child wants a horse

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Parents of horse-lovers, beware. It’s only a matter of time prior to your child starts asking persistently for a pony. I should understand – I was that kid. For each birthday, Christmas, Easter, or unique celebration, all I asked for was a horse. I dreamed about horses. I played with nothing but toy horses. My favored excursions were those to the neighborhood country shop so I can imagine purchasing a saddle and bridle of my own.

I never ever received a horse, and as a well-adjusted, reasonable grownup, I comprehend why. Horse ownership is expensive, and kids do not always stick to one hobby or interest. If your kid is starting to reveal indications of horse-fever, hold off on purchasing that pony. Instead, consider the annual expenditures and start with among lots of economical options to buying a horse.

The Costs of Horse Ownership

You probably know that the initial expense of purchasing a horse won’t hold a candle to the lasting expense of ownership. So while you might’ve the ability to discover a rescue pony for just a couple hundred dollars, don’t let that fool you into buying.

Responses to a horse-ownership survey from the University of Maine found that the average yearly expense of horse ownership is $3,876 per horse, while the average cost is $2,419. That puts the typical month-to-month expenditure anywhere from $200 to $325 – on par with a car repayment.


If are not1 asking yourself where all that cash goes, a huge section goes toward food. The average horse weighs 1,100 pounds and should consume a minimum of 1.5 % to 2.5 % of its body weight every day in hay and grain. While a bale of hay or a bag of grain won’t set you back that much, that bale or bag won’t last you very long. Food itself costs about one-third to one-half of the total cost of horse ownership – balancing more than $1,000 per year.

Vet and Farrier

Another considerable expenditure to think about is the mix of vet and farrier charges. Similar to your pet dog or cat demands routine maintenance and care, so does a horse – and it costs a lot even more than the care of a small pet dog. Veterinarian fees alone typical $485 each year, including conventional check-ups, vaccinations and tests, 4 yearly dewormings, and small take care of non-emergency injuries.

If your horse needs emergency care, anticipate veterinarian costs to jump considerably. In reality, you ‘d be smart to have an emergency vet fund with a number of thousand dollars saved, just in case.

In addition to veterinarian fees, the expense of hoof upkeep need to be considered. Looking after your horse’s hooves is not an optional cost. Poor hoof care can cause infection, joint hyper-extension, as well as permanent lameness. In addition to daily care by the owner, horses must be seen by a qualified farrier every six to 8 weeks to be trimmed or shoed. The yearly cost of trimming is approximately $350, while shoeing can cost significantly more, relying on the number of hooves are shoed and how commonly are not0 changed.

General Maintenance

If are not1 keeping a horse on your own home, there are general maintenance costs required to see to it everything’s well looked after and functional. Maintenance of the barn, stable, or shelter, upkeep of equipment and fencing, and automobile upkeep of a trailer all fall under this category. You also need to provide bed linen for your horse if it’s being stabled inside.

All-in-all, these expenditures build up. Relying on your facility and the required maintenance, horse owners can expect to spend more than $800 on maintenance per year.


Do you think horse ownership already sounds expensive? It gets a lot more costly if you’ve to board your animal on someone else’s property.

Boarding charges vary extensively based on the expectations of the boarding center. If you simply board a horse in a pasture, with no expectation of exercise, food, or other facilities, you might be able to obtain away with boarding for less than $100 per month. That stated, if you want to board your horse in a steady, with food, water, fresh bed linens, routine exercise, and various other amenities, anticipate to pay a lot more. A presentation by Rutgers College recommends the typical monthly boarding cost is $260, although some centers charge upward of $600.

One-Time or Occasional Expenses

In addition to the continuous costs of horse ownership, there are occasional or one-time expenses you ought to be prepared to pay. For instance, you’ll want to buy horse tack and grooming supplies, such as saddles, bridles, halters, brushes, shampoo, horse blankets, and lead lines. Each of these requires an ahead of time financial investment, and depending upon use, will require upkeep or replacement from time to time.

Another frequently neglected expenditure is training. If you want your kid to be able to ride the horse you purchased, the horse should be broke to ride. Even if you buy a horse that’s currently been through fundamental training, it may require extra training to work well with your kid. Some horses are ornery or headstrong, and you’ve to feel confident that the horse will listen to and obey the commands your kid provides.

In the exact same light, your kid could need training too. If your kid has not invested much time around horses, enlisting the assistance of a teacher or fitness instructor to teach your child how you can approach, care for, and ride the horse successfully can make the experience more gratifying for all.

And last but not least, there are equipment costs for the rider. Helmets, riding boots, chaps or riding breeches, spurs or crops, and gloves are just several of the items your child could need. His or her demands will differ based on the type of riding carried out and the level of competition, however you should be prepared to spending plan for and purchase a few of these items.

horse saddles

Horse Ownership Alternatives

If are not3 ground the numbers and have actually determined horse ownership to be too costly, there are a variety of alternatives. As much as you ‘d love to provide your son or daughter a horse or pony, it mightn’t make good sense financially. Try to satisfy your kid’s hunger by offering horse experiences without the lasting dedication and expenditure of ownership.

