There are approximately 6.9 million horses in the United States, more than in any other country in the world (American Horse Council 2000) (Table 1). That fact alone should inspire Americans to improve equine welfare, although it must be said that the state of domesticated horses is better now than it was fifty years ago.
At the turn of the millennium, the most pressing welfare issues of the domestic horse surround conditions found in slaughter and transport to slaughter; pari-mutuel racing; the pregnant mare urine (PMU) industry; the competitive and show industry; and in the development of husbandry-related stereotypes. (Urban carriage horses are a highly visible problem in some localities, since they usually are part of a local tourist industry, but they often generate concern out of proportion to their relatively small numbers.)
Houpt, K.A., Waran, N. (2003). Horse welfare since 1950. In D.J. Salem & A.N. Rowan (Eds.), The state of the animals II: 2003 (pp.207-215). Washington, DC: Humane Society Press.