A Bit of Info About Horses in Boulder County

Did you know that there are more horses than cows in Boulder County?
In fact, there are approximately 15,000 cows (H. Lovins / Nat Cap Solutions 2011), and approximately 15,330 horses (Deloitte Touche/American Horse Council, 2005; and National Agriculture Statistics Service, 1999).DSCN0266

Boulder County ranks fourth in the total number of horses in Colorado, with 6% of the state’s horse population (NASS, 1999).

The horse community contributes approximately $94 million to the GDP of Boulder County every year (Deloitte Touche/AHC and NASS). This annual economic contribution includes hay and grain purchases, tack and supplies, trucks and trailers, tractors and equipment, veterinarians, farriers, horse trainers, lessons, breeding, horse sales, horse shows and clinics, therapeutic riding programs, and many other categories.

The market value of all farm products in Boulder County is $34 million (Cropland Policy, p8). The market value of horse hay in Boulder County is $8 million (Lovins’ estimate of 21,319 acres in forage x ave. yield of 3T/ac /2 (half to horses, half to cattle) x $8/bale average price.Thus the market value of horse hay alone is 25% of the market value of all farm produce.

A large proportion of Boulder County farmers produce hay and other forage for horses, in addition to other crops. Selling horse hay is a huge source of economic security for local farmers.

Horse people maintain undeveloped (“open”) land throughout Boulder County as grazing land and for hay production.

Many horse owners manage their horses on 40 acres or smaller parcels, whereas it is difficult to manage cattle on small acreages.

Most horse properties are well-cared-for and are agriculturally productive.

Horse people support Open Space purchases for agriculture, wildlife, and recreation.

Horses are important to the quality of life of thousands of Boulder County residents.

BCHA’s mission is to promote, protect, and unify the equestrian community of Boulder County through education, recreation, and legislation. The horse community is vital to the agricultural heritage, rural lifestyle, and economy of Boulder County. Please help us keep it that way by:

  • Write or email Boulder County in support of horses.
  • Volunteer with BCHA, we need Board members and event volunteers.
  • Join BCHA today.