At the top of every daughter’s Christmas and birthday lists always seems to be a pony. However, it’s not as simple a gift idea as they probably think; after all, you can’t just go out and buy them a horse. You need the land to store a pony, the equipment to keep it safe and healthy, the knowledge to care for it, and ongoing money for its upkeep, food bills, insurance and vet bills too.
Horses can get expensive, and not every breed of horse needs the same upkeep or attention as others. In fact, even on a basic level, there are some breeds that need a stable to live while others are more than happy to live outside in a field and only use a stable for shelter. So you really do need to do your research to make sure the horse you pick is right for you, your daughter and your budget too.
What Gear and Equipment Will I Need?
Horse gear and equipment are two things that most people seem to forget about and they can get expensive. On a basic level, you at least need a saddle, bridle, head collar, saddle cloth, girth, grooming kit and of course a riding hat. Then you can add on things like riding boots, jodhpurs and all of the other hundreds of accessories and extras which you will no doubt be told are also a necessity by your daughter. Whatever equipment you choose to go for, though, you don’t want to skimp on quality. Horse equipment can fortunately be the kind of thing you only have to buy once, but you do want to get top of the line horse gear instead of the budget equivalent to make sure your daughter is both safe and the horse is comfortable and enjoying being ridden too.
Do You Have Enough Land?
Maybe more important than the equipment is if you can even have a horse on your property, as failing that you’ll need to find somewhere you can keep your horse. If you do choose to keep it somewhere else, you’ll want to make sure it’s not too far away and that you can gain access at suitable times to it, for example if it’s in a livery where they keep other horses.
If you just want the one horse, then you can keep it on just one acre of land, however that would mean you would have to feed it hay all year long and this is another cost to factor in. If you do have the luxury of having more land, the ideal size is five acres. This will enable you to keep the horse outside all the time to graze.
Other Factors to Consider
More importantly than the land and equipment, is the knowledge you need to look after a horse. Make sure you have a close friend or family member or at least someone you can call on other than the vet to help out if needed. It may also be a good idea to get your daughter riding lessons and volunteer to help out there first. Horses aren’t all about fun and riding around, they take lots of care and attention too.
Has your daughter asked for a horse for Christmas? Are you going to get her one? Let us know in the comments.