Horse Checklist: “Before You Buy”

This checklist contains important questions that you should discuss with your family. And there’s a “Parents’ Info” section at the end. There you will also find the option to print out this list.

1. Can you look after your horse for 20 - 30 years?

Horses live from around 20 to 30 years. What if you move house? Will you be able to take it with you? After school, you might go to college or do an apprenticeship. You will still have to take time to look after your pet.

2. Are you allergic to horse hair?

It’s tragic but what use is it if you have the most beautiful horse but you’re allergic to its hair (or the saliva, skin cells, mites etc. on it)? Check first so you avoid a nasty surprise.

3. Can someone look after your horse if you go on vacation?

Normally, horses are kept in stables. There’s sure to be someone willing to take over feeding and cleaning the stall for you if you go on vacation with your parents. But you need someone that will also exercise your horse regularly. Being stuck in the stall would make your horse unhappy.

4. Do you have enough money to look after your horse?

Horses are expensive to buy and to keep (animal, saddle, reins, equipment etc.). You don’t just need food, but vaccinations, shoes and, ideally, insurance. If your pet gets ill, you’ll have to take it to the vet and it could need medication or an expensive operation.

5. Does your whole family agree with the decision?

If you’re under 18, your parents will be ultimately responsible for your horse. You can’t have one without their permission.

6. Are you ready to take care of your horse every day?

Horses need regular exercise. Even when it’s pouring with rain in autumn or if you’d rather be at the pool in summer. And your horse will also have to be regularly groomed. This can take up a lot of time. If your parents think that you might lose interest in a horse after a while, try this: look after someone else’s horse. A horse that belongs to someone who will let you groom and maybe even ride it. You can do this to prove to your parents that you’re serious.

• Parents’ Info

A pet can be a great experience for kids. Here are five reasons pets are good for children:

Children with pets ...

... learn about responsibility.
... develop confidence and empathy.
... are more active and get sick less often.
... are less stressed and suffer from less anxiety.
... feel less alone when their parents are at work.

Please don’t forget that parents are ultimately responsible for their children’s pets. Your child is allowed to help with feeding and cleaning but shouldn’t attempt these jobs alone until they’re at least 12 years old.

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