Should You Get a Horse?
Horses are some of the most beautiful creatures on this green earth. We love them for so many reasons, and the idea of owning one of these fabulous animals and having it bless your daily life is positively enchanting. A childhood dream you could make come true!
Before you decide to commit to buying a horse, you need to ask yourself some critical questions. It’s a big decision with a lot to consider for both you and the horse you may be thinking about bringing into your life. So, before you commit to anything, answer these questions as honestly as you can.
How Much Do You Know About Horses?
Before you start on this big adventure of yours? The first question to ask is, do you know enough about horses to be a good horse owner? Sure, you can learn after you buy one, but it may be too late! What if you get started and find out understanding horse behavior is more puzzling than you thought. Maybe daily care is overwhelming for your schedule.
Make sure you have a solid understanding of daily horse care, general horse behavior, as well as training and riding. There are always ways to expand your knowledge base. If you haven’t been taking riding lessons, start there! That will give you a great base to start building on.
Do You Have Somewhere You Can Keep the Horse?
You need to think ahead about where you plan on keeping your horse. Do you own enough land to support your horse on your own, or will you be paying a stable to board your new friend? Finding housing for your horse is part of deciding if you can afford to own a horse, and it is critical to planning for a horse. After all, if you don’t have a place to keep a horse right now, it is not the time to buy a horse!
Can You Afford a Horse?
Many expenses come with the pleasure of owning a horse. Not only is there the boarding we mentioned in the last question, but there are so several other costs. If you plan on entering low-level competitions or social events with your horse, there are transportation and entry fees. Both you and your horse will require equipment- saddles, grooming supplies, blankets, riding gear, etc. Horses also require regular farrier care and veterinary care, feed, bedding, and any other surprise expenses that could come up.
It’s quite hard to give an accurate assessment of what this could cost you because prices can change based on your area, your horse, and what activities you plan on enjoying with your horse. One guide suggested that the average annual amount spent on a single horse was $4000!
Do You Have Time to Take Care of a Horse?
All animals require a time investment. Horses need a little more than others. They require daily feeding, watering, and turning in and out. That means making time twice a day to head out to take care of your horse. If you have full-service boarding, the staff may take care of those daily needs, but you’ll be paying more for that. You'll also need to spend time exercising your horse.
What Are Your Future Plans?
A horse is a long term investment. If you are at a crossroads in your life, now may not be the time to buy a horse! If you are planning a long-distance move in the future or going off to college, your equine adventure could be cut short. Your horse may have a hard time adjusting to a new owner, and they will miss you. So, if you foresee any massive changes in your life, wait until your life is more stable before inviting a horse into it. Your future friend will be grateful for your patience!
If you aren’t in a good position, financially or otherwise, to own a horse, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them now!
You can always take regular riding lessons or lease a horse. In a full lease, you take over all the horse’s expenses and responsibilities; in a partial lease, the owner retains those responsibilities. Both methods allow you to enjoy riding time with a horse without a full commitment of money and time. It can be the best of both worlds!
Before you make a decision, make sure to look at these questions and answer honestly. Are you prepared to make this big of a commitment? Are you ready to bring a horse into your life, or should you enjoy the company of a horse through another avenue for now? Only you can make that call, so ponder carefully.