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Old 05-12-2014, 04:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Horses can be a lot of fun, but definitely time consuming, and can be VERY expensive. Even my little backyard easy keeper horse was notorious for abscesses in her feet no matter what we did which ended up being about $200 each time between the vet lancing and treating it and the farrier fitting it with a special shoe.

Even for normal costs though, there's regular feed costs, tack costs, farrier, shots, teeth need to be floated occasionally, need to budget for all the odds and ends that happen health wise. Don't really want to discourage you, just want you to know they're definitely not cheap and be prepared.

And yeah, if you've never worked with a horse before, I would find a good trainer. Do you know if they're saddle-broke or green? Western, English trained?
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the advice! I'm no wuss when it comes to animals. Lol. I've been around cattle, large bulls, a few calves. I did take riding lessons when I was younger. 10 years old maybe? I'm now 18. I don't remember all of it, but hopefully it'll all come back to me once I get into a routine.
I don't know anything about the horses yet, but I will find out. I'd hate to pass this up, I doubt I'll ever get another chance.
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by HarleyTheGSD View Post
Thank you all for the advice! I'm no wuss when it comes to animals. Lol. I've been around cattle, large bulls, a few calves. I did take riding lessons when I was younger. 10 years old maybe? I'm now 18. I don't remember all of it, but hopefully it'll all come back to me once I get into a routine.
I don't know anything about the horses yet, but I will find out. I'd hate to pass this up, I doubt I'll ever get another chance.
There are horses in need of rescuing and available all over the place all the time. Don't rush into owning two horses, with unknown issues, when you have zero experience (riding lessons 8 years ago...and horses are very different than cattle), because it seems "too good to pass up." Make sure you really think that one through. I know so many people that got horses because they were free and available that turned into a big mess. If you had grown up around horses, owned some at some point, had been a stable hand, etc...maybe a different story. I've just seen this play out a couple times (we had quite a few clients who came by horses this way at the practice). I don't think people realize how easy it is to come by a horse if you just want one to have fun with. It seems that obtaining the horse isn't the problem, it's everything and I mean everything, that comes after that. Good luck. :-)

Last edited by DaniFani; 05-12-2014 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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food shoes and vet bills. as stated can be very costly. just make sure you know what you are getting into. if you decide not to take them there are many rescues. you do want to make sure they don't go to canada or mexico as they are butchered and the meat is sold over seas.
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I own a horse now, and have owned and ridden for more than 36 years. I love everything about being a horse person. But it is very, very expensive and time consuming.

There are so many questions you need answered. First, have these horses ever been worked with? Are they broke to ride and been used recently in a consistent way, or have they been pasture pets? Any health or behavioral issues? Can they be handled safely for routine vet care and farrier work?

Next, you need to look at your grandparent's property. Is it safely fenced? Barbed wire is not a safe fencing for horses. How adequate is the forage (is there enough good quality grass to keep them fed)? What is the water source?

Here is a break down of vet costs for my gelding, over the last six months:
Fall shots, dental and sheath cleaning-$278
Lameness exam, xrays-$410
Medicine-$48
Spring shots, sheath cleaning-$110

That doesn't include the feed-through wormer I use, or the supplements. I didn't include board, since you would be keeping them at your grandparents place. But you should be aware that very few pastures stay nutritionally adequate year round. So you'll have to throw hay for at least a few months every year and the cost of hay has skyrocketed all over the country over the past few years. It is crazy expensive.

And you should have a way to pay for unexpected vet bills. Horses are worse than dogs when it comes to finding unique and expensive ways to harm themselves. You have to be prepared to provide vet care. Even if you decide you can't afford a high cost procedure or treatment, and choose to euthanize? It can cost a pretty penny to do that, between the vet costs and carcass removal.

I love my gelding and can't imagine life without him. But you have to be really, really dedicated to keeping a horse in order to make the money and time and effort worth it.
Sheilah
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DaniFani View Post
There are horses in need of rescuing and available all over the place all the time. Don't rush into owning two horses, with unknown issues, when you have zero experience (riding lessons 8 years ago...and horses are very different than cattle), because it seems "too good to pass up." Make sure you really think that one through. I know so many people that got horses because they were free and available that turned into a big mess. If you had grown up around horses, owned some at some point, had been a stable hand, etc...maybe a different story. I've just seen this play out a couple times (we had quite a few clients who came by horses this way at the practice). I don't think people realize how easy it is to come by a horse if you just want one to have fun with. It seems that obtaining the horse isn't the problem, it's everything and I mean everything, that comes after that. Good luck. :-)
Thank you very much. I can understand that. Well, the decision is left to my grandparents. If it can't be done, I'll find a rescue that takes in horses. I will do my homework, though! I want to know what I may be getting myself into.
My mom also has some experience. She had one as a girl, and she knows a lot about this. She shares my love for horses, and will help me every step of the way.
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:08 PM   #17 (permalink)
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...I love my gelding and can't imagine life without him. But you have to be really, really dedicated to keeping a horse in order to make the money and time and effort worth it.
Sheilah
Ditto to everything Sheilah said (except, Sheilah, you can learn to clean a gelding or stallion's sheath, and give injections too, lol).

