1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

I REALLY want a Horse!!!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by PoultryQueen29, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. PoultryQueen29

    PoultryQueen29 Chillin' With My Peeps

    710
    4
    111
    Sep 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    I have been completely obsessed with horses and I ride whenever I can. I am going to lease a horse for 2 months this summer to get a feel of what it's like have a horse before I make the final decision of whether I want one or not. After that if I want one I would have to board it because I can't move out of my area of good schools and there are no nice horse properties that won't cost both arms and legs. I was wondering what the details were on pasture vs. full/stall boarding. Also, how often do you need a vet/farrier?
     
  2. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    Can't really answer your questions, as I've never had a horse before, but I feel your pain. I've wanted one since I was 6 years old. That's 30 years!! I read everything I could find on them as a child and young adult. I even had some lessons here and there. Then, as I got older, realized it probably wasn't going to happen for a while. Now we live out in the country on 3 acres. Unfortunately, my pasture gets pretty soggy fall through spring, and a horse would just turn it into a mud pit. Not to mention financially it isn't very realistic for us right now. Buying the horse is the least expensive part. Hopefully, though, we will move in a few years and get the property I want. I also got a little worried that I wasn't going to be able to ride, since I had both hips replaced and the position your legs are in, plus the jarring motion of riding, can be somewhat risky to the hip joints. However, I was told by my physical therapist, that it would probably be ok provided I got the proper saddle and stuck with horses that had a smoother gate. I know from people that have had horses, that a farrier is usually every 8 weeks, but I could be wrong.Hopefully someone with much more experience will help you out. I haven't ridden in over 20 years, but I haven't given up hope that I will get a horse some day! Good luck! Be sure to post pics when you end up with a horse!!!!
     
  3. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    My farrier is every 5-6 weeks for a trim on both my boys. The trim is $30 per horse.

    As long as everyone is healthy, I have the vet out once a year. Once a year for the big annual exam, teeth, sheath, vaccines, fecal study, etc. Generally runs about $200 per horse.

    Here in Florida, we have to vaccinate for West Nile every 3 months (mosquitos are year round here), so I do that myself when the vet's not out for something else.

    And there is always something else. Last year I had one horse have a minor colic ($250). Another time one of them was bit by a spider and developed cellulitus (cost about $300 for that), and we had such a wet summer, that one developed thrush that cost around $100 to treat (not vet needed).

    The expenses are endless. Really. But if you love horses, the cost seems somehow to fit in your budget. We always have a $1,000 set aside for emergencies - and that really doesn't go far in a real emergency. You have to have cash ready - many emergency vets (that come out on evenings, weekends, and holidays) aren't set up to take credit cards and will not bill you. This is what happened at Thanksgiving - my younger gelding coliced, my vet and all her partners were on vacation, and another vet agreed to fill in. Great vet. Didn't take credit cards or bill...cash or check only. Thank god we had it in an envelope at home!

    I'm glad you're leasing first. It IS a great way to see if horse-ownership is for you! Are you taking lessons? Did a professional horse person match your skill level with an appropriate horse for you? If so....you may be about to have the best time of your life!

    What kind of horse? How old? Mare? Gelding? English? Western?
     
  4. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    YoMama....there is also driving!! Driving is a BLAST!!! I ride and drive........but I know that I'll be driving a lot longer than I'll be riding!

    There are great pony breeds for driving (I have two Fjords - great riding/driving ponies) that are less expensive to feed....easy keepers, as they say. Not all, but many of the pony breeds are that way.

    Eight weeks is a bit too long to go (by my standards). Others may feel it's fine, but 6 weeks is my favorite (sometimes blacksmith has to work me in to 5 weeks due to his travel schedule).

    My advice is to find a really good blacksmith and adhere to a schedule recommended by him/her.
     
  5. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you know how to make a small fortune raising horses? Start with a large fortune. [​IMG]

    Seriously though, keeping horses is a time consuming and expensive proposition. OldGal, my friend, companion, lover and wife of 30 years always thought she wanted to own one (Has anyone ever met a female who didn't want one?) until we moved onto the horse ranch about 15 years ago. She was all excited about being allowed to help with the horses. She's not near as excited now.

