People who owned horses historically - how did they afford it? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-01-2012, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ponyboy View Post
In Europe, yes. In North America there was a time when most families had a horse. That's why we never got in the habit of eating them.

To answer the OP's question, everything horses need was cheaper back then because land was cheaper.

Good Lord, the RARAs and PETA folks must love you! You believe every bit of bunk they throw your way.

Up until the 1970s, horse meat was readily available to the American consumer, and it was in pet food until the early 1980s. So much for Americans 'never getting in the habit' of eating horse meat.

It's only been recently that Americans have taken it off their menus, and for some reason have relegated horses as being 'better' and 'more noble' than other livestock, which is anthropomorphizing poppycock.

The pioneers used oxen, NOT horses. Horses were far too delicate and expensive to be of any real value unless they had the means, just like today, to throw money into them. Plus, they couldn't afford to get sentimental over livestock. If it got hurt, it was slaughtered for food.
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Last edited by Speed Racer; 08-01-2012 at 09:02 PM.
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-01-2012, 10:15 PM
Green Broke
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yes I found the same data, seems like horse population peaked right at around 1915, but was about 20% of the human US population. Similar to the 1867 ratio. Which were a bit lower but I imagine that was due to the large scale loss in the south.
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-02-2012, 06:11 AM
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Horses aren't that expensive to keep.

The highest costs (at least for me) are agistment/board, farrier and transport (for me).

Even so, as a currently unemployed student, I live below the "Australian Poverty Line" meaning my income is in the lowest 10% of the population. And I still afford a horse on my own.

I just make different choices to most people, even to horse owners. The board costs that people seem to pay are for stables, indoor arenas, people to feed your horses, people to watch your horses. They're paying for other people to take care of their horse so of course it's expensive, not only are they paying for facilities that are expensive to build and maintain but also for the time spent by the people who work there. When you think of it like that no wonder its so expensive.

It's far cheaper to have self-care paddocks. Provided you buy a horse that isn't so highly strung it practically needs to eat constantly, many horses can live of decent paddocks without much need for extra hay, they just need some basic vitamin thing. Depends on where you live though.

I don't think horses have ever been overly common in cities, and for those outside of cities they would keep their horses own their own farms eating grass mostly. May even learn how to do their hooves on their own. At least that is the way it seems in Australia.
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