Is A Horse A Suitable Family Pet?


It’s funny when you think about the most coveted pets for kids, horses are usually a close third behind cats and dogs. For whatever reason, little kids - especially girls - love the idea of having their own pony. 

You may currently be in a situation where your little girl is begging you to get a horse as a family pet. But, is this a good idea? Are these animals suitable pets? Before you make a decision and go horse shopping (is that a thing?) here are some key points to know: 

Horses require a lot of space

You can’t keep a horse in your house. It is unlike other family pets, so you need to have enough space to accommodate them. You can’t really keep them in your back garden either - you must have access to a large field so they can run around, eat grass, etc. 

Now, some families may have access to their own fields. If so, a horse starts to become a viable option. If not, you will need to find a field to put your horse in, which leads us to the next point…

Horses are very expensive

The initial act of buying a horse can be super expensive, but they also have lots of other running costs. If you don’t own a field, you will have to pay someone with a field to keep your horse there - usually with other horses. Similarly, you might have to buy a horse shed even if you do have your own field - horses need cover during bad weather conditions. 

Furthermore, you also have to pay for things like horse transport, veterinary visits, horse grooming kits, horseshoes, saddles, and all the other things to go into looking after a horse. When you calculate these costs, it can be a very expensive family pet. 

Horses are not that practical

Sure, it costs a lot of money to own a horse as a pet - but can’t you say the same for all pets. Yes and no! Yes, a dog is costly, but you still get a pet that you can play with all the time, keeping you and your family company in the home. The same goes for cats, even rabbits or hamsters. With a horse, you have an animal that is rarely with you. It doesn’t provide the same level of emotional attachment and constant love that other pets do. 

So, is a horse a suitable family pet?

I guess this depends on your definition of suitable. If you want a house pet, then absolutely not. But, if you want a pet that can bring a unique level of enjoyment to your kids, a horse might be perfect. While you can’t play with them like a dog, you can ride a horse and teach your kids how to ride. This can open the door to so many new interests and hobbies - like horseriding, showjumping, polo, etc. 

The best way to summarize this is that a horse is suitable for some families, but not for others. I would probably say that, if you don’t have access to a field, maybe a horse is not the pet you should be thinking about.