Whether you’re looking to adopt your first pet or you already share your home with one or more companion animals, there are many things to consider if you’re thinking about welcoming a horse into the mix. For instance, some breeds are better for children and first-time horse owners, while others are best for longtime horse enthusiasts with years of riding experience. If you’re planning on selling your home in the future, you should keep in mind that you will need to clean up after your horse and remove him or her from the premises when the property is being shown. Here are some of the things you’ll need to consider before deciding whether to take in your first horse.
Certain Breeds Are Best for First-Timers
If you’re thinking about purchasing your first horse, Horse Rookie notes that breeds like the American Quarter Horse, Morgan Horse, Missouri Fox Trotter, and American Paint Horse will be a better fit for you as you learn how to care for your new companion. Trained, mature horses are also best for beginners, and some breeds are better for families with children. However, keep in mind that every horse is different—and you’ll want to take the time to choose one whose personality and temperament best fits your lifestyle.
Some Dogs Are Known to Be Great Horse Companions
According to EquiMed, horses are social herd animals, and they need companionship. Dogs can even make great companions for horses. If you own or ride horses and you’re thinking of welcoming a pup into your family as well, it’s important to look for well-trained dog breeds that are known to bond well with horses—unless you’re planning on keeping your animal companions separate from one another. Several horse-friendly dog breeds include the following:
- Australian shepherds
- Australian cattle dogs
- Golden retrievers
When selecting a dog, keep in mind that hypoallergenic breeds will be a better fit for you if you suffer from allergies. Even if you select a non-hypoallergenic dog breed, however, paying for professional carpet cleaning can help you to keep your home clean and free of dander, dust, and pet hair. You can also look for services like upholstery repair and maid/housekeeping services to help keep your house looking fantastic.
If a dog isn’t the right non-human companion for your horse—or if allergies prevent you from adopting a pup—other companions for your horse may include outdoor animals like a goat, donkey, goose, cow, llama, or miniature horse. Before choosing a companion for your horse, however, take the time to get to know your horse’s personality and temperament.
You’ll Need a Sitter if You’re Going Away
Whether you share your life with a dog, cat, horse, or one of each, you may need to hire a sitter and/or dog walker to watch your animal companion(s) when you leave for the weekend or go away for the night. While you can usually find a local dog or cat sitter online, it’s important to do plenty of research before making a decision—as this will help you to find the best sitter for you and your pet’s needs. You can also look online to find a comprehensive list of full- or part-time horse-boarding facilities and haulers in your area.
There Are Alternatives to Horse Ownership
Before welcoming a horse into your family, you’ll want to ensure that you have plenty of time and space to give your animal companion everything he or she needs to be healthy and happy. If you find that a horse isn’t the right type of animal companion for your lifestyle, several alternatives to buying a horse may include taking horseback riding lessons at a local stable, volunteering at a horse rescue, or fostering a horse in need. In some cases, you may be able to “borrow” a horse for a certain amount of time, or share a horse with another family.
If you decide that horse ownership is the right choice for you, take the time to find a four-legged companion whose personality best matches yours. Purchasing a horse is a huge commitment, and taking the time to find the right fit for you and your lifestyle will ensure a long, happy, and healthy companionship between you and your new equine friend.
I am not a First-Time Horse owner!
Jody Miller is a professional photographer specializing in Horse Photography, Equine Photography, and Equestrian photography. Her work can be viewed online here in her gallery section, and she is also featured at these Arizona Galleries: Van Gogh’s Ear Gallery on Whiskey Row in Prescott, AZ and Coops Coffee House at Talking Rock Ranch. Several images are also available at The Phippen Western Art Museum
Thank you to free lancer Lance Cody Valdez, our Guest Blogger this week !!