This is a partnered post.
Most little girls dream of owning a horse. It’s up there with being a princess. Maybe it’s their close resemblance to unicorns or some secret horse charm, but girls go mad for them. If you want to fulfil your little one’s dreams, you’ve got some serious considerations to make. Horses are about as big a pet commitment as you can get. Make sure that you’ve considered the reality before moving ahead. These steps may help you decide.
GIVE HER A TRIAL RUN
Before making any decisions, give your little one a trial run at horse care. Few children consider the reality of horse ownership. A lot of work goes into owning a horse, and your child might not be up to the task. Horse riding schools often offer open days, where children go along and care for the horses. This will help your daughter learn responsibility and see horses in a more realistic light. Tasks include poop scooping and mucking out. If no stables around you offer days like this, ask your friends to see if there are any horse owners among them. Even if none of them owns horses, they may know someone who does. Fellow parents will understand your struggle and will be willing to help. Don’t mention your thoughts to your child at this stage. Knowing what you’re considering will get her hopes up and will put pressure on you to go ahead.
Horses aren’t cheap. In fact, they’re about the most expensive pets you can get. First, there’s the cost of the animal itself. Buying a horse upfront is costly to say the least. There are ways around that, such as loaning a horse. Consider this option to save yourself money. Loaning will also give you the chance to back out if things don’t work out. Some people are lucky enough to have paddocks and stables at their home. Most owners have to rent stables and a paddock, though. Then you’ve got to consider food and care costs. Horses need regular medical treatment, such as visits from a farrier to keep their hooves down. You’ll also need to consider what would happen if any health issues occurred. It’s not so easy as just taking your horse to the vet, and it’s not so cheap, either. Get to grips with equine products to give yourself an idea of the costs involved.
Horse care isn’t easy. It’s one thing doing a few stable jobs for one day, but horses are ongoing commitments that require a lot of effort and care. As with most childhood pets, you will probably end up taking on a lot of that care yourself. Children have a habit of getting bored and losing interest. Horse ownership involves early mornings, regular cleaning, and daily poop scooping. Not to mention grooming and general care. Sit down with your little one and make sure she’s aware of the work involved. If she still seems keen, it might be time to look at horses near you!