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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been thinking lately about what makes a good/great horse owner. I just wanted to see what values you guys thought a good/great horse owner has. :D
 

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IMHO, a good/great horse owner understands the needs of the animal and has the budget to be able to afford proper care; is knowledgeable about horse behavior; provides appropriate facilities for the animal; is compassionate, yet firm; does not anthropomorphize (attribute human behaviors to) the animal; spends the right amount of time with the animal training it and keeping it occupied; exposes the animal to different circumstances and surroundings so it will be socialized and properly desensitized; and, in the end, knows when to let the horse go so its quality of life is not compromised.
 

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Is the one who's horses look nice, fat (it's pretty general statement as say some horses stay on skinnier side, some may have something with the health (like tumor, which doesn't cause the pain, but don't let to get lots of weight, and so on)), healthy and happy. :)

But to be more specific the one, who provides enough (nutritional) food, water, vet (when needed), farrier, teeth floating (when needed), deworming, and who does NOT dump the used horse to the auction just because it's old or injured and can't compete (or even ride) anymore (the last drives me crazy - I've seen it at the auction too many time :twisted: ).

I didn't mention training because some people take in old/pasture pets horses, which don't need real training, but the owner is still a "good" owner. Also the person may not fuss all over the horse with hugs and kisses and treats and still be a great owner, on other hand I've seen those feeding bunch of treats and not giving dewormer or proper hoof care, so it all depends.
 

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IMHO, a good/great horse owner understands the needs of the animal and has the budget to be able to afford proper care; is knowledgeable about horse behavior; provides appropriate facilities for the animal; is compassionate, yet firm; does not anthropomorphize (attribute human behaviors to) the animal; spends the right amount of time with the animal training it and keeping it occupied; exposes the animal to different circumstances and surroundings so it will be socialized and properly desensitized; and, in the end, knows when to let the horse go so its quality of life is not compromised.
Ditto!!
 

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Patience, a willingness to learn, a genuine love for the animal and the sport and the ability to remain level headed at all times. Oh and money. Lots of it.
 

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I agree with the above but would like to add that a good horse owner knows when it's in the horses best interest NOT to own one. I have seen so many people who "could never sell my horse" and yet they can't afford the vet or farrier and a lot of times proper feed. They are so afraid that their beloved horse will end up wit someone who will abuse it (probably read Black Beauty too many times), and yet they can't see that their lack of proper care is abuse itself and unfair to the animal.
 

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Lots of great replies, many of which trail right back to those two little words "common sense"; throw some logic and gut instinct into the formula as to when it's the right thing to do "this" or "that".

I know a few folks that have had horses for 30 years that would make all the horses they've gone thru much happier if they'd've just bought a stuffed one from WalMart. Horses are well cared for, trimmed regularly, get their vaccines on time, blah blah blah. Somehow the horse owner(s) have managed to remain clueless that the reason all the horses they have gone thru just might be them! What a concept.

On the flip side, I am acquainted with a few horse owners that have only been into horses for five years or less. They already know more than the lifers mentioned above becaussssssss - they've got common sense and actually use it:lol:

So just because the horse is spit-shined, hooves filed to perfection, and every vaccine known to man has been injected into the horse for 2010, does not mean the person is a good horse owner.

It shows they care plenty, but that still doesn't make them a great horse owner; it does make them a good horse caregiver in terms of basic health needs.

I may catch some flack for that and some of the younger generation may not quite understand my thoughts only because they haven't traveled down Life's road as far as I have, but that's how I see things thru these old eyes:)
 

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Having proper horse care is important, yes but anyone can do that and own a horse. It does not take much to call a farrier every 6 weeks, a vet once a year, a dentist once a year, etc.
To me a good horse owner is one who regardless if they need to or not, they take that time to visit their horse every day. (I board right now). A person who takes time every day to groom, walk, work with personally. A person who knows the personality of the horse and knows that instant something is off.
I have boarded at a barn that the owners do the vet, do the farrier, hire people to clean stalls and turn out and have nothing to do with the horse themselves. They would have no idea if something was wrong.
At the barn now, we are all pretty hands on but one boarder who may show up once a week if that. She may provide his needs but without that companionship why own a horse? They need TLC and interaction.
 

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Just so people don't think I was suggesting that only rich people make good owners, here is what I really meant:

It's about being sat down by your parents when you are 6 years old and told that you will never be able to have a horse as its too expensive. It's about getting a job waitressing (to start saving) at the local Chinese restaurant when you are 13 as that is the only place that will hire someone so young. It's about starting to work for a cranky old racehorse trainer at age 14 breaking 2 year olds and riding trackwork, realizing that you will never get paid but that the experience will be invaluable. It's about working for him for 10 years, 5 days a week around school and Uni right up until the day he died of old age in his sleep at 86.

It's about saving up all the money yourself to buy your first horse and maintaining as many hours at your job as possible around study to ensure that you always have enough money to offer your horse the best possible home whilst never having to ask your parents for money. Working two jobs around full time Uni to pay for the upkeep of your eventers, plus their EFA fees and registrations.

Not going to things like Debutante balls, school formals, holidays, nights out with friends because you would rather spend the money you make on your horse and competitions.

