The Horse Forum banner

Interested in horses, what can you tell me?

1629 Views 26 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  newtrailriders
I’m gonna put it out there, I’ve never had a horse nor do I plan on getting one anytime soon HOWEVER I would be interested in getting one in the foreseeable future should life allow it (not anytime soon)
what can you tell me about horses? I will be honest, I would just own them as pasture decoration.
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
8,099 Posts
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.
 

· Registered
My black horse is very silly and handsome. He is hard to train most of the time.
Joined
·
811 Posts
I agree with @ACinATX .You might be interested in a rescue horse. They wouldn't be in the best of condition to ride and do many things with and would benefit from little work. Also horses are more comfortable with another horse that isn't very aggressive.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
10,719 Posts
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.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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, 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!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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.
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!
 

· Registered
My black horse is very silly and handsome. He is hard to train most of the time.
Joined
·
811 Posts
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!
A bonded pair is very common with horses. An interesting story:
When I got my first riding horse, I already had a wild horse that I could lead around sometimes. The wild one was in a farther away pasture and I kept the new horse next to the house and he was kind of worried a lot of the time. Then I put him in the pasture with the wild horse and then when I went to take him out he wouldn't go he was panicked about leaving him. I had to put them two in the same pasture and he would panic when I would ride him away from the other horse. Several months later I got another horse and then was able to put the wild one back and then so the 2 riding horse because better buddies. The first horse is still very buddy sour ( which means wanting his friends) but I can still ride him sometimes without his friends but he gets more worried the more that he doesn't see any other horses.
 

· Registered
My black horse is very silly and handsome. He is hard to train most of the time.
Joined
·
811 Posts
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!
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.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,099 Posts
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.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,106 Posts
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.
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.

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:).
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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.

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:).
Thank you for the information! Very useful. Also love the quick snippets about your horses
 

· Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
I wrote this before reading the other posts, and I think everything I said has more or less been covered, but I'm going to post it anyway because typing on a phone is hard and I hate to waste the effort.😅

Absolutely agree that what you're looking for is a rescue horse. A lot of rescues are unrideable due to injury or birth defect, and they're not as likely to get adopted because most people wanting horses want to ride. Like people have said, you probably want to get two, because they are herd animals.

You know what I would do? I would find the closest horse rescue to me and ask to volunteer. You'd learn how to handle horses safely, and perhaps you'll meet your new buddies there. If there's no rescue in easy driving distance, you could look at regular stables in your area. They probably won't say no to free work. You could even offer to pay them in the beginning, since they'd be teaching you from scratch. You'd be taking lessons, just not riding lessons.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7,464 Posts
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.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
10,719 Posts
ALL of what @blue eyed pony is 100% accurate.

I 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).

So yeah, whether you ride or not, a lot of the care for horses will be the same.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,106 Posts
@Kolobokchka something else that may help is this official Pony Club book.


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:)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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.
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 😳).
Something that is always on the top of my list is a vet. I don’t plan on getting anything until a good vet is established! (Same for shoes and teeth, I suppose)
I am not interested in riding at all, I admit, I am content with petting and interacting :).
Thank you for the very useful info

I 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).
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 spectrum

@Kolobokchka something else that may help is this official Pony Club book.


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:)
Thank you, thank you !
 

· Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
You can get people to haul the manure away, but you have to pay them. Alternately, if you have a suitable place for a manure pile or thee on your property, you can store it there, and after a few years people will want it as fertilizer, and might buy it but will definitely take it away for free, depending on where you live.

Any person not experienced in handling horses should not own a horse. Even the most well mannered horse can accidentally hurt you, especially if you don't know what you're doing. And horses learn from every experience they have with you, so a well mannered horse can lose those manners if you don't know how to maintain them.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top