The Idaho Horse Council was organized in 1975 with the purpose of creating a united front representing horse organizations, individual horse owners, and others involved with the horse industry in Idaho.
The Council was created because charter members realized that: “As horse ownership and use increases, so do restrictions in the form of administrative or legislative regulations concerning various issues including travel, trail use, zoning, health requirements, horse shows and rodeos, tax status, racing, and access to state and federal lands.” The original founders believed that unless the horse industry is vigilant, informed and united, it will have no appreciable impact on the myriad of regulations beginning to affect the industry.
The Idaho Horse Council’s goals include:
Other accomplishments of the Idaho Horse Council include a Horse Census completed periodically in cooperation with the University of Idaho’s College of Agriculture or Boise State University. The last census revealed that horse owners in Idaho have an estimated asset total of $1.6 billion related to their horses. They also contribute to our state’s economic well-being with an estimated $7.57 million in total sales relating to horse ownership and other horse-related expenses. Equine ownership in Idaho has increased by 23% since the last equine census too. Consequently, horses and equine-related events have a tremendous economic impact on our state.
The Idaho Horse Council has been successful in creating an Idaho Horse Board whose purpose is to award grants to various groups and individuals. The grants must be used only for promotion, education or research. To date, members of the board, who are appointed by the Governor, have awarded almost $500,00.00 to widely varied groups including 4-H Clubs, Special Olympics, CSI Equine programs, the Sho-Ban Equine Science Program, Idaho Rodeo Stock Producers, Back Country Horsemen of Idaho, the University of Idaho’s mare-reproduction research program and various county fairgrounds to name a few. The Idaho Horse Board grants are funded through the brand check-off that is collected and administered through the Idaho State Brand Office.
The Idaho Horse Council has an educational scholarship program supporting graduates of Idaho High Schools with three scholarships annually for students who have been active with some form of equine activity. In addition, the Idaho Horse Council supports equine youth programs and other equine youth educational activities.
Each year the Idaho Horse Council produces the State’s largest equine EXPO that attracts exhibitors and spectators from across the United States. The EXPO features highly regarded trainers from across the state and nation; the latest in equine related products ranging from jewelry to arena equipment; entertainment; industry-related seminars; competitions, and youth educational activities. A private treaty horse sale can also be a regular feature of the EXPO.
In 2003 the Council published the first Equine Industry Directory. It contains information about the Idaho Horse Council, Idaho Youth Horse Council, Idaho Horse Board, State Brand Board, Government contact information, Federal and State Campgrounds, Overnight Stabling and the Legislative Effects on Ownership. Also includes a directory of related organizations and industries ranging from arenas, artists, boarding facilities, breeders, books, clothing, tack supplies, fencing, graphic designs, insurance, shows and events, race tracks, ranch supply stores, realtors, riding lessons and riding schools, training, transportation, veterinarians and website design. The IHC is currently working to get this directory on line.