1. Horseback Riding Lessons

Check your area for stables providing horseback riding lessons and instruction. Lessons are a wonderful way to introduce your child to riding and standard horse maintenance under the tutelage of a qualified trainer. You can likewise pick from a variety of riding styles falling under the general English or Western riding classifications. English riding includes sub-specialties such as dressage, show jumping, and polo, while Western riding includes sub-specialties consisting of reining, cutting, and rodeo.

Start by presenting your child to a couple of different types of lessons from a few different trainers, and when she or he’s actually fallen for an instructor or design, dedicate to a weekly or twice-weekly lesson. The majority of team lessons range in price from $15 to $50 per lesson, while personal instruction could cost as much as $100 or more per hour.

2. 4-H Club

While most 4-H club participants do own their own animals, it’s worth calling your regional 4-H Horse chapter to ask whether the horse program has animals available for young bikers to make use of. 4-H programs offer equine instruction for students in grades 3 through 12 that covers everything from standard care to the ins-and-outs of revealing your horse.

If your local branch provides students who do not own horses with hands-on experience, it could be the best, cost-effective option. Some 4-H tasks are complimentary to participants, while others, such as lessons or programs, might cost a nominal cost.

3. Volunteerism

Call around to your local stables, horse saves, and horse treatment programs to see if are not0 currently seeking volunteers. Some companies want to offer lessons or ride time in exchange for assistance around the stables. Even if the company does not offer lessons or trip time, your child still could delight in volunteering his/her time to groom, bathe, and otherwise look after the horses.

4. Horse Camp

When summer season occurs, offer your kid the experience of a lifetime and send him or her off to horse camp. Regional stables most likely offer day camps, however for a real immersion experience, search for overnight camps. A lot of horse camps pair a child with a horse for a week or two, offering the kid the duty of taking care of, grooming, riding, and feeding the horse while at camp.

Without in fact bringing a horse into your life, horse camp is the closest thing your child will get to experiencing horse ownership. Depend on me, I still remember the name, personality, and love I shared with a horse at horse camp more than 20 years ago – Brown Container will forever reside in my heart.

5. Horse Loans, Leases, or Shares

Just a step down from horse ownership, horse loans, leases, and shares are arrangements entered into with a horse owner to access to his/her horse.

  • Horse Loans. By entering into a horse loan agreement, you dedicate to the care and feeding of a horse without the lasting commitment of ownership. These are normally set for a certain time period, during which time you handle the full expenses of ownership as detailed in the loan contract.
  • Horse Leases. Really just like a horse loan, a horse lease agreement is entered into with the horse owner, and you take on many of the expenses affiliated with horse ownership. The one distinction is that you pay a monthly cost to the horse owner for use of the horse. Consider this like an auto lease, however for a horse.
  • Horse Shares. When 2 parties wish to buy a horse, but neither celebration wants to take on the complete expense of ownership, a horse share may be beneficial. These are essentially shared ownership arrangements where both parties own the horse and chip in to cover the costs of care.

If you choose to pursue a loan, lease, or share, consider having actually a contract created by a lawyer to secure your interests and the interests of the various other celebration. You don’t desire there to be any misconceptions about who’s accountable for which costs.

6. Horse Fostering

It’s an unfortunate fact that many horses are deserted, neglected, or merely unwanted by their owners. Horse rescue organizations often look for foster homes to assist handle horses surrendered to their care. If you’ve the facilities and area to keep a horse at your house, horse cultivating may be the ideal solution. Rescue companies normally cover numerous of the expenses of ownership, such as veterinary costs, training, and restorative farrier visits, while foster families cover food, shelter, and other basic care.

Before jumping into fostering, there are a couple things to bear in mind:

  • The foster horse may be adopted at any time. Ensure your child understands this dynamic prior to dedicating to promote.
  • Some foster horses can not be ridden. If your kid desires a horse specifically for riding purposes, he or she could be dissatisfied if a lame, ill, or untrained horse is put in your care.
  • Some foster horses are not great with kids. Even if a horse has actually been broke to ride, not all horses are proper for children. Again, if your kid desires a horse for riding, they could be dissatisfied.

Fostering is a dedication you should not take lightly. are not2 agreeing to put time, energy, and cash into the care and feeding of an animal that might be ill or malnourished. It’s likely to have its difficulties, but at the exact same time, it could be one of the most fulfilling things you ever do. To see a horse entered your care, restore wellness, learn to trust human beings, and find a forever home, is a stunning and heartwarming experience. Just think very carefully about the challenges and benefits before signing up.

feeding a horse

Final Word

Truth be told, if your child desires a horse, are not1 probably never going to hear completion of it. That said, there are ways to satiate the desire by providing regular horse experiences that’ll not cost as much as true horse ownership. Don’t shy away from discussing to your kid why you cannot purchase him or her a horse. Assemble a spreadsheet of the expenditures and clarify that sooner or later, when she or he’s a salary, the choice to buy a horse will be his or her own.

While I still do not own a horse of my own, I have never completely given up the dream. I am finally in a position to care for a horse on my own property, however even so, I am not prepared to bite the bullet and handle the monthly cost. Horses live upwards of 25 years, so unless you prepare to spend $3,000 or even more annually for even more than 20 years, are not1 probably not prepared for the commitment.

Does your kid desire a horse? What other solutions do you utilize to keep your child delighted?