Where is the closest horse to me?

Which horse is physically closest to my current location? Tonight, I will set out to solve this pressing matter. For reference, my current location is — wait, is it safe to disclose my current location? The internet can be a dangerous place, so don’t do what I’m doing kids. Since it seems important that my location is known for my quest for my nearest equestrian friend, will disclose my information: I am at the desk in my bedroom at my house.

For further reference, a horse is a four-legged animal that’s brown sometimes and other colors at other times, though each individual horse does not change color (as I type this, I’m actually not too sure of this fact). A horse also has a long face and a mane and hooves and a tail. Now that we have established what a horse is and where I currently am, we can address the question at hand: where is the closest horse to me?

I start off simply, with a Google search, “horses near me”. According to the Google Maps suggestion, the closest stable to me is 4.3 miles away by car. I’ll bet there are horses there, so that’s a preliminary win for EquuSpring, LLC. Nevermind. They only sell horse supplies, but they don’t actually have any horses, which makes sense because they’re in the middle of an industrial park, quite an unsuitable horse habitat (again, I’m not sure of this. I should have done more background horse research).

The next runner up is the Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center and they have horses for sure. I checked. Since EquuSpring, LLC. has misled me about the existence of horses at their establishment, the Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center would probably be my best bet to find a horse at 5.2 miles away by car.

In the same Google search, I also spot a link for a Horse Finder. It seems like the fine people at Take Me Riding! have been plagued with the same question that currently plagues me:

Hey parents! Use this tool to find trainers, locations, events, and even riding centers near you, where you can take your family horseback riding!

Horse Finder, takemeriding.com

I plug in my ZIP Code™ as described by the United States Postal Service. Lo and behold! Red pins appear on the map of my local area informing me of the locations of trainers, events, and even riding centers near me! But alas, it’s to no avail – the nearest location is not close at all. The people at Take Me Riding! need to update their database of horse-related locations.

Surely there must be a horse closer to me than 5 miles. I muse over the problem. I think about horses and places and mull over the possibilities,

In a moment of clarity, I remember the Magnolia Animal Hospital. Then I realize that a horse is an animal and that an animal hospital might contain a horse. I decide to delve into this line of questioning and I am rewarded — the website has a page concerning the purchase, grooming, and diet of horses. Clearly, the Magnolia Animal Hospital must treat horses. And it’s only 1.3 miles by car!

While the animal hospital may be close by, it might not currently be treating a horse. There’s a simple solution: I call the number provided but since it’s 9pm on a Saturday night, it goes straight to an answering machine. We must turn to our friend: mathematics.

I search for demographics on horse ownership. It returns nothing relevant to my current area, so I do a little magic and refine my search by typing different words in the search bar, revealing a 31-page paper by Emily R. Kilber titled “The Demographics of the U.S. Equine Population”. Give me a minute.

Ok. I’m back. As of 2005, there were 51.4 people per horse and I’ll have to assume that these statistics have not changed since then and assume that they apply for my region. Most likely they’re lower, since I’m the middle of suburbia, not an ideal habitat for horses (again, I don’t actually know where horses normally live).

For these numbers to have any meaning we’ll have to determine the population serviced by the Magnolia Animal Hospital. The closest animal hospital to the Magnolia Animal Hospital is the Warner Avenue Animal Hospital, just below 1 mile away to its south. However, to the north of the Magnolia Animal Hospital the closest animal hospital is over 3 miles away. We’ll go halfway in between and give the Magnolia Animal Hospital a 2 mile operating radius or around a 12 square mile operating area. Given the population density of 8,926.5 people per square mile, the Magnolia Animal Hospital serves 107,000 people. With our previous statistic of horse density, we can deduce that the Magnolia Animal Hospital serves 2,000 horses, which seems extremely high, but we’ve gotten this far, so there’s no point in trying again.

Obviously horses aren’t sick all of the time, so I looked up “how often do horses get sick” and found a great thread on horseforum.com, which turned out to be a total bust. So, I’ll just assume that you take a horse in for a checkup twice a year, like a dental checkup, and that it lasts a day. Serving over 2,000 horses, it’s a safe assumption that there’s currently a horse in the Magnolia Animal Hospital.

With low to moderate confidence, the closest horse to me is 1.3 miles away.

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