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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Horse Care
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KellyGa    Posted 08-06-2003 at 14:08:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know y'all know all about this stuff. Just how much work is it to take care of a horse? Obvious things like vaccinations, feed, shelter, grooming, excluded. Is it expensive to have a horse? Should you have more than one since they are herd animals?

Barb in Pa.    Posted 08-10-2003 at 06:28:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Horses can be expensive. I would suggest that if you have the opportunity, take a few riding lessons and if possible help around that barn for a short time to see just how much care goes with keeping a horse. My husband and I worked professionally with horses for 30 years and I found it very rewarding. At present, we just have the family horses. Also, if you have someone who has experience with horses around to answer questions as they come up, you might be less worried if you find the horse doing something you don't understand.
As far as cost for keeping a horse, you definately have to have some kind of shelter, although it doesn't have to be a super expensive barn. A run-in shed is not a bad idea with pasture available. If you have good pasture, that will definately cut down on feeding costs, but you must remember that in winter, the horse will need feed and hay as supplement. A good solid fence is imperative. A few years back, when our horses were in pasture, a bear went through the field and all 6 ran through the fence. The one mare ripped her shoulder open and needed vet attention. That was an unusual event, but you do have to be prepared. Also, in pasture your horse needs plenty of good, fresh water.
Our horses go barefoot at present as we only do trail riding on even ground that is not rocky. Barefoot is more natural for them. Although, if you do a lot of riding on uneven ground you need shoes on them.
Horse are a lot of work but they are a lot of enjoyment too. My children grew up taking care of their horses and didn't have time or energy to just run the streets with friends looking for trouble. The horse gave them a good work ethic cause they have to be cared for consistantly. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than sitting on a bale of hay at the end of the day and listening to the horses eat their grain and hay at feeding time. I sound kind of simple, but that is part of my life.
Don't be afraid of purchasing a horse. Just make sure the horse is equal to your experience. You will get years of enjoyment from a horse if you plan ahead.

Paula    Posted 08-07-2003 at 05:26:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I love them. I ride about 3times a week, take care of my
instructor's barn 2times a week. Love their company,
etc. Don't know if I would own one though.

1. Even these field boarded horses require care about
2x a day every day, 365days a year. They are mostly
grass fed, but get supplements to keep them healthy
and help with fly control.

2. Even the ones that aren't being ridden need to have
hooves picked and coats groomed. Its the best way to
stay on top of your animal's health.

3. They can be cheap to maintain 300days a year and
the other 65 BREAK THE BANK. And you have to be
ready for both.

4. You haven't lived till you're trying to blanket a horse
in the dark in the bitter cold with the wind trying to blow
you away.

IMO, pools and horses are more fun when they belong
to somebody else.

Stretch    Posted 08-06-2003 at 18:07:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
They can be as expensive as you want. They have needs which vary widely depending on the horse and what you want to do with it. I have an old chicken house converted into a barn. Cost wasn't bad. Buddy of mine had to spend over $10,000 for a pretty barn to satisfy his wife, not the horse. My horse was a "free-to-good-home" deal. My wife's, not so free. But she's more into horses than me. I just wanted something safe and sound. Then again, be careful of deals. There is a reason the horse might be cheap.

With ours, no shoes. Just lucky I guess. No competition riding though, just a little on the trail for pleasure. No high-price foods. Hay has gotten a little high this year because of last year's drought and this years we weather. But we need less this year because the pasture is doing good. We give all our own shots, but the vet sees them once a year just for a quick checkup.

AS for companionship, they like company but it doesn't have to be another horse. When we only had one horse we had a donkey for company. It worked out fine. If you only want a pet, think about the donkey. They are usually cheap to obtain, a LOT cheaper to maintain, and have got great personalities. I've got two now, just because. Wouldn't trade either one of 'em for ten horses. One is broke to ride and you can put a 2 year old on him. I have riden him, but he ain't too happy about it.

