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Image by Kateřina Hartlová from Pixabay
Image by Kateřina Hartlová from Pixabay

By the EIE Editorial Staff

We love horses and owning a horse can be a very rewarding experience, but it's important to be aware of the challenges involved before you take the plunge. Here are 10 of the biggest challenges you're likely to face.

1. Financial Commitment

Horses are expensive animals to keep. You'll need to factor in the cost of bedding and feed, farrier services, veterinary care, stabling or boarding fees, deworming, vaccinations, and other miscellaneous expenses. You may also choose to insure your horse which is an additional cost.

2.Time Commitment

Horses are social animals that require regular handling and attention. You'll need to spend time each day feeding, watering, cleaning their stall, grooming, and exercising them. Even if you board your horse at a stable, you'll still need to factor in travel time to and from the barn.

3. Finding Suitable Housing

Horses need a safe and secure place to live. You'll either need to have enough property to provide them with pasture and shelter, or you'll need to board them at a stable. Boarding fees can vary depending on the location and amenities offered. Here's a Boarding Checklist to help you in your search.

4. Training

Even if you're buying a well-trained horse, you'll still need to take some time to get to know each other and build a bond. Horses are intelligent creatures that can learn a lot, but they also have their own minds and can be stubborn at times. You may also want to hire a trainer or participate in a clinic.

5. Health Care

Horses are susceptible to a variety of health problems, some of which can be very expensive to treat. It's important to have a good relationship with a veterinarian who specializes in equine care. Equine dentists and therapy also help with maintaining good health for your horse.

6. Commitment for the Long Haul

Horses can live for 20 to 30 years or even longer. When you buy a horse, you're making a long-term commitment to their care. Be sure you're prepared to provide them with a loving home for their entire lifetime. At some point, you may choose a retirement home for them so they will have a peaceful life in their final years if their current living situation is not suitable for their advancing age. And finally, there are difficult decisions to make when your beloved horse crosses the rainbow bridge.

7. Unexpected Costs

Even if you budget carefully, there will always be unexpected costs that come up, such as a sudden illness or injury. It's important to have a financial cushion to cover these costs.

8. Finding a Horse that's Right for You

With so many different breeds and types of horses available for so many riding disciplines, it's important to find one that's a good match for your experience level, riding style, and budget. Do your research and try out a few different horses before you make a decision.

9. Safety

Horses are large, powerful animals, and they can be dangerous if not handled properly. It's important to learn how to handle horses safely on the ground and in the saddle. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear when riding.

10. Finding Support

Owning a horse can be a challenging but rewarding experience. It's important to have a support system in place, such as a trainer, a farrier, a veterinarian, and other horse owners. These people can provide you with guidance, support, and friendship.

Keeping all of these in mind, owning a horse can be an incredibly fulfilling and rewarding relationship for many years, so treasure every moment!

You can find more interesting stories in our section on Recreation & Lifestyle.

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