The Pitfalls of Buying a Horse

This is a guest post as per disclosure policy.

We are a animal loving family. Well minus the husband; he just about tolerates the pets. I have always had a soft spot for horses, Arab stallions in particular….and if I could afford a horse I would jump at the chance of owning one. Hubby has said to me that if I lived in Pakistan he would easily be able to get me one as his friends have stables, but as much as I love horses, I am not prepared to move just yet to keep one!!

And in all honesty, they are a lot of hard work in looking after, not like a cat that you can just pretty much leave to its own devices and who just comes home to eat. The following guest post warns of the pitfalls of buying a horse, including buying your first horse.

photo credit: Eduardo Amorim via photopin cc
photo credit: Eduardo Amorim via photopin cc

The Pitfalls of Buying Horses

Horses are, without a doubt, one of the most expensive creatures to own as pets.  They cost a great deal to care for both in terms of money and in terms of time. If you don’t have the money to adequately care for your horse and/or you don’t have the time to spend with it at least twice a day every day (even Christmas) then do not get one.

If, however, you have done your homework and decided that you do have the finances, time and energy to invest in a horse then by all means look into giving a horse a home.  But please remember that for every horse there may be for sale there are several kept in rescue centres that are desperate for permanent homes.

Horses are being abandoned or neglected in ever increasing numbers, probably due to the continuing poor state of the economy but perhaps also to over-breeding. When there are more horses than there are people wanting to buy them the cost of buying a horse dips ridiculously low.  There are tales of horses being sold to new owners for a few pounds.  This in turn may persuade people to buy a cheap horse without giving thought to the long-term costs of keeping it – leading to more abandonment or neglect cases.

The market is flooded with cheap horses and yet people continue to breed from them.  This will continue unless and until buyers stop buying – and turn to adoption instead.

The RSPCA is always keen to hear from responsible prospective adopters looking for a horse to love and look after.  What’s more, adopting from a reputable charity like the RSPCA will give an adopter all the legal paperwork necessary to prove ownership. Horses often have to be kept by the RSPCA for several months whilst the necessary paperwork and/or criminal prosecutions take place so that the RSPCA can legitimately place a horse for adoption with a horse passport.

Horses are often sold on the open market with fake horse passports or no passport at all and the unsuspecting buyer can end up having paid for a horse that they don’t legally own: at least if you adopt through the RSPCA this isn’t something you need to worry about as all the paperwork will be in place and legitimate.

Furthermore, horses that are available for adoption through the RSPCA have been checked by a vet and a farrier and any health concerns will have been noted and would be brought to your attention.  This can save considerable worry and expense later on – if you buy a horse, the seller is unlikely to be as open and honest about likely vet bills!

The RSPCA ‘Rehome a Horse’ has been created to help staff advise on the age, health and temperament of an individual horse and how suitable that horse would be for a particular owner or family.  For instance, they will have a good idea of how skilful and experienced an adoptive owner would need to be to own a particular horse.  They want the adoption to be just as successful as you want it to be, after all!


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