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Tips for Selecting a Horse for a Child
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Tips for Selecting a Horse for a Child

Many children are attracted to horses. There are many factors for an adult to consider before purchasing a horse for a child. Cost, upkeep, size, temperament, readiness and facilities should all be considered to ensure the horse’s health and child’s safety.

Lessons

The child should take lessons before purchasing a horse is considered. The child should learn to catch a horse in a pasture, halter the horse, lead a horse, tie a horse up, groom the horse, care for the horse’s hooves, clean a stall, saddle, bridle and mount a horse. Select a reputable trainer or instructor that will provide a safe and encouraging environment for the lessons.

Temperament over size

The horse’s temperament is more important than the horse’s size. Adults often believe a pony to be size appropriate for a child. The child may be assisted onto the horse’s back or use a mounting block. The child may eventually become too heavy for the pony. A large horse may have a very gentle temperament, while the pony could bite or kick.

A horse with the right temperament will allow the child to lead the horse, saddle, lead, mount, ride and groom the horse with ease. The horse should never attempt to bite or kick the child. The horse should stand still for grooming. The horse should not prance ahead of the child; rather gently follow the child’s lead. Draft horses, American Quarter horses, Morgans and Paint horses are gentle breeds; however, every breed contains some high spirited horses. Grade horses should also be considered. A Grade horse has mixed breeding or may be a pure bred that was never registered. A gelding is a better choice for a child and less likely to exhibit bad personality traits. A pregnant mare should not be considered a good purchase prospect for a novice.

Age

The horse should have experience with children grooming and riding. A horse that is 10 to 20 years old is generally a better fit for an inexperienced family than a young horse. Some older horses have spent their lives in the pasture and not been ridden very often. Avoid a horse that has spent most of its’ latter years in a pasture. The vet may determine the age and health of a horse.

Cost and upkeep

The family should set a budget for the upkeep of the horse as well as the purchase price. The upkeep budget should consist of boarding expense, feed, veterinarians, supplements, tack and equipment and bedding. Additional expenses may include horse trailer, lessons and competitions. Do not purchase a horse without a check by a veterinarian.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Archippus
    The horses in the picture belong to a friend of mine T.S. Thanks T.S.!
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  2. pftsusan
    pftsusan
    This is a good article. Voted.
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    1. Archippus
      In Reply to PFTSusan: Thanks for the vote! My friend has a number of horses. She has taken in one that I may write about next week that was underfed because the owner thought she was gaining too much weight and he would not be able to ride her to school. He came out one day and found she had delivered a colt. She was not underfed intentionally. My friend has nursed the horse back to health.
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  3. Charlie M
    I enjoyed your writing. It has been years since I was on a horse. Would love to go again.
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    1. Archippus
      In Reply to Charlie M: You should definitely ride!
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  4. immasweetiepie
    Love to read your work my friend! I love horses, too!
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    1. Archippus
      In Reply to Immasweetiepie: Thanks! I do not own horses. I live in a subdivision, but I have a friend that owns horses, a donkey and a pony.
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  5. DisturbingFrequency
    DisturbingFrequency
    I want a horse so bad. :(
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    1. Archippus
      In Reply to Disturbing Frequency: While owning a horse may be your ultimate goal, maybe you can start by taking lessons.
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      1. DisturbingFrequency
        DisturbingFrequency
        I do take lessons. :C
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