Some pets are more common than others. You wouldn’t bat an eyelid at the thought of getting a family dog or cat, but you would raise an eyebrow at getting a horse. Nevertheless, horses can make good pets for you and the rest of your family. The decision to get one is much more complicated than other animals! This is not something you should rush into or do on an impulse – it requires serious thought. With that in mind, the best way to make a decision is by viewing the key pros and cons:
Pro: Encourages your children to be active
Horses are outdoor animals, meaning you and your kids are encouraged to go outside a lot. Plus, the main way to play with a horse is to learn how to ride one. In turn, this encourages your kids to be more active, which will only make them healthier. With other pets, there’s a tendency to get lazier as you chill inside with them!
Con: A lot of maintenance
Horses require far more maintenance than most other pets. You have to deal with things like hoof trimming, cleaning their coats, providing enough food, and so on. Horses are big creatures, so grooming one of them will also take a long time. Factor in that they’re outdoors a lot, and this means the grooming frequency is more than expected. If you don’t have much time on your hands, owning a horse probably isn’t for the best.
Pro: No damage to your house
We all love cats and dogs, but you can’t hide from the fact that they cause havoc. When you first get them, they need to be potty trained as they do their business all over your home. Also, they can scratch furniture, leave hairs everywhere, and generally mess your home up. But, we deal with this because we love them, even though it costs money and you spend a lot of time cleaning. A key advantage of owning a horse is that they don’t stay in your home! They’re out in stables or a field, usually far away from where you live. It means that you get the joy of having a family pet without the additional annoyance of handling a messy home.
Con: Very expensive
Perhaps the biggest downside is that horses are very expensive. Granted, some pedigree dogs will cost a heck of a lot to buy. However, you can always adopt cats and dogs, while horses are usually bought for big money. Then, think back to the previous point on horse maintenance. As it shows here pomi.dk/en/safe-hoof-trimming.aspx, you’ll need to buy equipment for tasks like hoof trimming. Not to mention all the grooming equipment, paying for stables, buying mobile stables for transportation, and so on. The costs add up, which is probably why horses aren’t that common in most families.
For me, a horse makes a good family pet if your children are interested in learning how to ride, and you can afford the maintenance. Otherwise, you might be better off setting your sights on something smaller and easier to look after.