Short post on my thoughts about jumping into horse ownership

So one thing that really grinds my gears is when ignorant people jump into the ownership of horses (or any animal really) just because they've ridden a few times and hey- there's nothing to it, right? They think that having a horse will be a fun thing to do a weekend or two out of the month, and it'll sure make a pretty lawn ornament when it's not in use! Kind of like a pretty sports car. But then they get their my little pony home, and discover that not only do they not know how to ride, but they don't have the slightest knowledge of horse care or ownership! They suddenly realize that taking on a 1000 pound animal isn't the cake walk they thought it would be.

Now this post is coming from the mouth of a girl who has jumped into her fair share of ownerships (horses and others) without proper planning, and believe me, I've learned valuable lessons from every single time. I'm just lucky that it turned out well in each case and I was able to learn from all of them, and now I think I have an even deeper appreciation of the time and skill it takes to own a horse than someone who might have waited longer to become an owner, because I now realize what could have easily gone wrong in each of my ill-informed purchases.

Some people learn from these mistakes-I'm living proof of that- but what sucks in these cases, and what makes me angry at the people who do this and at myself, is that there is a large, sensitive animal's life involved. What if I hadn't found a good home for one of my horses? What if ignorant me just sold Fluffy over there to the highest bidder who turned out to be a semi truck headed straight to Mexico? What if Mary had fed her new buddy the clippings from her lawn thinking that it would make a good salad? What if Paul thought that green meant 'well behaved' and decided to buy "green stud colt, good barrel prospect" for his little granddaughter?

I wish there was some way that people would get it through their heads that lessons and leasing and more lessons, and still more lessons, are the way to satisfy their horsey needs without putting lives in danger- themselves or their horses.

I think we should make a campaign or something... Ride first-buy later? The slogan obviously needs work, but at least it's a start. Might save a lot of horses from preventable health or behavior problems.

Happy Trails!

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Comment by Willow King on April 28, 2011 at 3:50pm
Good way to put it. I've not been to countries where horses are still actively used as work machines but I hear it can be very rough.
Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 28, 2011 at 3:30pm

Unfortunately if only horsemen were legally allowed to have horses we would have problems with equine extinction.

It just is not that long ago that ALL horses were literally beasts of burden and draft.  These horses got abused just as much if not more.  Over 50 years ago when I lived in Chile and Uruguay people were using horses to pull carts, often heavy carts both on dirt roads and on pavement, so I got a brief glimpse of what a working horse's life is like.  In some fields being a mere ego booster can be a pretty comfy life if the horse is lucky enough not to be shown.

There are no answers, and all one can do is to become the very best horseman as one can.  Then at least you are a good example.

Comment by Willow King on April 28, 2011 at 2:51pm

I agree, I didn't really think about the horses being ridden by the 'superstars of the horse world' when I was writing this, but it's true that they suffer just as much as others ridden by inexperienced hands in some cases. 


I think it's sick that some people just use horses as a ego boost like you said, buy a motorcycle, not a horse :)

Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 28, 2011 at 2:47pm

I agree with you.  However most of the top horses in the most knowledgable and skilled hands also suffer. 

True horsemen are rare, it has always been this way.  When I go up to a horse I see a person, most people see a useless luxury, to do with as they want.  A perfect ego boost if you will. 

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