site provides a list of agritourism links, resources and information on managing an operation, as well as a database of agritourism operations.
- American Horse Council - A national association representing all segments of the horse industry.
- Behavior and Training Articles - This site features a wealth of articles on behavior problems, training methods, as well as tips for different riding styles.
- Boarding Horses, Agricultural Alternatives, Penn State University, 2004 - Discusses planning an operation, facilities, options, marketing approaches and more.
- Entertainment Farming and Agri-Tourism, Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA), NCAT, 2004.
- Horse Trails and Campgrounds - A state-by-state directory of trails and horse-friendly campgrounds.
- Horsetrip.com - Site features a state-by-state directory of stables, horse motels, equine-friendly camping, and bed and breakfasts that will stable your horse after a long day on the road.
- Horses - Information on general horse care, shopping, articles, classifieds, magazines, chat forums and more.
- Kentucky Equine Research - This site features back issues of published vet research, as well as new issues of the publication Equine Review.
- North American Trail Ride Conference - One of a number of competitive trail ride organizations in the United States. A competitive trail ride is not a race, but competitors cover a marked course in a given period of time. The horse is judged on condition, soundness and trail ability on natural trail obstacles. The rider is judged on presentation (not showmanship), grooming (no artificial enhancements, polished hooves and more), trail equitation (not prettiness of form), trail safety/courtesy, stabling and more.
- Promoting Tourism in Rural America, National Agricultural Library, Washington, D.C. - This site includes links on ideas to consider, funding and marketing considerations.
- Rails to Trails Conservancy - Works to enrich America's communities and countryside by creating a nationwide network of public trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors.
- Showbarns.com - Select your state on this site to find stables, boarding and riding attractions in your area.
- Trail Riding Articles - This site features a variety of articles pulled from various horse publications.
- Green Aces Riding Stables, Jamesport, Missouri - This stable, next to Poosey State Park, is a well-known hot spot for Missouri equestrian lovers and riders alike.
- Saddlebrook Appaloosas, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin - This operation uses a live barn cam on foaling mares to move additional seedstock and encourage visitors to the operation.
- Twisted Tree Farm, Scottsdale, Arizona - This operation trains beginners to advanced riders, as well as boards horses.
Links checked March 2013.