Owning a horse can be a rewarding and beautiful experience. The bond between a horse and a human is rich and steeped in history.
However, the nuts and bolts of owning and caring for a horse can be overwhelming, especially for novices. Before you choose to purchase or adopt a horse, here are some questions you need to ask yourself.
What Do You Want To Do With Your Horse?
Some people seek horse ownership simply for prestige or companionship, but most people have in mind certain equine activities they want to participate in. And we do not mean you have to sign up your horse for racing events and to be part of Del Mar best bets.
We are talking about horseback riding, an obvious choice, but there are many different disciplines or ways to ride. Some are competitive, while others are merely meant for relaxation or exercise. Some can even be therapeutic.
Each discipline has different requirements. Trail riders need long distances outdoors with varied terrain and obstacles. Competitive riders might need jumps courses or a barrel racing facility. Some disciplines, particularly those connected to Western-style riding and rodeo events, require more than one horse and rider, or other animals. Therapeutic animals, of course, require special training and temperament tests. However, if you have a nervous or skittish animal there are CBD pellets for horses that will help calm them , making them better for therapeutic use.
What Kind Of Horse Do You Want?
Like dogs, different breeds of horses excel at different disciplines. Once you have an idea of what your goal for horse ownership is, you can decide what kind of horse will best suit you.
Thoroughbreds are, of course, most famous for racing, but many older Thoroughbreds often enjoy jumping. They have a streamlined, athletic body, and a hot, competitive spirit.
Quarter Horses are the ideal ranch and rodeo horses. They are even-tempered and willing horses, whose bodies are built for short bursts of incredible speed.
If you want a horse who can keep going and going and going, an Arabian might be the way you want to go. Arabians are one of the oldest breeds of horses in the world, and thousands of years of breeding to run over the sands of the Middle East have produced horses with unequaled stamina.
There are many other breeds of horses, and mixed breeds as well. Again, as with dogs, there are rescues available to help match you with the horse that will best suit your needs.
Where Do You Want Your Horse To Live?
There are a few stories that go viral online of horses who push their way not only into their owners’ hearts, but their houses as well! However funny those stories may be, though, this situation is not practical for the vast majority of horse owners. For most owners, the decision will come down to two options: housing the horse on your own property, or boarding the horse with someone else. There are benefits and drawbacks to each situation.
The main benefit to having your horse on your property is, of course, the fact that you will have your horse right there with you! You will be able to spend as much time as possible with your horse. You will also have the final say in your horse’s day-to-day care, such as what time feedings occur, where baths take place, and how often the horse gets groomed.
However, not every horse owner has the space or budget to house a horse on their property. Keeping the horse on your property also means that you are solely responsible for all upkeep of not only the horse but the facilities your horse will live in.
If you are the caretaker, you will have to make sure that you have the time to provide optimal care for your horse, which includes grooming, feeding, transporting, and providing veterinary care. If you choose to hire employees to help out with your horse, you will also be responsible for your employee’s pay as well as the liability that comes with working with horses.
If you choose to board your horse with a facility, those who operate the facility will often be the ones doing the basic upkeep. They will mow their own pastures, repair their own fences, and typically have contact with veterinarians. They will be the ones responsible for feeding the horse and keeping their stalls clean.
However, this comes with a price tag. Different facilities have different boarding rates and requirements. Some require notice before you come to the property to spend time with your horse. And, as sad as it is, not all boarding facilities are responsible, so you will need to observe your horse’s care and behavior to make sure that those the horse is staying with love the animals as much as you do.
Owning a horse can be a wonderful experience, but there is no doubt that it can be overwhelming! Asking yourself these questions and doing the research before taking the plunge can be extremely helpful.