Having a horse or pony as a pet

Having your very own pet horse will be the envy of all your friends and family, but having one is a very demanding responsibility.
Having a pet horse is a very time consuming hobby and a huge financial commitment. Before buying a horse you should know exactly what is involved. If your child really wants a horse make sure that he or she is a competent rider and they know what is involved in having a pet horse, get them to spend a day at the stables cleaning out the stalls, grooming horses and feeding them.

Here are a few things to know about before taking on this big responsibility of horse care.

  • Horses can drink 5 to 10 gallons of water a day so making sure there is a good supply of fresh water daily is vital for their health.
  • Horses need to be fed little and often, but many people choose to feed three times a day because its more practical and can be fit into the day better.
  • Horses need to be groomed daily; this helps the blood flow and you can also check for any new lumps and bumps that might need checking.
  • Grooming also helps bond with the pet horse.
  • Horses need 10-30 minutes to warm up and cool down when riding.
  • Horse droppings need to be picked up daily from the stable and fields as they carry worms and can make horses very sick.
  • You will need a farrier to trim feet and fit shoes every 6-8 weeks, but they can also lose a shoe that can add to the cost.
  • Horses need de-worming every few months, yearly inoculations and a good dentist, this can make vet bills expensive.
  • Finding a stable is also costly unless you have the time, land and commitment for looking after it yourself.
  • Horses have a life span of about 20 years; they are herd animals and need human company as leaving them alone may upset them.
  • Horses also need a passport. This law was introduced in 2004. It is to identify them and to ensure that horses that have been treated with veterinary medicines not authorised for use in food-producing animals cannot be slaughtered for human consumption.