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I think, if you want a pasture pet, you could find a retired horse pretty easily! Some of them need some loving and care, and have a hard time finding it.
Yes, someone recommended horse rescues and I think that’s a great idea. Maybe a bonded pair (is that a thing with horses?) would be good.You can also check out horse rescues near you. Some of them might not want to provide a horse to you since you don't have any experience, but you never know.
Most horses do better with at least one other horse as a companion.
Yes, it will be a long time before I may (if ever) get a horse, but I want to build my knowledge first and came to this website. My only experience as of now is mostly goats haha.Well, there is a LOT to learn about horses so you would have to be more specific in your question to get meaningful responses. However, the first thing I would say is that you should probably spend time with them first to see if you really do like them in person. Expectations can sometime be very different than reality, so you might want to do something like volunteer at a barn to see if you like being around them.
A bonded pair is very common with horses. An interesting story:Yes, someone recommended horse rescues and I think that’s a great idea. Maybe a bonded pair (is that a thing with horses?) would be good.
As I mentioned I am not getting any horse anytime soon (not for a long time), because I want to be confident in caring for one, hence why I came to this site!
Yes, 30 year for a horse is old old. A horse is in it's prime about from age 4 1/4 -5 to- for some well kept horses age 12ish and for others age 8-9. But horses have been known to live over 40 years before.Yes, it will be a long time before I may (if ever) get a horse, but I want to build my knowledge first and came to this website. My only experience as of now is mostly goats haha.
My neighbors have horses (pasture pets) and I have been around them, they are much aged, (is 30 old?).
Thank you for the comment!
This ^^^^ was also my thought. It’s the best way to learn and give the rescue facilities free help as all of them operate on a shoe string budget.Another thing, if you find a local rescue, is some of them keep horses on-site and would love to have volunteers in any capacity. You could get your feet wet (or, should I say, mucky) by volunteering with one.
Thank you for the information! Very useful. Also love the quick snippets about your horsesThis ^^^^ was also my thought. It’s the best way to learn and give the rescue facilities free help as all of them operate on a shoe string budget.
Age thirty is getting up there . Generally speaking horses age 3:1 to a human; making a 30 year old horse 90 in human years.. Like people, some age faster than others.
My two pasture pets are 27 & 28. The 28 yr old is a broke to death trail horse who has been with me since he was two. He is still rideable if I could still ride.
The 27 yr old is a retired hunter/jumper who came here as a companion to my 28 yr old, after my 27 yr old Tennessee Walker passed away. He has injuries that make him not rideable but he is still a stunningly handsome, sweet fella with impeccable manners.
If you click on the down arrow in my sig, there is a recent foto of my two elders. The Dutch Warmblood is in the left, the Tennessee Walker on the right.
If you decide to volunteer at a rescue, try to find one that is accredited as a 501(c)3. Being run under this IRS exemption code means they are more apt to be ethical. Sometimes places that merely hang out a “Rescue” shingle fall way short of the meaning of the word.
Yes, I have always been aware of the cost of horses, thank you for putting it into perspective (a bit daunting, that kind of money 😳).They need the farrier every 4 to 8 weeks (dependent on the horse - mine go 6 weeks - but never more than 8) even if you never ride.
They need the dentist every 6-12 months (again dependent on the horse, one of mine goes 9, the other goes 12), even if you never ride.
They need regular deworming OR fecal egg counts, even if you never ride.
They need regular handling, even if you never ride. The process of grooming your horse thoroughly helps you to check them over for injuries, and a horse that is handled often is more likely to tolerate the vet, farrier, dentist etc kindly instead of reacting with fear. I speak from experience when I say it isn't fun treating an injury on an unhandled horse.
It pays to have a helmet that fits you correctly, even if you never ride. I've been seriously injured by a horse that swung her head into me when I didn't have a helmet on (because I wasn't planning on riding), so I now always wear a helmet to handle horses I'm unsure of, or to do things I think will cause my own horses to react dangerously. My horses are well mannered, but they ARE horses - they are still 1300 pound flight animals that react faster than I can blink.
You need, at minimum, a grooming kit, a good halter and lead, and one warm waterproof blanket for emergency use (even if you choose not to blanket your horse routinely).
Even if you never ride, you need to have a way of paying large vet bills (the bill for a colic can be as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as $65000, depending on necessary treatment and complications -- personally I can't drop $65000 but my decisions are largely made by prognosis regarding quality of life, not finances).
You need to know when to call the vet. I can treat a lot at home after more than 23 years of experience with horses and the ways they injure themselves, and I still have a list of 5 things I NEVER mess around with and consider to be ALWAYS an emergency (or a vet call at the very least): eyes, joints, infections, colic, and anything at all wrong with a foal. Those five things have the potential to turn so bad so fast that it just isn't worth the risk. You need to know how to spot the difference between venous and arterial bleeding, and how much blood a horse can lose before you're looking at a life threatening emergency (it's a lot more than people think, but they can lose it FAST -- one of my local equine vets once had a patient bleed out from a ruptured artery in its nose in under 30 seconds). You need to know how to realistically assess the situation your horse is in and make the decision that's best for the animal, even when it hurts you.
If you DO ride, they need correctly fitting tack. Their shape can change over time, so getting periodical professional fittings done is worth the money. A lot of horses benefit from routine massage (or other types of bodywork). Tack can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it, but as a rule, if you're on a budget, you're best off buying good quality gear secondhand rather than being stuck on the "but I want a NEW one", because cheap brand new gear is cheaply made, less comfortable (for you AND your horse) and sometimes actually dangerous. The exception to this being anything that your life relies on: helmets, girths, stirrups, stirrup leathers, and if you choose to wear one, body protectors. Fork out for the best brand new stuff you can afford with these - you can't put a price on your life, and you can't guarantee a secondhand item has been properly cared for.
I have forgotten about the poop 😂 that’s something to think about. I don’t think chickens or goats can amount to horses in that spectrumI would just add that if you are keeping horses on your own property, you need to think about manure. A LOT of it. Horses produce, on average, 50 lbs of waste per day, per horse. If you have a barn or a shelter of some sort (which you should have), it will need to be cleaned. I do it daily because if I did it weekly, well... do the math. Unless you have 10+ acres (and if you do, yay! but you could still be in trouble if you have an easy keeper, which is a horse that cannot be left to roam large areas because they will get fat, then have health issues), you will also need to clean their turnout periodically. And figure out what to do with all that poop. In my cold climate, it takes 3 years for that manure to compost and be useable in gardens. Green manure will do more harm than good so it needs to be put somewhere in a pile for 3 years. We have 3 piles, one is ready each year. We spread it in our garden, our apple orchard, give it away to anyone who wants some... and still we have lots left (we have a 13 acre property for 3 horses).
Thank you, thank you !@Kolobokchka something else that may help is this official Pony Club book.
Volume I, Second Edition, 323 pages, with photos and line drawings, is designed “to accommodate children’s attraction to, fascination with and affection for horses as it introduces them to ever increasing levels of knowledge.” Heralded as “the best beginning riding book ever published,” this...shopponyclub.org
This is geared toward both children and adults. It would be something you would always have as a reference because, until you are actually ready to take on the responsibility, all the information coming at you at once can be overwhelming.
There are also other Pony Club books but the one I linked above may be the most useful for now, when it comes to the academics of owning horses