    Questions to ask when choosing a stable for boarding (in no particular order):
    • How much responsibility do they take when it comes to caring and feeding your animal?
    • Who pays for the feed? Fixed price or current market?
    • Are they going to exercise your horse regularly?
    • Do they have a vet on call?
    • Can they provide references?
    • Have all the horses on the property been coggins tested and can they provide proof?
    • Do they have a farrier on call?
    • Will you have 24/7 access to your animal?

    Things to look for when selecting a boarding stable (again, in no particular order):
    • Are the stalls clean and bedding changed regularly?
    • Are the watering containers clean and filled with fresh water?
    • Does each stall have an attached open air run or is your horse going to be in the stall all of the time?
    • Is this a full-time occupation for them?
    • Do the horses already in residence appear well cared for?
    • Do all of the stalls and buildings appear to be in good repair?
    • What provisions are made for your tack?
    • What provisions are made for you riding?
    • How secure is the property?
    • Are the fences well kept?
    • How does the pasture look?
    • Watch closely how the people act around animals.
    • Do they offer riding lessons?

    I know this sounds like a lot, but a decent well broken riding horse will cost well over $1000. You want to protect your investment.

    Here in Texas we have a saying, "You raise cattle for pride, horses for pleasure and sheep for profit."
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. PoultryQueen29

    PoultryQueen29 Chillin' With My Peeps

    710
    4
    111
    Sep 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    Thanks for the info :) Kelly G- I don't care what kind or age or gender but I ride western. I've taken a few lessons but no one has ever told me my skill level. I would say I am an advanced beginner but I'm not even close to a professional.

    My dad has told me over and over about how much time and money has to be put into having a horse but like the lady at the horse farm said "Once the horse bug has bitten you, there's no getting rid of it!". I am willing to downsize the amount of pets I have now and completely devote myself to a horse right now! I'm also thinking about getting a job like petsitting and making a little money to help pay. One way or another i'm going to have a horse in my life sometime!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  7. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Right now? You do understand that horses live to be 25-30 years old, right?
     
  8. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    A message from OldGal:

    Go to the lady at the horse farm and get a job taking care of the horses. If she doesn't want to pay you, volunteer your time free gratis. Do everything. Feed, groom, care for them when their sick, muck the stalls. If after doing that daily for 6 months than, yes you probably do really want a horse.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. FlaRocky

    FlaRocky Chillin' With My Peeps



    I have a 28 year old that looks and acts 14. Some of her breed live well into the mid to late 30s.

    I agree go and work at a barn for 6 months and learn to do everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Good : Feed,care, ride, and groom. Bad: up all hours with sick horse, wound care 24/7 for months on end. Ect. Ugly: having to be with your best friend at end of life and hope it is after a long good life, making the right decision during an accident to use euthanasia for the love of your horse and not be selfish to keep him or her going on in pain.

    How do I know all this: For the past 14 years I have been living my dream. And yes it has many rewards but has also had lots of tragedy. I am always with my horse when they have to be euthanized. I am the last one they see. THAT IS MY DUTY AS A HORSE OWNER OR ANY ANIMAL FOR THAT MATTER.
    I started out as a kid always begging for a horse of my own. So I would beg and work for free just to be around horses. BTW, when I got my first horse I put a life insurance policy on myself so that my mare would be provided for the rest of her life, she is 28 now and I have 5 others, so my family knows that I have life insurance to provide for my horses for the rest of their lives. And I have all the arrangements for the care of all of them if something happens to me.
    I was 34 years old before I could afford my horse with all the proper care that it takes. And you need to set up a separate account just for your horse for expenses and unexpected emergencies.

    Good luck,

    Maye
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  10. Nahnah

    Nahnah Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    24
    Mar 18, 2012
    Broadus, Montana
    I agree you should try to get a "horsey" job, its great experience before owning and will give you the best possible understanding of what horses need in your area. That is the hardest to predict, I will grant that I have been spoiled in that I grew up with horses as we use them exclusively on the ranch, which means our horses are a little more utilitarian. Here we only have the farrier out maybe once a year, we trim them up as need be but the ground here is rocky/sandy enough that many of them keep fairly well worn down on their own. Also they go to the vet when something happens that we can't doctor ourselves, that being said I have always been told that its not a good horse until its been in the wire at least once, and believe me if they can get hurt or sick they will.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by