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We posted a poll on May 25th, 2013 requesting a list of horses people owned, for what purposes and what routine drugs they administered to them.  Yes, it’s a loaded question and this is not a scientific poll.  However it does give a general representation of the treatment of horses in North America.  You can read it here:

See the original poll here.

There were a total of 70 responses, however some spun off into other discussions, debates and additional comments.  Therefore we are only counting 41 as “unique” responses for our purposes.

References to drug administration on horses were counted only when referenced.  This is not the amount of times that the drug was administered but rather the number of respondents that stated they had used the drug.  Please note however that the vast majority noted multiple doses over the years with multiple horses.  An actual count would be impossible.  This should reinforce the impression that drugs are given as needed and are NOT taken into consideration when it comes to if this horse will eventually be on someone’s plate.  That is NEVER a consideration.

Drugs100% of the responders had used Phenylbutazone and Dewormers on their horses.  This is significant when taking into consideration the commonality of using a drug banned from human consumption is as common as treating for internal paracites.  34 posters or 78% said that they vaccinated their horses.  61% reported administered Banamine.  This should help to give some perspective as to the severity of drugging the common horse in North America.

The breeds that were specifically referenced (not all gave breeds, several had multiple breeds and many had multiple horses over decades) were:

Sport ponies
Quarter Horse
Thoroughbred
Standardbred
Not Specified
Arabian
Morgan
Percheron
Warmblood
Tennesee Walking Horse
Mustang
Miniatures
Paint
Appaloosa
Welsh Pony
Mule
American Saddlebred
Pony Of America
Hackney
Donkey

Uses of these horses were Racing, Recreational, Pleasure Riding, Hunters, Breeding, Show horses, Dressage, Barrel Racing, Team Penning, Reining, Driving, Pets / Lawn Ornaments and my personal favourite, Companions for other horses.

Why is that my favourite?  Because again, it highlights the general attitude towards horses in North America.  Horses that have horses, just to keep them company and happy.  Yes, they are herd animals and require companionship in order to thrive.  However it goes to show the investment that people make into the emotional well-being of their horses, to go so far as to get another horse just to keep their current horse happy.

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Please comment below to share your impressions.  If this surprised you, if it didn’t or if you want to add something.  I’d like to hear from you!

If you would like to add your horses and the drugs you administered to them, please do so on the other thread and not this one.  I wouldn’t want to miss any and trying to keep track in multiple places just won’t work.  Again, you can find it here: Poll Thanks!

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