Owning a Horse

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Many people dream of owning a horse at one point in time in their life. The strong, elegant, beautiful animals offer the biggest of dreams to boys and girls alike. However, the reality of owning a horse may not be as perfect as it seems. There are many factors that go into choosing the perfect horse and the numerous tasks that go into caring for the animals. Before bringing home your first horse you should consider the type of horse to get, the cost of owning a horse, and the basic care of horses.

Many people and children do not always to realize how much work, effort and time these animals really are. Horses themselves can be very expensive, all depending on their use. Finding the perfect horse takes time and patience. However, once you buy a horse you must have a place for it to stay, basic healthcare for the animal, and plan on spending a ton of time with the horse as well. Horses are fun and great animals to have and to own, but people need to realize that they are not easy to take care of and that they are a ton of consistent work. Owners should make sure that their selves and their horses are well taken care of, in order to enjoy each other.

When considering buying a horse it needs to be decided whether the horse will be used for work, performance, or leisure riding.” Determine the kind of riding that appeals to your skills and nature, and start keeping an eye out for the breed that meets those specific needs.” (Morningstar). It is becoming more popular that horses are used around the farm for working purposes. Horses can be used for their strength, they can pull heavy objects, or they can be used for carrying items as well. Horses are cheaper than a tractor, “fueled” by grass, hay, and grain instead of oil, and produce useful fertilizer instead of diesel exhaust. Another way a work horse might work is getting places where the terrain is rugged and would be difficult to use a vehicle.

Performance horses are used quite differently. Performance horses are used for competitive events such as, rodeo, jumping, or even showing. Performances horses need to be kept in the best of shape and always ready for the next event. Some even need a special diet to perform at their best. Leisure horses are used for mostly trail riding. However, these horses do still have a very important job. Leisure horses need to be laid back and not easily spooked, when riding trails anything can happen that would spook an ordinary horse and could injure the rider. Although, there are many types of horses with different jobs they all need the same basic care.

A basic form of care for horses is grooming. Grooming can go in many different directions, and even get into veterinary care. Many horses are always in the weather and not always put up in barns or stalls. Weather can take a toll on horses in many different ways. An example of poor care for a horse is when the animal gets a case of what is known as rain rot. Rain rot is a bacterial infection, which can be caused by dirt sitting on a horse’s skin and hair. This can be painful for the horses due to itching and burning caused by the infection. A horse could also potentially injure itself by attempting to scratch the sores. This can easily be taken care of with proper brushing.

A horse’s mane is also very important to take care of. Many horses that are thrown into the pasture can soon be noticed with larger knots of hair matted up along their neck. The large knots of hair soon begin to gain the weight of sticks, leaves, briars, and many other foreign bodies, which can weigh the hair down and make it extremely painful for the animal. A horse’s tail can also get tangled up easily with sticks, if an animal is in this position, it cannot easily swat flies like needed. Just as humans get their hair and nails done, horses also need this done as well. Along with caring for the mane of the animal, the hooves must be cared for as well. Horses walk on dirt, rocks, and many other objects during their lifetime.

These can get wedged in between a horse shoe and a hoof, or simply get packed in by mud. It is extremely important to make sure horses have clean feet, so they do not obtain health problems like bruises on the pad, thrush, and even lameness. Another factor that goes into the care of horses is the fact that they are outside most of their lives. Ticks can cause problems in horses just like the insect can cause in dogs and humans. The act of checking over the horse’s body for ticks is extremely important to avoid the risk of infection or the animal catching Lymes disease. Lymes disease can cause detrimental consequences to a horse, when it can easily be avoided by simply providing proper care for the animal.

As previously mentioned, grooming can be considered veterinary care. Horses need their feet cleaned out regularly, however they also need to be trimmed. When a horse’s hooves grow to be too long, this can restrict movement and cause an animal to grow lame. Lameness is normally caused by pain, but pain can be the result of a physical dysfunction. The regular care of horse’s hooves is extremely vital to their wellbeing. Much like humans in another aspect, horses need their teeth done as well. Floating is a common procedure performed by a dentist certified to treat equine.

Floating is deemed necessary when the animal’s molars, located in the rear of its mouth, have gained a sharp edge to them. A sign of a dentist needing to come visit the animal can consist of, excessive dropping of feed, attempting to eat feed and drink water at the same time. As for horses that are ridden, the horse could really fight with the bit in its mouth, due to discomfort from sharp teeth. Horses are not like many other animals that chew on hard objects to keep their teeth filed down. Along with dental work, another task in caring for a horse’s wellbeing is yearly shots. There are a few different shots you can get for your horse, however the most recommend and received are the rabies, west nile, and influenza. A rabies shot in a horse is the exact same as those given to dogs and cats.

