Kids everywhere are fascinated by horses, and little girls especially adore them. They endlessly fantasize about having a pony of their own to ride and groom.
The care and upkeep of a horse or pony gives unique responsibility and life lessons to a child. Maintenance of a horse is certainly not all fun and games and horseback riding; it’s not just about flowing manes and tails, or cantering across flowery meadows. Keeping a horse makes a clear statement that hard work goes hand in hand with pleasure and fun. In fact, caring for a horse is expensive, hard work, comes with heaps of responsibility, and demands year-around dedication.
Parents who are new to horse ownership must closely oversee their child to be certain the new horse is not just a passing phase in the horse crazy child’s life. They must be vigilant that chores are always done since a horse is a living, breathing creature who requires daily continuity of feeding and care. The riding and loving and beauty of the horse are the bonus rewards to ownership.
A horse needs to be tended, fed and watered year around – he cannot simply be enjoyed in summer and then parked during winter – he is a big, robust, powerful creature that surprisingly is more delicate than people generally expect.
Having said all this, keeping a backyard horse properly requires a good schedule and routine on a daily basis. He is a commitment, an-everyday work schedule.
In the wild, the horse is a herd animal, and is rarely alone for any length of time. In captivity, however, without another horse or pony means loneliness and boredom for a horse, no matter how much he learns to love his human caretaker. He does much better when he has the companionship of another animal even if that turns out to be a goat instead of a horse.
Horse care is a major responsibility for youngsters and their parents. Deciding to keep one as a backyard animal makes that responsibility even greater since there is never time off. The expenses never cease. Feeding, grooming, exercising and caring for the horse or pony is paramount to his good health and happiness. Anything less is unfair to the horse and, ultimately, the youngster.
Buying a horse and then discarding him when the work or expenses become too much, or the youngster loses interest, is unfair to the horse. In our present times, it could mean the difference between life as a loved companion animal or his death in a slaughterhouse.
These words may seem hard. Yet, better not to get a horse or pony than to condemn him to whims and passing fancy. Get a horse for a child only when and if the commitment is completely thought out for years to come or for the life of the horse.
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