Equine Ownership Test
FHOTD recently posted an entry asking for suggestions about what to put on a test for new horse owners if there was one. I don't want to debate whether we should have a test, but let's just assume the government decided to put one in place... As you can see from the comments on the blog, coming up with questions isn't that easy. Many things to do with horses are dependent on location and many other things such as what vaccines to give are up for debate. Some questions are too vague, such as "How much hay does a horse eat?" and others don't affect certain people.
So, what do you think a person should know before buying a horse? Here's a sample 10 questions for me:
1) Label the parts of the horse (because you can't really call the vet up and say "my horse has a bump on the back of the sticky outy thing near his foot." )
2) Describe how to muck out a stall.
3) About how often should a horse be fed a) hay b) grain?
4) How do you find a good horse vet and farrier?
5) Where do you find information on:
a) what horse diseases exist in your area?
b) what poisonous plants exist in your area?
6) What are the signs of colic? What's the first thing you should do if you suspect your horse has colic?
7) If you were going to board your horse, what questions would you ask a stable owner before deciding to keep your horse there?
8) True of false: - Having a foal will improve a mare's behavior.
- If you have a nice mare, it's cheaper to breed a foal than to buy another horse.
9) You see a sale add for a horse that says "15.5H tri-colored pinto." Based on the add, what is your opinion of the seller and why?
10) Name two types of grain horses sometimes eat and two other types of food they shouldn't eat.
This is far from a complete list... and strange as it may seem I would also ask one or two questions about color genetics, because in my experience people who love horses enough to learn about that usually care enough to learn the really important stuff.
I know a lot of people who board their horses who dont know the first thing about picking a stall... which is to bad.
I dont really know about colors, I only know the basic colors, lol.
Hmmm... i cant really think of any more, You coverd all the basics in my books.
Honestly, I think it should be mandatory to have an "adult pony club" and have everyone complete a crash course!
I would avoid questions about color genetics because it's really amazing how few people know anything. I've met competent breeders that didn't understand all the aspects of color. My friends have gotten curious and always ask me now, but I'd be far beit to call Shay-la an incompetent horse owner because she doesn't know what color her palomino mare could produce if bred to a grullo stud. Maybe names of actual horse colors such as bay, chestnut or black? Those are more relevant, as it doesn't have anything to do with horse ownership but shows a level of commitment and seriousness I think.
I think a good "horse ownership" test should cover several scenerios. Describe a scene involving colic or laminitis for example, or a scene that describes a horse behaving badly from ill fitting tack and have them explain why they think it's happening. Detailed descriptive answers are an excellent look into someones psyche - even if it was answered technically wrong, if the effort was there and the logic makes sense, it benefits the evaluator moreso then a simple yes or no or one worded answer.
I vote for having this test before being allowed to have children as well. :lol:
Stuff about how to properly handle a horse, how to be the "leader", what to do when a horse misbehaves...things like that.
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Don't forget about some grooming stuff! If you can't properly clean your horse, how will you know if something is wrong with it/out of the ordinary?
Also there should be something about tack fitting, like if a saddle if ts properly, there should be solid sweat marks on each side of the horse and how to measure for a bit and so on.....
And yes! there should be a test for people who are purchasing their first horse. Espically the preteen brats who throw a tantrum and daddy buys them a pretty pony because their daughter is too precious to say no to. They should just let the goverment step in and tell the brat no.
there should be something about hoof care, like the points of the hoof
there should also be pictures of good weight horse and then a skinny horse then an obese horse and they have to pick the healthy one
At the barn I feed and work at several owners know nothing about what their horses eat, the supplements they get, etc. My BO just tells them what they need to buy and they buy it. I discovered this when I was asking an owner about her horses' food and she told me she didnt know anything about that, we did it. That's happened with another onwer also...lol.
And I'm sure they don't know much about cleaning the stalls then either..
Good thread though. I think the owners and everyone else involved should know about everything, not just the BO and us workers.
I always wanted to know what was happening with my horse, but some people don't care or are too confused about how to go about asking.
Instead of making fun of folks like that, maybe offer a class or training session? I think an exam prior to that would be a good idea, since that will tell you their strengths and weaknesses.
I know when I brought my boys home for the first time I wasn't exactly scared, but I was fairly clueless about how much I was supposed to feed them. Oh, I knew WHAT they were eating, but the amounts were kind of sketchy in my mind.
I've had horses for 32 years. For 27 of those years I boarded. It's completely different when you have them at home, and it can be a trial by fire. Sure, you can be as prepared as humanly possible, but there's still a quantity of unknown.
After all, what people who work with horses as their job see as just regular knowledge that anyone should know, isn't necessarily true when it comes to those who board their horses and leave the responsibilities of day to day care up to someone else.
I wasnt making fun of them, didnt mean for it to come off like that. Its just stuff like that that makes me think this kind of test would be a good idea so they have some clue as to what's going on with their animal.
I personally would want to know what my horse eats, and etc. even if I was not the one doing the work, but I am not everyone.
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