My boyfriend suddenly wants a horse! Personally, I think he's just been watching too many movies like Lord of the Rings!!
Neither of us has ever been horse riding and I'm a little intimidated by them from an incident I had when I was little.
How much work and how expensive is it to own a horse? We are talking way down the track (maybe in 1-2 years). He wants to have it where we live (which means buying a house with land) and not at stables.
And he's not 'that' interested in riding it - but may take some lessons soon. He just wants a horse to 'play with' and 'walk around with'. He read somewhere that once a horse gets a bond with you, they are like a best friend and very similar to dogs. Is this true?
OMG, you are lucky. I've been riding for about two years now, and I love horses. Unfortunately, the price is the reason I don't have one....*mumbles* Anyways, the cheapest you can find them around here is 1,000, IF your lucky. Usually it's more then that....
He may want to consider a miniature horse then, if he is just looking for a pet and not interested in riding. I even saw a miniture horse on tv that was trained like a seeing eye dog for a man.
It is expensive to board your horse, I kept mine in our backyard for years, until the city decided to make us move them. After I had to pay $100 per month, per horse for boarding, I found it difficult to justify my need for my horses.
Don't forget, you will have to build a shelter, put up fencing, buy hay, grains, grooming tools, vet checks or barn calls for shots and exams, wormings, farrier fees for hoof cutting.
There are some gorgeous miniature horses around and their prices have come down considerably. They are more economical to feed and house. They can be trained to pull a lightweight cart, in case you are intersted in using them for pulling.
If he just wants it as a pet then minies are great! If he is set on a big one I would suggest renting one at a place it is boarded just to make sure it what he wants. The first place i boarded mine was great. I had rode for years and knew a ton but it still didn't have me completely compared. Around here you can get board with food and turn outs and stall cleaning for around 200 a month(but the first place was closer to four, but I could have rolled around in his stall it was spotless!). If something is wrong the people there are more apt to pick up on it. They also scheduled vet and farrier visits.
My arab ended up with a ton of allergies we didn't know about that cost a ton. I know people that have horses colic all the time and that are constantly out of money. I also know people that have great deals with farriers and vets that bring prices down a lot. It all depends on your area and probally who you know.
Thanks! I know, I've told him he has to go get some lessons etc to make sure he actually does want one. There is no way we are buying one in the near future.
I suggested a miniature horse too because I saw a show on tv about a famous Australian racing car driver and his family had a miniature and it would walk inside the sliding glass doors into their kitchen and grab an apple from them and walk back outside. He was sooo cute - just like a big dog!!!
One of my horses was just like a big puppy dog. Lacy was born in our backyard and we caught and handled her everyday since birth. She followed us everywhere, I'd let her out in the yard to eat the grass around the trees and the garden. She'd stay in the yard and even come over to the pool to see what we were doing.
Lacy was an awesome horse, one time I brought her up to the front of the house and opened the door to ask someone to turn on the power switch for the barn. When I turned around, guess who was standing in the house, behind me? Lacy.
I miss my horses so much, how I wish that I was able to have kept them. Got my first horse for my 10th birthday, she was an old Pinto mare. Bomb proof. If I fell off, she'd stop and wait for me to climb back on.
Horses are wonderful creatures and rate right up there with dogs in my book.
I use to own a horse, his name was Joey. I rescued him, he use to be a race horse.I got him from a friend of a friend for free, he was in poor shape but i nursed him back to health. I know there are horse rescues that you can get a horse for a lot cheaper. goodluck. I loved owning horses.
it's very expensive. And it requires a lot of time and effort to care for a horse. They require shoe changes, vet checks, and not to mention all their saddles, backpads, bridles, hoof picks, brushes, shampoos, etc! The food is also expensive. I've been riding along time and I love horses. I ride about 40 minutes from my house and I pay 200 dollars a month. but if you have the money, time, and effort, go ahead. I would love to own a horse when I am older, but right now I certainly cannot afford one and I have no where to keep one anyways. You can also keep the horse at a stable if you do not have the space for one. The good ones tend to be pricey, though. But there are really nice ones out there for a very reasonable price. But stables do not include any vet payments, shoe changes, personal products, etc. They usually include the food cost though. Good luck, i hope you are able to get one! :) I love horses.
Definately DO have riding lessons before purchasing and definately DON'T plan on your first horse being a foal or anything less than 4 or 5 @ the youngest.
For me the last time I figured it up it was around $150-$200 a month. I own the land and all of the tack, grooming supplies, riding clothes etc. If you were to also include those and perhaps a horse trailer and rig to haul it you're getting into some big $$$. Also if you don't own land and would need to board that can get spendy also. All that aside however it is the most wonderful experience...to own a horse.
