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Horse question

Wondering- if we decided to get a horse, what would it entail? What would you suggest doing to learn how to care for it, and if it had been ridden in the past, how often does one need to be ridden (I'm thinking daily)


Asked by txdaniella at 11:16 PM on Aug. 11, 2010 in Home & Garden

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Answers (10)
  • With kids that young, I'd recommend starting out with a good old small horse or pony. Horses live until an average age of 30, the older ones are settled, and, if trained well, will take care around kids. You don't want a younger, more spirited animal. Older horses may -- MAY -- take a bit more vet care than a younger horse, but the ones I've had have never required more than the annual shots and to have their teeth filed every few years. Your local vet can give you an idea of what the cost would be for shots.

    PLEASE, PLEASE get your kids a riding helmet before putting them on any horse or pony, and make them wear it when they are around the horse, too. All it would take is one accident, one fall, one little head getting nicked by a flying hoof, and you could have a serious head injury or worse. My DD has a Troxel Spirit helmet, only $45, a small price to pay for her safety, possibly her life.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 8:37 AM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • I'd advise volunteering at a nearby riding stable to learn, and possibly exchange some labor for beginner riding lessons. If nothing else take the lessons, talk to vets, a farrier, visit at least one or two local feed stores, etc. You have routine (and required) shots, worming, and tests in addition to regular farrier bills, occasional vet bills, and feed. It's important to feed your horse according to it's weight and it's work load (how much/little you ride). There is no standard 'this is how much'. You need to learn basic grooming and hoof care, loading, leading, and just what/what not to do (especially your LOs) around a horse to be safe.

    At the very least, get some basic horse care books (try Storey's). I know that's a lot, and I hope it doesn't put you off even considering it because horses are pretty awesome to have around once you learn. Good luck!

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 3:00 AM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • i shine here it depends on what you want it for like if your going to show and do a lot with it yes every day if not once a week to three times a week is fine you have to feed them twice a day brush before riding triming its feet like every 8 weeks its like 40$ you have to buy had that depends on where you live and the horses size! and you can learn pretty easy i tought my self and traing my own horse at 7! not much just a little time i do recomend a trained horse tho! message me if you have any more questions im a horse trainer and have been working with them for 15 years!

    Answer by saadamarie at 11:21 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • There are A LOT of things to consider when you're looking into becoming a horse owner. Are you an experienced rider? What are you looking to do with your horse-- just trail ride? rodeo? race? look at it? Learning to care for horses really takes a lot of time and experience... you have to care for their eyes, their hooves, take care of them nutritionally... You've got to have a place to stable a horse and protect it from the elements. Feed is expensive. Vet bills are astronomical. Being a horse owner is VERY rewarding, but it's not exactly like getting a golden retriever.... My best advice is: do a lot of research. Read books, visit Web sites and then decide if horse ownership is right for you. It's a whole new world of commitment. If you decide you want to become a horse owner and you're interested in learning about adoption, msg me. I'm assuming you're in Texas and I know of a GREAT adoption agency.

    Answer by OMGitsKessi at 11:25 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • I would suggest finding a local 4-H horse group or Pony Club and getting your kids enrolled. They do not have to have a horse to be in it, but it will give you a great idea of the time, effort, and money involved, along with providing a great education.
    You do have to have shelter, but it doesn't have to be anything fancy. My two horses have a barn that they can get into for shelter at will, but they prefer to be outside, even at night, and actually get a little anxious when shut in a stall. We have 3 acres that are fenced in for pasture and they feed on that from June through the first heavy fall frost in October. I don't know when frosts are in your area. Each horse eats about 20 to 25 lbs. of hay a day in the winter, along with 1 lb. grain. They should be groomed every day (very relaxing and rewarding for humans as well as horses), and have their feet trimmed every 8 to 10 weeks.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 8:28 AM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • The training around here begins at age 7 and my kids are not that old yet (ages 4 and almost 6) so we are not experienced riders yet.
    How much acreage is needed for a horse to graze, how much hay needed to last a winter? We would have a barn or stable, never get a horse without having something like that first. We'd want to pet our horse and ride gently around, nothing major. I;m in West Virginia (Texan born & bred tho).

    Comment by txdaniella (original poster) at 11:34 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • you can have any horse you want just be sure that its trained well and yes working at a stable is a good idea and im sure you can find some one to give your children lessons! hay wise you will have to feed all year unless you have about 2-4 grazing acres they eat less in the summer it goes by weight my horse ate 21/2 bales a week summer and 31/2 winter i was only ridding him once a week! yes helmet are a great idea and you will need them for little kids you can find good kid horses that will put up with everthing your kids do! after you have a horse you can start giving your own shots have your vet tell you how most will!

    Answer by saadamarie at 10:18 AM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • I think horse ownership is a great experience for kids. I got my first horse when I was 9 and have never been horseless. It's a love that has stayed with me my entire life and I spent 20 years working with them professionally. Horses teach kids compassion and responsibility, and can give them a sense of accomplishment. I think it's great that you want to offer this experience to your kids.

    Horses are much more complicated animals to take care of than dogs or cats. You can't simply feed them every day and expect them to stay healthy. Their biophysiology is much more complicated then people realize and owners who simply throw food to their horses usually find themselves with enormously-sized vet bills, or worse a permantly injured white elephant, because of simple, treatable, conditions that were allowed to progress.


    Answer by Linds2Horse at 12:35 PM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • (con't)
    The best advise I can offer you - and I offer this advise to any potential new owner who has wanted to purchase a horse from me - is to start by taking weekly lessons. This is a great way to learn about horse care and to see if horse ownership is a physical and financial commitment that is right for you. You'll also develp a great relationship with a professional who can hold your hand and guide you through the purchasing process, and your horse's care afterwards. They might even be able to set you up on a lease, which is a great step in between lessons and ownership.

    Your kids are young so you have pleny of time to give them the horse ownership experience. Riding is very dangerous and I've had several friends die from innocent riding accidents. I wouldn't allow a child to take lessons before 8. 10 is even better. Even though I have two horses at home, my 4 year old son is not allowed to ride them yet.

    Answer by Linds2Horse at 12:42 PM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • I hope I don't sound like I'm discouraging you. It's just that i've been in this industry for 35 years and I've seen plenty of new horse owners get in over their head financially and emotionally so please test the water slowly before you jump in.

    Best wishes!

    Answer by Linds2Horse at 12:44 PM on Aug. 12, 2010