Perhaps your kids have been pestering you to buy a horse for them for some time, or maybe you love all things horses and think it’s time to get them in on the act. Whatever the reason you might be considering buying a horse for them, there is one important question you should ask yourself first: are they ready? There are a few different ways you can tell if a child is ready for a horse, so before you even look any further, read this guide to find out if they’re ready:
Make Sure It Isn’t Just A “Phase”
Many little girls watch a popular film with horses in and decide that they want one. A child can get inspired by a book, film, performance, or something else altogether; however you should wait a while to see if it’s really their new passion or whether it’s just a passing phase. Wait for a while before purchasing a horse.
Is It Your Child That Wants a Horse?
A lot of adults dreamed of owning their own horse when they were younger, and they expect that dream to live on through their children. It’s no good buying a horse for your child if they’re just not interested in horses or horse riding. You need to make sure that your child really wants a horse, and that it’s not just you living through them.
Are You Ready For A Horse?
Even though your child will be the owner of the horse and responsible for certain things, you as the adult will be responsible for much more. You’ll need to source hay and food, pick it up, look after the horses when your kids are unable to, pay for any medical bills and medicines (such as wormers from www.wormers.co.uk), and so on. Are you ready for the responsibility? It’s one thing being able to afford a horse, it’s another thing putting the effort into looking after it. If you’re not ready, you’ll more than likely realise the responsibility is too much when it’s too late and end up having to re-home the horse and break your child’s heart.
How Old Is Your Child?
There are some parents out there who won’t let their children ride horses until they are 12, because they believe it’s important to have a physical presence on the horse. However, there are children much younger than that who love looking after ponies/horses and cry when they have to leave. A child should definitely be old enough to help with the chores, such as grooming, feeding, watering and mucking out. Not only that, but they should be willing to do so! If you have pets at home that your children are unwilling to look after (a dog, a hamster, goldfish), then you might find the same happens with the horse.
You can always try the water before buying a horse and buy your child a block of horse riding lessons. If they love the lessons, look forward to them, and spend a lot of time caring for the horse before and afterwards, then they’re more than likely ready for a horse!