Well we own 7 horses at the moment and not to be discouraging but yes, they are extremely, extremely expensive animals to keep up. Although horses are really amazing animals to own caring for them is nothing like caring for dogs or other small animals, much more involved. A horse generally eats 20-25 pounds of feed a day, ratio between grain and hay depending on the age an activity level. You would have to purchase quite a few one time purchase items such as grooming supplies, halters, leadrope, tack (if rode), blankets (depending on what part of the country you live in), stall/pasture cleaning supplies (pitchforks, wheelbarrows ect.) then there is the fact you have to have somewhere to keep something this large either a stall with turn out paddock or pasture w/ some kind of shelter, or a good boarding facitily. Then there are the regular thing, we already meantioned feed, if kept in a stall there is a need for a type of bedding, worming every 6 wk, new shoes or trimming of feet every 6 wks ($30-$100 per horse depending on what horse must have done and quality of work) vet bills/vaccinations. if you own a horse it can be pretty impractical if you do not own a horse trailer (price well pretty steep) and a truck to haul your horse around can't just pop them in the back seat like a dog. Anyway there is just alot that goes into to even owning one of these fellows they can be great animals, just not something you want to jump in right away without thinking it out first, since it is a huge investment of time and money. You might buy your bf a horsekeeping book and let him read up about all it really takes to own a horse then if he still wants one at least he would be more prepared. Then if you decide to get one try to get in touch with someone respectable locally who owns/trains horses and see if they could assist you in finding a horse that would work for yall. Most horse people are happy to help out if you ask, you invest so much money in a horse it is imortant to have someone knowledgable help you pick out the right one, I have seen so many people new to horses spend tons of money on a horse only to bring it home and learn it is dying, crippled, or vicious, horse traders are notorious for taking advantage of newbies so be careful! Anyway hope this helps some, there is lots of info on the internet and lots of books about caring for horses if you all decide to pursue it any further!
I describe my horses as burning gas in park. It is not a cheap hobby, if you board you can expect to pay between a couple hundred to a thousand a month depending where you live in this country. If you have them at home as I do then it is no longer a hobby but it becomes a lifestyle. I have a small 5 acre horse farm. You must get up with the birds to feed and clean stalls before you take a shower and go to work and do it all over again when you come home from work. You can't just pick up and go away for the weekend or on vacation without making arrangements for someone to farm sit or take them somewhere to board. Feeding and cleaning does not stop just because it is raining or snowing. Can't begin to tell you how many nights my wife and I spent at the barn with a sick horse waiting for a vet to arrive. Get the picture, it sounds fun to have them at home but it is work, their needs come before your own needs and if you just want to just visit and ride them on weekends then you have to pay someone else to do for you. Did I mention what your back feels like after you load 5 or 6 tons of hay in the loft.
Depending upon the weather, some years it is hard to get good quality hay for the horses. I remember back in 1987 there was a severe drought, hay went sky high. If you could find it, that is. We didn't have rain from early April through mid-August and the farmers were hurting. Their fields were burnt up, there was no hay to be cut, it was an awful year.
Be sure to build a big enough loft for your hay and straw bales. Loading and unloading hay and straw is a lot of work. When I boarded the horses, they had an electric hay elevator, that saved having to lug the bales up the stairs to the loft. But there was still the manual labor of loading the hay, unloading the hay and stacking the bales. Be prepared to have lots of scratches from the hay too, it is picky.
Depending upon how much land you have, you may have to clean up the manure daily, if you don't have much area for the horses. We had 10 acres, divided into 2 fields. When the horses were directly behind the house, we would pick up the horse manure. The neighbors got used to see either my Dad or myself out there picking up horse apples every day, during the spring, summer and fall.
We really had good flower and vegetable gardens during that time, as we had a constant supply of fertilizer. Also, I would offer free horse manure to anyone that would pick it up, you'd be amazed at the amount of people that would take us up on the offer.
Don't forget to invest in a livestock watering tank. Be sure to get one with a drain at the bottom, so you can clean the tank from time to time. During the summer especially, a layer of green algae witll form in the tank, if not kept clean.
We always used 5 gallon pails for the water in the winter. Water is heavy, so figure about 50 pounds per bucket of water, you will build lots of muscle, owning a horse. It is no fun to chip ice from the buckets in the winter, so you may want to buy a heater for the water tank, to keep it from freezing over.
Good idea MericoX19, but depending upon where you live, remember that donkeys can be very vocal. They love to bray and hee-haw. As long as you don't have close neighbors, I think a donkey is a nice idea, too. Their voices will carry for a half mile or more, depending upon the terrain.
If you are interested in a donkey, you might want to think about adopting a wild donkey from the government. Every year they capture wild horses and wild donkeys out west and adopt them out to homes. The adoption fee is very reasonable, but again, they are a lot of work.
Remember that many of them have never been handled before, so it wouldn't be like getting a horse or donkey from someone that raised it themselves. These animals will require a lot of patience, but I think it would be worth it.
I believe it is the Bureau of Land Management that rounds up the wild horses and donkeys and then sets up adoption sites around the states. Last I heard, the adoption fee was only $125.
I will have to look up the website and see if they are still doing this round-up.
Whatever you decide, please do lots of research into horses or donkeys. It is a big committment, which requires lots of time, effort and elbow grease, but the rewards are endless. There's nothing like a horse that bonds with you and gives hugs and kisses. I can't desribe the feeling of going out to the field and whistling and having the horses stop whatever they are doing and come running up to you, whinnying and prodding your pockets for treats.
Thanks for making me think about my horses, they were a part of my life for over 25 years and I have some wonderful memories. :)
Yup! That is why when I was little my Dad got me a mini bike instead. I wanted a horse so bad I couldn't see straight. That was the first word I spoke, "Horsie". Anyway, he said that a mini bike doesn't need to be fed, groomed, watered, exercised and alot of room to roam. Hee Hee! Hence, my love for motorcycles now.