Horses are beautiful animals. They are fun to watch and can be fun to ride. However, if you want to own one there is a lot of information you need, and you should get it prior to purchase.
Time: This is a major element in horse ownership. Unless your horse is on full board, you will need to have time to clean the stall, feed the horse twice daily, groom it thoroughly, including picking out the hooves and see to it that it gets appropriate exercise. The fastest I’ve ever been able to clear a paddock is twenty minutes. A good grooming takes at least that long, and longer if the horse is shedding. Don’t forget the bathing part of grooming. That takes a while as well, particularly if the horse isn’t interested.
Illness: Like any animal horses can become ill. There are many different problems they can have and you have to be aware of what to watch for. Whether it’s an infected fly bite or colic, knowing what to do and catching it early enough to fix is important. Colic can kill very quickly.
Stabling: There are several different ways to stable a horse. If you have horse property, you can keep it on your own land. That means having a shelter and proper paddock areas. There are people who own horse property but don’t have horses. They may be willing to let you board your horse there. Many horse owners’ board with farms or ranches that specialize in horse boarding. You can usually opt for just boarding…which means you do all of the above mentioned time stuff…or you can go for full board.
Gear: This is extremely important both for your safety and the horse’s. Saddles have to be fitted to the horse and the rider. An improperly fitting saddle can injure the horse and it won’t do the rider any good. Proper foot wear, gloves and a riding helmet are a must.
On this I can give you another personal example. I didn’t have on proper shoes while doing mounting exercises. I did have on riding gloves and a helmet. I was severely tossed. That helmet saved my life. The crack in it (my head hit a rock) was three inches wide. That would have been my skull.
Expense: Horses are extremely expensive animals to keep, even if you can put them in a pasture for feed. They need hoof care on a regular basis, they need immunizations, dental checkups and frequently additions to the feed. The gear isn’t cheap. The stuff used to maintain the gear isn’t cheap. Money is required to keep both you and the horse safe.
I miss having a horse and I would like to, eventually, have another one. The eventually is because I don’t have the time, place or money to do right by the animal and keep safe myself. It is something every prospective horse owner should think about.