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Things to Consider Before Owning a Horse

November 1, 2013

Buying and owning a horse is a large responsibility—literally. As with just about any large animal, horses require all kinds of special considerations. Your Rapid City veterinary professional urges you to think about the following items if you are considering purchasing a horse.


Owning and caring for a horse is no small financial commitment. Think of the expenses involved in shelter, food, riding equipment, transportation, veterinary care, possible riding lessons, and insurance. It can add up quickly—be sure you are financially prepared for the commitment of owning such an animal.


Horses aren’t house cats. They need space to graze and run. They need large shelter spaces with hay and bedding. If you don’t have the space to keep a horse happy, you may want to reconsider your choice of pet. Ask your veterinarian if the space requirements of a horse exceed your home’s acreage.

Injuries and Emergencies

As with any animal, horses can injure themselves and acquire illnesses. You must be prepared for emergencies, especially if you plan on riding your horse often, using it for show, or using it for work-related tasks. Remember, the cost of emergency care for a horse will undoubtedly be higher than for more common household pets.


Horses can live for 20 to 30 years, or even longer. You must keep this in mind when considering a horse for your household. Are you prepared to care for it for the next two to three decades? Do you have the financial stability to care for the animal for that long? If not, it isn’t fair to the animal if you decide to purchase it anyway.

Horses are a big responsibility, and deciding whether or not to own one should never be taken lightly. Call your Rapid City veterinarian to discuss the considerations involved in purchasing, caring for, and providing for a horse. They will help you make an informed decision on whether or not to include a horse as a loving and long-lasting member of your family!


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