Over twenty years ago, I lived on a quarter horse breeding ranch. After that, I worked for the SPCA of Texas, which provided humane rescue for horses. While I don’t have a typical horse owning experience, I do have some lesser known facts for owning a horse. These considerations can help avoid the pitfalls of the new owner.
Opinions of the Passers’-By
The most important thing I learned at the SPCA is how little the general public knows about horses. If you plan to keep your horse where people will drive by, expect calls of concern. We received calls every day on horses we knew as healthy. Some were older horses; some were an unusual breed. You may think your mare is gorgeous. But, be prepared for other people to see neglect when there isn’t any.
Vets Vs. Equine Scientists
Most people only think of large animal veterinarians as the care providers for their horses. Many don’t know of equine scientists: doctors who only specialize in horses. They aren’t as widely available. But, they can provide care for more challenging horses or veterinary cases. If you do have access to these professionals, consider consulting them for their advice, and their services.
So you know you need a care provider, but do you also know about equine attorneys? A new owner may not realize the depth of legal responsibility of a horse. Equine Legal Solutions offers sound advice. While not as fun as reading about breeds or temperaments, it’s better to know before you buy. Legal surprises are no fun.
Adopt a Horse
Many horse lovers have a soft spot for animals that have been through rough times. If thinking about animals that have been neglected speaks to you, then adoption is an option. While not as common as adopting dogs or cats, adopting a horse is available in some communities. Don’t expect a show pony, but don’t discount a show pony that has special needs.
Options Beyond Owning
Getting a bit overwhelming? Then consider that owning isn’t the only option. Fractional shares of a horse are available in some communities. Ride-share programs are a similar choice. Instead of splitting the ownership of the horse, you only pay for a set amount of riding time. Many people find they can get the fun of riding and caring, without the legal concerns they didn’t anticipate.
Most tips for the new horse owner will tell you about breeds and spiritedness. Hopefully, these lesser known facts will help the first time owner. Buying a horse may be more involved than at first sight, but it can be more rewarding than you might expect.