By Ericka Crist
Douglas County Ag Literacy Coordinator
Today in Ag in the Classroom we learned about horses. There are more than 300 breeds of horses and ponies around the world! Horses have been used for hundreds of years. Today farm equipment and automobiles have replaced the horse. In the western United States, horses are still necessary to rope and brand cattle. Horses are also vital for moving cowboys through the rough countryside when rounding up their herds. In large cities such as Nashville and Chicago, horses are used by police to patrol crowded areas. Horses are used to provide therapeutic riding for disabled adults and children. Many people ride for pleasure and enjoy horse racing and rodeos.
Horses are a major segment of Illinois agriculture. There are over 219,000 horses in Illinois. Horses are a $3.8 billion industry in Illinois and account for over 15,000 jobs. Horses consume 500,000 tons of hay and grain worth nearly $100 million each year.
Today’s horses are well fed, well rested, and regarded as gentle companions and helpers.
Students made horse puppets, studied horse characteristics, and learned about horse skeletal structure.
Douglas County Ag in the Classroom is sponsored by Douglas County Farm Bureau, Douglas County Ag Center, and Illinois Ag in the Classroom.