It IS really important to find out what training they have had, how long ago, have they been worked recently, how they are as far as handling, grooming, etc. In other words, temperament is even more important with a beginner's horse than it is for a beginner's GSD. How old are they? For a beginner, horses over 10 years old would be a big advantage. No stallions--mares or geldings only! What breed are they? That can make a big difference also. Are you in an area where they would have to have shelter or be stabled for the winter? Winter time brings its own difficulties, my favorite was making sure 3 times a day that they had water they could drink, not ice, in single digit temperatures.

If they would be stabled, they need their stalls cleaned daily, their feet cleaned out daily, grooming is an essential for a healthy coat.

And as everyone else stated, they are VERY costly to keep the way horses should be kept.

I trained and showed for most of my adult life, as well as giving riding lessons. The 2 breeds I worked with predominately were Arabians and Thoroughbreds, Arabs being the breed with the most intelligence and stability, TBs also with lots of intelligence, but often unpredictable, depending on early training. I always 'trained,' never 'broke' a horse. Still, now in my sixties, I deal with lots of arthritis and a damaged back, not just from equestrian accidents, but also just the heavy work involved (unless you are wealthy and have someone else to do that for you).

I nearly forgot to re-emphasize what others have stated--if there is a way for a horse to injure himself, he will find it! I knew a veterinarian who owned horses, he had cut down young trees in a pasture and left the trunks about 4 ft. high (he was afraid the horses would get hurt if he cut them lower, and couldn't take them out by the roots right away). You guessed it--one of his horses impaled himself on a tree trunk, right through the chest!

I dearly loved horses all my life (still do), and I don't want to discourage you, but I would want you to walk into a commitment like this with your eyes wide open! It really would be the best if you could work under an experienced, knowledgeable horse owner, a mentor, before you take this on.

Susan

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Old 05-12-2014, 07:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Everything Sheilah said

My dad always said the definition of poverty was owning a horse.......we had 12 growing up so he was a pretty good sport...
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sit,stay View Post
I own a horse now, and have owned and ridden for more than 36 years. I love everything about being a horse person. But it is very, very expensive and time consuming.

There are so many questions you need answered. First, have these horses ever been worked with? Are they broke to ride and been used recently in a consistent way, or have they been pasture pets? Any health or behavioral issues? Can they be handled safely for routine vet care and farrier work?

Next, you need to look at your grandparent's property. Is it safely fenced? Barbed wire is not a safe fencing for horses. How adequate is the forage (is there enough good quality grass to keep them fed)? What is the water source?

Here is a break down of vet costs for my gelding, over the last six months:
Fall shots, dental and sheath cleaning-$278
Lameness exam, xrays-$410
Medicine-$48
Spring shots, sheath cleaning-$110

That doesn't include the feed-through wormer I use, or the supplements. I didn't include board, since you would be keeping them at your grandparents place. But you should be aware that very few pastures stay nutritionally adequate year round. So you'll have to throw hay for at least a few months every year and the cost of hay has skyrocketed all over the country over the past few years. It is crazy expensive.

And you should have a way to pay for unexpected vet bills. Horses are worse than dogs when it comes to finding unique and expensive ways to harm themselves. You have to be prepared to provide vet care. Even if you decide you can't afford a high cost procedure or treatment, and choose to euthanize? It can cost a pretty penny to do that, between the vet costs and carcass removal.

I love my gelding and can't imagine life without him. But you have to be really, really dedicated to keeping a horse in order to make the money and time and effort worth it.
Sheilah





I think I've been spoiled by my mare being such an easy keeper (for a TB, anyways) that I forgot what a nightmare my gelding was on my wallet... he was healthy, barefoot, easy to keep weight on... had a freak accident in the paddock one day and proceeded to cost me thousands and was never the same- retired from being a showjumper to a pasture puff. Always expect the unexpected. There is so much that can go wrong with these guys medically that keeping them on your own with no experience (vs at a boarding facility where there's experienced people always around, etc) would make me really nervous. I would find and get to know an experienced trainer in your area who can evaluate them and provide you with guidance.

I also definitely agree with the poster who said it is also important to remember that there will always be others. Just as there are many, many dogs in rescues needing homes, there are also a boatload of nice horses in rescue. The time commitment for keeping two horses on your own (rather than at a boarding facility where some level of chores are sometimes included) is enormous. I would really make sure you're at a point in your life where you're sure you can take on the financial burden and time requirements.
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Last free horse I got cost me a ton in vet bills when it got tangled in the fence. The other 60head had no issues with the fence but the free horse......

I agree with what others said, the expense is far more than you realize going in. You'll spend thousands on tack and proper care even if you manage to get the horses and feed for free.
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