OK, now you're probably more confused than before...;o)

KellyGa    Posted 08-06-2003 at 17:54:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
I never take getting any animal lightly. It took me three years just to get a Border Collie. I always make sure its the right thing to do, and what I really want. Thats why I insist on her taking a lot of time with other peoples horses, learning, riding before we make that final step (sorry, the post below, about my daughter taking riding lessons pertains to this post) Animals are a big deal to me, and I feel once you have made that step, they are yours, period, and you have to take on that responsibility. Kinda like marriage, not to be entered into lightly, for me anyway. I have seen horses be more personable than I originally thought they were. So, I believe they can return the love and can be a pet. Now, I could be all wrong, but I have been around horses here and there. I don't claim to know a thing, just what I see. So we will see how she does with her riding. Thanks to all for the input. Oh, I do know about those vet bills. Dewey Prevatt, the guy I bought my dog from, he is a farrier by trade, and he has a prize horse that about died on him, he sent that horse to the University of Georgia or somewhere, paid 19,000 dollars to save him. Now thats a vet bill. Wow, and wow again.

buck    Posted 08-06-2003 at 17:44:27       [Reply]  [No Email]

Guess it is like Annie said. If you just want a horse out in the field to look at and pet every now and then and you already have enough fenced area, then they are no problem and almost no expense. Now if you are going to keep it pened/stabled all the time so you can ride or have it handy then that is a lot different. Just cleaning stables can take the pleasure out of a pleasure horse in a hurry. You really got to ask yourself what you want the horse for and if you really aren't sure then make sure that you get one that you can get rid of sorta quick like. They really don't make good pets.

Annie in KY    Posted 08-06-2003 at 16:44:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've found horses to be much less expensive than I thought they would be. The biggest price tag was the purchase of the horses themselves and the tack and saddle. Above that cost I pay about $150 per year in normal vet bills, shots etc. I feed mine very little feed, because I believe this can lead to founder and I live in KY where I can get away with good pasture grazing most of the year. Last winter I spent around $100 for hay and it fed 2 horses through a pretty hard winter very adequately. I was fortunate to already have a barn and electric fencing on the property when we moved in...cost me $50 for an electric fence charger. My horses are barefoot and I do my own hoof trimming and boots I purchased for rocky area riding was around $150 per horse when necessary to use. You can spend a lot on all sorts of accessories and tack if you want. All in all....I think they are very economical once you are all set up with the initial necessities. But, you must prepare for emergency vet bills.

GregWis    Posted 08-06-2003 at 14:20:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
They say the only way to make a small fortune in horses is to start with a large one.

after having our gelding colic a few weeks ago and $600 in vet bills I will tell you it aint cheap. Its not just the feed and vet care, but the fencing,equipment,hardware and a million little things that nickle and dime you to death.

With that said, our family wouldnt be without 'em. Beats spending money on things like cars and vacations and stuff normal people do...

KellyGa    Posted 08-06-2003 at 14:23:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think it would be money well spent too, thanks for the comparison, makes a person remember whats important. :)

toolman    Posted 08-06-2003 at 16:29:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
yes kelly they are expensive but they return lots back to you and your family the more time you can spend with them the better also , and yes they are herd animals so if your going to get one, plan on at least two , they need company.

Liberty    Posted 08-06-2003 at 19:51:44       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I do not own a horse myself, but my sister does. So I know that in just a matter of a little bit you can have a pretty big vet bill. I pretty much agree with the other comments though. I just know that even if you dont have to spend alot on hay,feed,etc. you still have to think about the vet cost. Before I ever get a animal I do as much research as possible to find out everything I can about it. It has always been a big help. Matter of fact back In April Me and one of my other sisters purchased a llama, but before I purchased it me and my sister looked on internet and puchased a llama care book, and printed info and made our own lil notebook with info on llamas, before me and her each got our llamas. So just make sure you think of everything, such as emergency calls for Collicing horse,etc. IT all adds up to alot of money if your not careful. Hope this helps somewhat!Good LUCK!!!

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