Michigan Horse Council

Promoting and Protecting the Horse Industry Since 1973 

Michigan Horse Council

Promoting and Protecting Michigan's Horse Industry Since 1973

Michigan Day of the Horse

..On September 21,2016 the Michigan Horse Council sent a request to Governor Snyder requesting that he proclaim December 13 as the Michigan Day of the horse. Governor Snyder signed the proclamation and December 13 is now officially the Michigan Day of the Horse. The date of December 13 coincides with the date designated by Congress as the National Day of the Horse. We would like to Thank Connie Frey for all her help in this matter.  Thank you to Governor Rick Snyder for acknowledging that Horses are in important part of History .


National Day of the Horse is celebrated annually on December 13.

National Day of the Horse encourages people of the United States to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history and character of the United States.

The domesticated horse we know today, also known as Equus caballus was introduced into North America by Spanish explorers. Escaped horses eventually spread across the American Great Plains.

Interestingly, there is a debate about the origin of E. caballus. There have been recent mitochondrial studies of an ancient horse called Equus lamei. E. lamei once populated North America and died out more than 11,000 years ago. The studies suggest it is genetically equivalent to what we know as the modern, domesticated horse.  This could mean that E. caballus is technically a native species and its evolutionary origin is North America.

Aside from the anthropological debate, the horse has contributed greatly to the advancement of civilization in North America. From clearing forests for farmland and a form of travel bringing pioneers to the west, to diversifying Native American’s hunting habits and rounding up live stock on ranches, the horse is embedded in American history and legend.


Use #NationalDayOfTheHorse to post on social media.


On November 18, 2004, United States Senate Resolution 452 recognized December 13 as the National Day of the Horse.


Day of the Horse: A call for unity

February 9, 2017 Category: Livestock by Paul W. Jackson

“The economic elements of equine are just one thing that needs to be recognized.”

For all the hard times Michigan’s horse industry has fallen upon, there was plenty of room for optimism late last year when the Michigan Horse Council held its first state “Day of the Horse” in Lansing.

Meant to be a complement to the National Day of the Horse, the event saw low attendance but high enthusiasm.

“We started this process in the spring because of the National Day of the Horse on Dec. 13, said Colonel Don Packard, president of the Michigan Horse Council.In 2016, the Michigan Horse Council sent a request to Gov. Snyder requesting that he proclaim Dec. 13 as the Michigan Day of the horse. 

He signed the proclamation.

With that day now esteemed annually, it’s time for the state’s equine industry to finally pull in the same direction, Packard  said.

“The Horse Council went through some rough times last year, and now we’re trying to focus on reuniting the horse industry in Michigan,” he said at the day’s celebration. “We’re trying to be sure that the council focuses on the industry and on horses and the future of equine in Michigan. We’ve been outgoing and pleasant to everyone we can think of, whether its draft horses, thoroughbreds, mini-horses, trail riders and all the others. But we have no agenda. We’re looking at the big picture and how to move forward.”While moving forward sometimes means different things to different horse enthusiasts, there are some things in the works that may end up lending unity to Michigan’s sometimes fractured equine industry.

“The council has approved a $17,000 price to participate in a national impact study of the horse industry and what our share of that is,” Packard  said.

Other developments may include an ongoing investigation into a horse park, combining dogs and horses in a venue still to be decided, potential for an all-inclusive horse facility at one Native-American casino, and many other things that are still on the drawing board.

The day was also meant to celebrate Michigan’s system of 25 equine trails, said Paul Yauk, Michigan DNR state trail coordinator.

“By celebrating the Day of the Horse, it brings a recognition to the industry,” Yauk said. “The benefits are key, since there are only so many public dollars to go around for infrastructure, land, utilities and trail maintenance. But the economic elements of equine are just one thing that needs to be recognized. Besides that, people who bring in trailers, spend money on a weekend, buy hay and equipment, all have a major impact. There is also community involvement, recreation, and the other things that can’t be so easily measured, but we need to focus on the future and focus on the positive.”

The day also featured the launch of a public service announcement on horse safety.