Albeit limited, there is today nevertheless a return being made in the use of the draft horse, if only due to the interest its usage raises for the public.
In certain urban areas, the horse is used for small-scale household waste collection. The arguments put forward for such use are ecological (carbon footprint reduced by half compared to motorised vehicles) and social (the importance of the link created by the presence of a horse among the population).
The horse is also used in working vineyards. In 2005, there were about 80 horses used by winemakers. The main argument used by wine growers is, beyond their passion for the horse, the possibility of chemical-free vine maintenance using an animal whose weight prevents soil compaction, which would increase the life expectancy of the stocks.
A horse costs EUR 9,400 per year compared to EUR 13,700 for a traditional truck and EUR 22,800 for an electric truck
The horse is also present in the organic gardening practised in small-scale farming, where the animal can play a more effective role than a tractor. In 2012, an estimated 12.5 million hectares are still cultivated in France with the help of horses.
The horse is also used by skidding companies. In 2009, more than 40 skidding companies were listed. For work on uneven or reduced-space terrain, the horse proves irreplaceable. In other urban sprawls however, such as parks, its use is a political and ecological choice.