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Types Of Horses | Kentucky Gearing Up For New Horse Census

Posted By: JR

A statewide horse count, the first of its kind since 1977, begins this year, and those involved will spread the word locally Tuesday.

The Clark County Extension Office will host “Pastures Please!” for the first time, led by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extensive Service agents in counties including Clark, Bourbon and Fayette, along with the UK Ag Equine Programs. It is an educational workshop for farm managers and horse owners, and organizers say it could help attract veterinarians to different counties.

The 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey, led by UK, the University of Louisville and the Kentucky office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, will be a statewide, comprehensive survey of all breeds of horses .

“It’s a survey (where) they use sampling but it’s done in such a way that we should be able to get an accurate estimate of the number of all breeds of horses, ponies, mules and donkeys county by county,” said Dr. Jill Stowe, an assistant professor at UK who is leading the project and who will speak about it at the workshop.

According to a news release, the study aims to give local communities the correct data needed to promote equestrian activities for local tourism.

Stowe said the first step to the survey is putting together a comprehensive list of all horse owners and horse operation owners in the state. From there, the National Agricultural Statistics Service will sample the different facilities at different rates depending on their size of operations.

To prepare for the survey, those involved with the project, like Stowe, have been traveling the state to educate people about the project and to gather ideas from those involved with the equine industry.
Stowe said by providing local communities with an accurate horse count, the numbers could attract veterinarians to the area, and higher horse counts could help recreational horse owners lobby for horse trail development.

Holly Wiemers, communications director for UK’s Ag Equine Programs, said the survey is an important project because right now, there is no accurate count of what types of horses are in Kentucky and where. The survey, she said, will give the state statistically sound information.

Other topics at the workshop include herbicide use in pastures, pasture fertilization and deworming of horses.

Frank Hicks, UK Agricultural Extension Service agent for Clark County, said the workshop will be useful to both those in the horse business and those who are simply horse owners, particularly because of recent weather patterns.

“Horses primarily live on pasture and spend a lot of time on pasture, and … horses tend to be rough on pasture. They’ve got big, heavy feet and by nature they tend to graze in particular areas,” he said. “And so the maintenance of horse pastures, keeping them productive and keeping them looking nice … to do that there are some things that need to be done, and weather conditions the last three or four years have tended to complicate the management of pasture.

“We’ve had some dry spells and some very wet spells and either of those tends to cause pasture conditions to deteriorate.”

The workshop begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Clark County Extension Office, 1400 Fortune Drive. It is free and open to the public. Those interested should RSVP through the extension office at 744-4682.

Contact Katie Perkowski at kperkowski@winchestersun.com or follow her on Twitter, @TheSunKatie.

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