Getting to your twenties and discovering the wisdom of having around $2000 stashed somewhere at all times for emergency vet bills. Asking for a dressage saddle for your 21st birthday instead of expensive jewellery and then getting more use out of that saddle than any of your friends got out of necklaces/earrings that were probably lost or went out of fashion. It's about still seeking different trainers to work with and different horses to ride so that you never stop learning and being able to apply everything you learn to your own horses, never being afraid to admit you don't know something or could improve in some area.

Realizing that as much as you think you know, there is someone out there who knows more and the trick is to find them and learn from them.

Looking back at all of the decisions you made and realizing you wouldn't have changed a thing.
 

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Money to pay for proper care is important, but to me it's not what makes a good owner. As one of the previous posters said, it doesn't take much to call out a vet or a farrier.

A great horse owner is one that starts out with an open mind, a strong driving desire to improve, and immeasurable patience. I don't really think that someone really experienced necessarily has to be the greatest owner (though they are really good), because nobody just starts out being totally awesome and knowledgable. Someone with no ego, and is man enough to set their pride aside and admit that sometimes yes, they do need help. It's also someone who realizes that no matter how great you think you are, there is no limit to the amount of horsemanship you can learn. And of course, someone who loves the animals they're working with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the posts guys!!!
 

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I think a good owner realizes that horses are a lifestyle, not a hobby or pastime, and they WANT that lifestyle with all their heart and devote all their free time to it.

I think a good owner eats, sleeps and breathes horses and does their best to care for their needs within their means.

You can have a wealthy person who is a poor owner, or a poor person who is a good owner (as long as the horse's needs are still being met).

It is about actually caring about your horse's health, training, exercise, hooves and that their tack fits them properly. Giving them good care rain or shine, in sickness or in health. Realizing they are an actual living being and having empathy and understanding.

Just basically being devoted to your horse the way a good dog owner should be devoted to their dog. It's a lifestyle in my opinion. Because it will take away a lot of your free time and money so you better want it a lot! :D
 

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IMHO, a good/great horse owner understands the needs of the animal and has the budget to be able to afford proper care; is knowledgeable about horse behavior; provides appropriate facilities for the animal; is compassionate, yet firm; does not anthropomorphize (attribute human behaviors to) the animal; spends the right amount of time with the animal training it and keeping it occupied; exposes the animal to different circumstances and surroundings so it will be socialized and properly desensitized; and, in the end, knows when to let the horse go so its quality of life is not compromised.
You hit the nail right on the head as far as I'm concerned. :wink:
 

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I didn't mean money was the only thing, just in addition to what the above was saying. My cousin had always wanted a horse and when my grandma got her one for Christmas she loved it very very much. That horse was her ONLY friend, she is sort of one of those recluse sort of girls that everyone at school made fun of. Anyway, she vowed to never ever sell Fancy and she never did. however she never had the money to take care of her. Her hooves grew too long and she rode her anyway. The horse was only about 14 hands and yet she gave it enough alfalfa and grain (because the horse liked 4 way grain) to feed a working racehorse! The horse went lame with a bowed tendon, the vet was never called. As soon as she was walking without a limp she started riding again "she's not lame, she's not limping." Fancy ended up with a permanent limp. Then she moved the horse to a place where she had nobody to ride with and the horse was in a 10X20 stall. Because she was alone she wouldn't ride her...and yet kept up the feed rations "because she's hungry." The horse got fatter and fatter and eventually foundered and died because when it got sick, "I can't afford a vet."

I tried to step in and offered to pay full board for a stable where she would have people to ride with (and hopefully help her see the light) but she refused to take her to a stable again (she swears the SO of her last stable caused to bowed tendon).

Now it is about 10 years later and she has been doing her homework, researching horse care etc in the hopes of getting another horse and the other day she asks "do you think I contributed to Fancy's death?" I think she's finally getting it.

So this is why I posted that you need the "means" to take care of a horse too or at least the knowledge that if things happen down the road and your situation is no longer favorable for the horse, you need to find it a home that can. There are a LOT of people out there like my cousin who believe in the "forever home" and that is a really really good thing in most cases, but sometimes it can go wrong.
 

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Part of being a good horse owner also includes doing what is right for the greater population- breeding responsibly always, selling an animal in an honest light, and not stepping in on a horses behalf unless the horse is in mortal danger.
 

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I like everyones responces so far...Im gonna make a simple list lol

1- Love! you must love your horse
2- Common sense...it helps...
3- The intellegence to know how to hadle the horse and to know when the horse is to much and you need help
4- Money...it helps...lots...
5- Time, you need the time to bond with your horse.
6- You need to be tough enough to handle the hard stuff. (death, injuries, etc.)
7- A level head. No matter what happens if you get upset it makes things worse and if you panic your horse will panic.
8- The facilities to properly care for a horse, or access to proper facilities.
9- Knowledge: Know what care the horse needs and how to care for it.
10- The ability to never be closed minded and always continue to learn.

There we go! 10 qualities of a good owner. I think the things listed are a good start...and everyone elses posts are wonderful as well!
 

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An understanding of what you are doing is an advantage. To ask for help and brush up on knowledge makes a good horse owner . I think
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the posts guys! They've all been helpful!
 
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