The purpose is to prevent the animal from obtaining rabies from a wild animal. The west nile vaccine is to prevent west nile virus. This is a mosquito borne virus that causes swelling of the brain and inflammation of the lining of the brain and the spinal cord. Lastly one of the most well-known tests for horses is a coggings test. This is where blood is drawn from the animal and tested in order to see if that animal is carrying Equine Infectious Anemia, commonly known as EIA. This disease can cause horses to have fevers, anemia, weight loss, and many other symptoms. Once a horse is infected with this disease, it can carry it for life, therefore, prevention is the best option.

Horses are not a cheap hobby. “The University of Maine found that the average annual cost of horse ownership is $3,876 per horse, while the median cost is $2,419. That puts the average monthly expense anywhere from $200 to $325 – on par with a car payment.” (Williams) Horses require a lot of feed, veterinary and farrier assistance, general maintenance, and onetime expenses. A huge portion of the cost of owning a horse is the feed bill. An average horse weighs 1,100 pounds and needs to eat a minimum of 1.5% to 2.5% of its body weight each day in hay and grain. The feed bill for one horse averages around $1,000 a year.

As mentioned, other significant expenses are veterinary, farrier, and specialty work, such as chiropractic or special therapy. Just like a dog or cat needing regular care, a horse does as well but the prices tend to be higher with horses. Yearly vet fees including vaccinations deworming averages at around $500 a year. This is not including the emergency visits. In addition to veterinary costs, horses need there hooves taken care of. This is where a farrier comes in. A farrier specifically works on keeping horses hooves from getting over grown, becoming lame, and specific work on the animals feet if its hoof is sat at an odd angle.

A horse that requires shoes can cost more than one that just needs a trim. It is highly recommended that a horse stays in a routine of seeing a farrier every six weeks. A horse that does not need shoes will average at $400 a year while a horse that does require shoes will double that cost. After all the annual expenses there is still onetime expenses. For instance, to own a horse a truck and trailer is necessary to haul the horse. A saddle, bridal, halter, and grooming supplies are also necessary when owning a horse.

In conclusion, there may be many people with the dream of owning a horse, however many new owners do not recognize the time, effort, and money that is required for a horse just to live a normal life of standing in a pasture. When owners decide to get more involved in competitions, and simply more involved in their horse, this can increase the cost of owning one. However much of this involvement is care that a horse needs to live a healthy life. Many factors go into keeping a horse safe and healthy throughout its lifetime.

Works Cited

  1. ‘Horse Power.’ Dorling Kindersley, London, 2004. elibrary, http://ezproxy.carlalbert.edu:2048/login?urlhttps://explore.proquest.com/document/1972608965?accountid=68736.
  2. ‘Horse.’ Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago, 2009. elibrary, http://ezproxy.carlalbert.edu:2048/login?urlhttps://explore.proquest.com/document/1976054951?accountid=68736.
  3. Courteau, Dick. ‘Animal Power.’ The Wilson Quarterly, vol. 33, no. 1, 2009, pp. 102-104. elibrary, http://ezproxy.carlalbert.edu:2048/login?urlhttps://explore.proquest.com/document/197261276?accountid=68736.
  4. Gomena, Julie. ‘Buying a Horse? the Right Match is Everything.’ The Washington Post, 13 May 1999, pp. V14. elibrary, http://ezproxy.carlalbert.edu:2048/login?urlhttps://explore.proquest.com/document/408487662?accountid=68736.
  5. McShane, Clay. ‘Gelded Age Boston.’ The New England Quarterly, vol. 74, no. 2, 2001, pp. 274-302. elibrary, http://ezproxy.carlalbert.edu:2048/login?urlhttps://explore.proquest.com/document/215191046?accountid=68736.
  6. Morningstar, Lasha. Journal, Staff W. ‘A Hobby Not to Horse Around with; Owning a Horse Lot of Work; HORSE.’ Edmonton Journal, 12 Oct 1989, pp. E1. elibrary, http://ezproxy.carlalbert.edu:2048/login?urlhttps://explore.proquest.com/document/251583581?accountid=68736.
  7. Williams, Laura WilliamsLaura. “Annual Cost of Owning a Horse and 6 Alternatives to Buying.” Money Crashers, www.moneycrashers.com/cost-owning-horse-alternatives-buying/.
  8. Wood, Paul. ‘Farm Animal Tools and Implements of the Northeast, Part I.’ The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, Inc., vol. 68, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1-23. elibrary, http://ezproxy.carlalbert.edu:2048/login?urlhttps://explore.proquest.com/document/1705342711?accountid=68736.

Cite this paper

Owning a Horse. (2021, Aug 13). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/owning-a-horse/



How much does a horse a cost?
A horse typically costs around $500, but the price can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
What is the point of owning a horse?
Horses can provide companionship, transportation, and a source of income.
Why you shouldn't own a horse?
Horses are expensive to own and care for. They require a lot of time and attention.
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