Before getting a horse, here are five things to consider
On impulse, you might decide to buy a horse. Getting a horse can be a major step in your life, no matter how long you’ve dreamed of it. But just because you’ve dreamed of it for years does not mean you’re ready. Getting a horse is quite different from, for example, getting a dog, a cat, or a parrot. It takes patience, understanding, and plenty of space to care for these magnificent, powerful, and complex animals. In more ways than one, getting into horse ownership without prior knowledge and preparation can end in disaster. Although you may read everything you can about horses and their care, the real, first impression can still surprise you. Before purchasing a horse, it is important to know exactly what you should consider – these are the 5 most important things to know.
Horses need plenty of space to roam
Although it should go without saying, horses need a lot of space. Horse owners must provide their horses with quality accommodation if they intend to be responsible. Obviously, a backyard or a shed won’t suffice for horse housing. The horse stalls must be comfortable, built to standards, dry, and spacious if you are serious about your hobby. Horses cannot be confined in cramped stalls without isolation, ventilation, or natural light. Creating these buildings from scratch can be a major investment if you own the land but do not have them already. In addition, horses cannot spend their entire lives in stalls or stables: they must also be able to go outside. Extra free space is needed – a large corral or an open field where a horse can exercise, burn off excess energy, and breathe in fresh air. Getting a horse requires securing all these things.
Taking care of horses on a regular basis is essential
Horses are complex animals that require plenty of care. It will be necessary for you to learn about horses’ nature, their behavior, common ailments, quirks, and character, as well as the ins and outs of an equine. To feed them correctly, you must know when to feed them and how much to feed them. Several times a day, you will need to provide fresh water and schedule regular vet visits. For horses that need shoeing, you will have to schedule regular farrier appointments. This requires your time, patience, attention, and most importantly, your money. Horses are not a one-time purchase. A long-term investment with little to no return requires funding. Care for a horse is vital, so make sure you can afford it.
It is important to consider the horse’s age
It is important to consider the horse’s age when buying one. Getting a younger horse is not ideal for most first-time owners, contrary to popular belief. Especially stallions, young horses can be wilful, energetic, difficult to maintain, and require training. A first-time horse owner may find all this quite overwhelming. An older, trained, and experienced horse, on the other hand, is much more docile and easier to bond with. “Established” horses are used to humans and their daily routines. Additionally, it is important to check whether the horse is “spirited” or “broken in”. Horses with spirited personalities can be energetic, aggressive, and disobedient. It is possible for such horses to buck and kick unexpectedly, causing severe injury in the wrong hands. Investigate the previous owners’ behavior and observe the horse’s behavior.
You will spend all your time caring for a horse
The importance of this cannot be overstated. You should consider the time it takes to care for a horse if you want to get one. Caring for your horse won’t be easy if you work a regular 9 to 5 job. It may even be impossible. The horses need to be fed and watered several times a day, preferably at the same time. Their stalls should be cleaned frequently, and their bedding should be changed on a regular basis. The horses should be groomed regularly, preferably daily, and taken out of their stalls. Horse-related work includes cleaning out the stalls, removing manure, preparing feed and hay, handling horse riding equipment, vet visits, training, bonding, and farrier services. As a result, you will need to pay attention to all this 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Before getting a horse, make sure it is what you want and what you can afford. A bad outcome can result if this is not avoided.
Ownership of a horse is a long-term commitment
One of the most important things to consider before getting a horse is this. This is a long-term commitment. You can’t just stop caring for a horse one week later and take it to the shelter once you get it. That doesn’t work, and it’s unethical. A horse can be a life-changing experience if you acquire one. It is now up to you to take care of and help this magnificent and powerful animal. This will take a considerable amount of time and resources. Besides being a long-term obligation, it is also a long-term expense. The cost of horse care is high. The income you have will have to be determined before you purchase a horse. When something urgent happens, you cannot run out of money.
Despite the time and challenges associated with horse ownership, there are many wonderful things about it as well. Horses are wonderful creatures, intelligent, friendly, and elegant as well. The bond between a horse and its owner can be unbreakable, mirroring even the strongest human friendship. The least you can do is devote your time and resources to cultivating such a bond.
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