Responsible Horse Ownership

Responsible Horse Ownership 

Jim Swanner

13124 Carter Road Athens, AL 35611

Are you thinking of getting a horse? Or do you have one now and need to know more? There are lots of things you need to know and be prepared for. To own a horse you need to be committed to devoting lots of time, energy, skill and money to the care of your new friend. It is a lot to the upkeep of a horse.

They require large amounts of food and water, adequate shelter, and competent care and training. If you aren’t where you can spend the time and effort or don’t want to, don’t get a horse. Don’t do that to them. Horses are a precocial species and need lots of interaction. They are very social animals and need this exchange.

With proper care horses can live to well into their late thirties or beyond. When you decide to get a horse you must do it with the intention of providing the care they need for the duration of their life.

There are lots of things to consider before purchasing a horse.

Land – Where you going to keep it? One horse in a pasture requires approximately 2 acres. If less acreage, hay supplement is needed.  If you are going to keep it at a boarding facility, you have the boarding cost, feed and hay. You may be able to work a deal with the stables to take care of your horse (feeding, water, hay, stall cleaning, etc) in exchange for a discounted boarding fee. One thing to remember, if you do this, you need to clean your horse’s stall every day. The wetness in the stalls can cause serious hoof problems not to mention a fly problem. And it is for your horse. Pine shavings are good bedding for horses.

Additional Costs – In addition to the previous mentioned cost, there is tack expenses, grooming supplies, emergency first aid, Veterinarian cost, farriers; these are only a few of the expenses you will incur.

Time & Effort  – Other than the expenses, there is the time and effort you need to invest in your horse. Horses are not easy. You will have to work and care for them when you don’t feel like it or want to do something else. If you are going to neglect your horse, don’t get one. They require your attention and it’s not fair to them if you don’t put some effort in. There is never an off day when you have a horse or horses. So forget that. Horses are demanding and understandably so, they can’t take care of themselves. They are dependent on us.

Water  – Your horse requires lots of clean water. One rule I use here at K-I-N Stables is, if you won’t put your face in it your horse don’t need to drink it.

Medical Care – Your horse will need to be de-wormed several times per year. There are numerous ideas and suggestions for this, so do check with your Veterinarian for a de-worming schedule.

Horse Behavior – you may want to enroll in a class to begin to understand your horse’s behavior. It is very important you understand your horse and his nature. Learn what he is.

Fencing – One statement about fencing, don’t use a barbed wire. If you are going to use a wire, use a slick heavy gauge wire and electrify it.

There are numerous books on the care of horses. Check them out and learn as much as you can for the care of your horse. Any specific questions you may contact us at K-I-N Stables at 256-874-6781.

With all the above information, horses are a good investment for your enjoyment. I recommend them. With the proper care, you can enjoy your horse and your horse can enjoy you for many years, but please put forth the effort to care for them. Don’t neglect your horse.