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are horses really that hard to take care of?

so i live out on the country and im ready to take in farm animals for me and the kids...i wouldnt get a big horse, i was thinking of a small one for my daughter.

she is 7, going on 8, do you think she could take care of a small horse? my hubby says horses are too high maintenance so its not a good idea.


Asked by americansugar80 at 5:15 PM on Jan. 5, 2010 in Just for Fun

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Answers (13)
  • Has your hubby ever had a horse before? Personally I think my cat is more work to take care of than a horse, but she is really old. It is work yes but I wouldn't say too much work. No way. It just depends....when you get alfalfa are you going to buck the bales yourself or are you going to pay the neighbor boy next door to do it? Do you have a creek running through your property or will you have to provide fresh water yourself? I think your daughter could easily handle the simple responsibilities and the most common responsibility of feeding, watering, and brushing. She would probly need you to make a call to get the horses hooves trimmed and I'm thinking your only really big responsibility would obtaining the alfalfa which doesn't need to be done very often if you stock up and she would probably need your help to clean the hooves every few days. I say yes get the horse it would be good for her.

    Answer by Tickledtrauma at 5:24 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • They do require a lot of care and attention - vaccinations, worm treatments, shoes every 6 weeks or so, exercise daily, and training. If you don't work regularly with a horse, it will pick up bad habits, which can be tough to break. They can get lonely and become destructive. They need room to roam & graze.

    If you really want to do this, I suggest you pick up a good book on the care & training of horses, plus visit some horse stables & talk to the owners; maybe even spend a few weeks working at the stables to get a "feel" for caring for a horse.

    They are wonderful companions, but you must be willing to devote a lot of time & energy to them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:23 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • no, not "high maintenance", but involved, and costly to own.

    if you have no prior experience with them it will be a lot harder to troubleshoot common issues, and could wind up being quite costly when you have to involve the vet....

    put it to you this way, if you're willing to make an investment then thats great- BUT, its not a like a little doggie that you can drop off at the pound if you decide you don't want to take care of it anymore (which a lot of people do, its sad). horses have very, very, very long lives.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 5:25 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • I think it depends on her maturity. The horse will need to be fed twice a day, hay and grain, rain or shine, sleet or snow. A farrier will be needed to trim the horse's hooves every 4-6 weeks. A paddock area giving it room to roam that has some sort of shelter from bad weather will be needed. Keep in mind that while miniature horses, and ponies are cute and kid size they also tend to have more behavioral problems when compared to their full size counterparts. If you have any other questions, feel free to send me a message, I've spent half my life involved with horses.

    Answer by dedicatedrider at 5:27 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • Oh one last note to make. If you have a small coral for the horse its poop would probably need to be picked up on occasion. Horse poop isn't very bad unlike cow poop nor as gross as dog poop. A horse is a lot less responsibility if you have plenty of land with a creek running through. I don't know if your daughter is capable of handling a shovel and wheel barrel. Some kids are pretty tough though. I guess only you know your circumstances the best.

    Answer by Tickledtrauma at 5:28 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • My Husband has been taking care of horses since He was a kid..I'll ask Him for you. =]

    Answer by ajtherad at 5:45 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • They do require a lot of time Horses are touchy, they need a good vet and that is big bucks. The tack is also a lot of money. Even a small horse is very heavy, and you need to be careful, I have been stepped on more than once. It doesn't feel good lol. But if you have the time, space and attention, she will love a horse.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:52 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • They aren't hard to take care of but they do take quite a lot more work then a dog or cat. A small horse will cost you just as much time and money as a large horse. I always recommend that people take lessons for a year before they purchase their first horse. This helps them learn how to take care of horses to see if it is something they like, to learn the basics of ownership, and riding basics. This also allows you to build a relationship with an equine professional who can advise you on your horse purchase. You might want to join the Horse Lovers group here on Cafe Mom. The group is very welcoming and the members, who range from beginner to professional, can advise you.

    Answer by Linds2Horse at 5:54 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • My best friend lives on land and has had three horses for the past two years; her daughter helps care for them since she was 7 1/2 years old. It depends on how proactive you are with your children and what you require of them. My friend is like I am and we make sure our children do chores. So for her daughter scooping out the stalls, feeding and watering the horses are just part of the chores required of her daughter.

    You should investigate all that is needed to care for a horse. As you should with any animal you choose to own you should get to know your breed, what you need to care for it such as the amount of land and place to keep it and the cost of shots and other expenses.

    Answer by Knightquester at 6:25 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • I would say the first poster hit the nail on the head. My family showed TN Walking horses and they of course were high maintenance, but our non-show horses were almost as much hard work. My 4 year old daughter has a pony, chickens, a calf, dogs and fish, believe it not she takes really good care of them. She helps clean the stalls and feed. We are all amazed at how involved and responsible she is. I have not had a horse in years so I am not sure if I could even saddle one anymore (lol) but I have had to help my parents with their horses and it reminds me of how much time and attention they do require. They have one who has hoof and leg problems all the time. Oddly enough the one leg and hoof she always has problems with is her one white hoof (it is rumored but unproven that white hooves are softer and have more issues).

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:46 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

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