Did you know all horses are essentially $50,000 horses?
Is this based on performance, conformation or bloodlines? Nope.
Horses are a luxury. It is as simple as that. The average person has to make budget concessions to own them these days. Horses cost thousands of dollars each year, at the very least. The price of hay and vet care in some areas than send the cost above $10,000 per year, actually.
Horses are not an animal to bring into a barn lightly. They aren’t casual animals to handle, ride, afford or understand. I believe convincing people of this fact is our biggest challenge.
One does not simply just pick up a horse. . .not if they intend to give reasonable care and handle the horse on fair terms.
The biggest challenge to equine ownership is becoming knowledgeable enough to own one. That is true enough. Most owners really just stumble through horse ownership for years, never learning much, sure they know plenty, causing issues in their horse year after year.
Yet, most of the neglect seen in rescue comes from owners not being able to afford or understand simple care. Horses get poor quality hay or too little hay. They are fed too much or too little grain. They aren’t trimmed enough or have owners who believe they are farrier. Sometimes owners do not even know horses need trimmed by a trained farrier every 8 weeks, worming 2-4 times a year, or their teeth filed by an equine dentist once or twice yearly.
At the end of a horse’s long life, if they live only 25 years, when many live 30 or more years these days, they will have, in care, cost $50,000 or more during their lifetime.
Horse ownership is a decision that requires a lot of thought. You never want to enter into it without sufficient income or consideration.
This is why I always have told parents to get their kids into lessons long before they consider buying a horse, pony or mule for their child. And pick a riding instructor that requires that the child groom, tack, un-tack, walk the lesson horse to cool it out and re-groom the lesson horse. Age appropriate of course for safety. The child that walks up and gets on a lesson horse that is standing waiting for them…..learns nothing about the cars of that horse. They think having a horse is easy.
I have had a total of three horses since 1982. I have kept all three since I got them until the first two passes away. I currently own a 25 year old Standardbred/QH cross.
I would love to see more clinicals on how to take care of the basic needs of a horse, On how expensive a horse is if taken care of properly , feed, hay, vet care, farrier expense, tack. etc. It is a lot more than just buying a horse and turning them out on pasture. I have 4 Saddlebreds (bred&raised) and a mini that I have owned for over 20 years. Oldest is 29 years old. I think if people were taught the basics then they may think twice about buying a horse and neglecting them because they do not have the income to take care of them.
I agree. Heart of Phoenix tried hard to offer this type of education.
Wonderful post! Thank you!