BEFORE YOU BUY OR ADOPT:
Horse ownership is wonderful!
Horse ownership is a long term commitment…
Horse ownership is expensive…
The UHC promotes RESPONSIBLE OWNERSHIP and asks that all prospective owners do some research (and even lease a horse) before making a big decision.
The UHC has put together several short handouts to get you started on the journey to horse ownership, and all that it entails.
OTHER ARTICLES AND RESOURCES
Pre-Recorded Videos and Webinars
Horse Shopping? Better Ask Some Questions (2012) University of Maryland Extension Office / Maryland Fund for Horses Requires Adobe Flash
Horse Ownership 101 (2012) University of Maryland Extension Office / Maryland Fund for Horses Requires Adobe Flash
Selecting the Right Youth Horse (2007) My Horse University
The Real Cost of Horse Ownership (2014) Equine Guelph
Links to Articles
So you have decided that you want to take the leap and the join millions of others who own a horse? Much like any large animal, horses rank high in the category of responsibility. With improvements in nutrition and health care, horses are living longer, productive lives…
Horses and ponies are important parts of American culture. Your horse-owning experience will be most enjoyable if you carefully consider if horse ownership suits your family, home, and lifestyle. Make an informed decision. Take time, involve your family, and give careful consideration to the following questions...
Questions for prospective horse owners
Potential horse owners should be aware of the associated costs that accompany ownership before purchasing a horse. These types of costs will vary due to the diversity of the use of the horse and the way that it is managed. Expenses for feed, hay, board, veterinary care, and farrier care varies greatly depending on quality, degree of care, and geographic location.
Some expected costs to consider include:
- Medications and dietary supplements
- Farrier service (required every six to eight weeks)
- Veterinary care
- Tack & supplies
- Training/riding lessons
Typically the purchase price of the horse is the smallest amount of money an individual will invest in a horse.
If you aren’t sure if you can afford a horse or if you are ready for one, leasing and/or lessons are good options. Leasing a horse allows you to experience what it will be like to own a horse without actually owning one. Many leasing options exist. Taking lessons allows you to ride horses and be around them without the extra cost and responsibility of owning one. Volunteering at an equine rescue is another way to gain experience with horses and to get an idea for how much time and care they require.
Few horse owners are equipped to handle a sick or injured horse on their own, and the best course of action is often to contact a veterinarian. If your barn does not have a regular vet on call, it is wise to have you own regular vet. This way you are always working with someone with a history of your horse’s health. To off-set major veterinary expenses such as surgeries and special treatments, some companies do offer health insurance for horses.
An experienced trainer, instructor, or barn manager should be able to answer many questions regarding your horse’s day-to-day care and training.
There are countless books, magazines, and websites available that will offer tips and ideas for managing your horse. Use these resources to educate yourself but be sure to consult with a trusted equine professional before trying anything new.