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Your Child's First Horse

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Your Child’s First Horse

 

How much time does choosing a pet have to take? Others would consider this a no-brainer. If you like dogs, then by all means get one! If you’re a cat person, then cat it is. For parents with young children however, it may not be as simple as getting a dog or a cat just because they also had one of those when they were kids.

 

Many “Top 10” or similar such lists on the internet don’t even include cats and dogs amongst the suitable candidates for a child’s first pet. Most of them list small animals; a variety of rats, lizards and birds, even spiders.

 

Your child’s age, health and temperament are all important considerations. Small animals are not always suitable pets for very young children. A very playful child who does not fully understand the consequences of some types of play might end up injuring the animal, or the child might get scratched or bitten and become wary of any animal in the process. If the child has some allergies, some animals may be off limits as well. Let us not forget, too that children should never ever be left unattended with their pet, whatever its size.

 

So how about a horse?

 

If as a child you’ve always wanted one but never got it and IF and ONLY IF your own kid really, really wants a horse (not just “brainwashed” into wanting one) then now is your chance to fulfil your childhood dream (lucky you!).... But first, there are some questions to ask yourself (and your child) to make sure you’re both ready to bring a horse into your lives.

 

  • Owning a horse is expensive. How much are you prepared to spend, on the horse itself and the cost of its upkeep, like feed, vaccinations, farrier and dental visits, worming, saddlery and other horse supplies, vet bills, etc.

 

  • Do you have the space to house a horse or at least a stable close enough to board your horse? This is another (considerable) expense to watch out for.

 

  • Owning a horse is time consuming. If your child is older, fully aware of the responsibilities that come with owning a horse and is physically able to do the work (it will be a lot of work) then all should be well. But if your child is a bit young or has many other things going on outside of school that will keep them from taking care of the horse full time, are YOU prepared to take on horse-care duties?

 

So what kind of horse should it be? After considering all the points mentioned above (and then some) it could either be a magnificent warmblood for your future equestrian or something smaller and closer to your child’s age, like a miniature pony for instance. Choosing the breed also needs careful consideration, and whatever you ultimately decide upon should be the result of exhaustive research. Remember you will not be simply buying a horse... you are buying into a lifestyle, for your child and possibly the entire family.