27 Jun 12 Reasons You Should Own a Horse
If you’re considering owning a horse, it can be an intimidating prospect. But I know first hand what an incredible experience it is is to own and care for a horse.
It takes a lot of hard work and determination at times, but in the long run, it’s always been worth the effort. I put together these 12 reasons you should own a horse for anyone that might be on the fence about the decision.
12 Reasons You Should Own a Horse
1. Owning a Horse is Impressive
Owning a horse takes time, discipline, and skill. Not everyone is capable of handling a 1,000-pound animal, let alone riding them and training them to follow very specific cues and commands.
It takes a special type of person to be a great horse owner, so the position comes with a certain amount of bragging rights. It’s always fun when you tell a non-horse owner that you own a horse. It always seems to surprise people and leads to plenty of amusing questions.
Some of my personal favorites are:
- How many times have you fallen off? (More times than I can count.)
- Isn’t it really expensive to own a horse? (Surprisingly, it isn’t!)
- Do you ever compete in horse shows? (Not as much as I used to.)
- How often do you ride? (As much as humanly possible, of course.)
While the bragging rights and the questions can make owning a horse a lot of fun, they’re definitely not the only reasons you should get a horse. If you’re thinking about getting one soon, you can benefit from the guide I put together on selecting a horse.
2. Owning a Horse Makes You More Adventurous
Let’s be honest. At times life can feel pretty boring with the endless routines of work, school, and other obligations. For me, owning a horse makes my life all around more adventurous.
There’s no greater feeling than galloping full-speed through a forest on a foxhunt, soaring through the air over jumps, or going out exploring on a nice long trail ride.
Even if you’re not the thrill-seeking type, owning a horse is great because it forces you out of your comfort zone and constantly demands that you try and do new things.
While the horse life certainly isn’t for everyone, it’s a great option for anyone that is ready for the responsibility and ready to mix things up in their life.
3. It’s Loads of Fun
Looking for a good reason to own a horse? Here’s one. It’s downright fun! Horses are smart and funny creatures. No two horses are the exact same. Getting to know their likes, dislikes, and personalities has been one of my favorite parts of being a horse owner.
There is something really rewarding about caring for the needs of a horse on a day-to-day basis. I don’t have children yet, but I imagine the sense of selflessness care it brings out in people is very similar to what parents feel for their children.
Seeing your horse grow and develop, and remembering how they used to be when you first started working with them makes all the hard work and care seem worth it.
In addition to the fun of caring for horses, there are also TONS of disciplines and competitions you can pursue with your horse. You can find my breakdown of the most popular English disciplines here, and western ones here.
4. Owning a Horse is Great Therapy
If you’re facing mental or physical difficulties, owning a horse and horseback riding can be life-changing. I can attest that horseback riding is one of the best forms of therapy. Not only does it help you improve your physical and mental dexterity, but it also gives you confidence that transfers over into other areas of your life.
What exactly is horseback riding therapy? Horseback riding therapy is officially categorized as a type of recreational therapy that involves an individual with little to no riding experience working with a trained riding instructor. The instructor teaches the student basic horseback riding and training techniques that improve the student’s cognitive, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
In the context of owning a horse, horseback riding therapy involves everything from riding, training, and caring for your horse. There have been times in my life when working with and being with my horse have really helped me through difficult times.
In a more general sense, owning horses over the years has made me a more confident and stable (pun not intended) person. If you’re interested in getting a horse, but you’re still intimidated by the idea, here’s an article I wrote on overcoming a fear of horses.
5. You Make Tons of Horse Friends
In addition to the relationship you will get to form with your horse, you will also more than likely end up with plenty of equestrian friends. This is especially beneficial if you’re a new or beginner rider with a lot to learn.
Surrounding yourself with other people that are passionate about horses is one of the fastest ways to better yourself as a horse owner.
One thing I will mention as that where you keep your horse will play a large role in the type and quantity of relationships you’ll form. Over the years, I’ve boarded my horse at some stables that have been somewhat less social where there were simply fewer riders and fewer events going that could help springboard new friendships.
At other stables I’ve stayed at, there have been more than enough clubs, activities, and riders around to keep me busy all year! If you’re really interested in the social aspects of riding and owning a horse, then it will be worth your time to do some extra research into stables in your area that are more active.
6. Owning a Horse Makes You Spend More Time Outdoors
With so much technology around these days, it’s refreshing to disconnect for a few hours when I spend time with my horse. If you’re constantly on your phone or computer, then you’ll find that owning a horse forces you to spend way more time outdoors, come rain or come shine.
Studies have shown that being outside is really good for your mental and physical well-being, and owning a horse is the perfect way to encourage you to spend some time in nature, even if you’re naturally a homebody.
I will say that caring for a horse outdoors year-round does require a certain amount of preparation, especially if you live in an extremely cold climate.
As the colder months come around you need to make sure that you have the proper gear so that you can ensure your horse stays happy and healthy. You’ll also need proper winter riding attire for yourself. You can see my recommendations for both of these here.
7. Owning a Horse Helps You Stay Healthy
One great thing that many people don’t think about when it comes to owning a horse is all the health benefits you can enjoy from owning one. Some of those benefits include:
Depending on the style of riding you’re doing, communicating with the horse can be done through a number of subtle cues that demand a high level of coordination and focus. Working on these commands over time can go a long way in strengthening your mind.
Staying in the saddle while walking, galloping, and jumping, all require the ability to stay balanced so as to avoid falling off. In addition, riding a horse bareback will require even greater balancing abilities that can be developed and improved the more that you ride.
Horseback riding requires constant movement on behalf of the rider. These natural movements are wonderful for improving your overall flexibility, both on and off of a horse.
Strengthened Core Muscles.
It turns out that constantly engaging your muscles to stay balanced on a horse is actually a great core strength exercise. The core muscles that are strengthened are your lower back muscles, abdominal muscles, and obliques.
Improved Muscle Tone.
The constant subtle movements of your arms and legs as you give instructions to your horse are similar to dancing, in that doing these motions repetitively can improve your muscle tone.
8. Owning a Horse Can Help You Become More Responsible
Because of all of the work involved in caring for a horse, new horse owners must quickly become more responsible in order to sufficiently meet the needs of their horse and prevent them from harm.
People get themselves into trouble when they purchase a horse without fully realizing what is required of them. It’s for this reason that many horses are oftentimes neglected and eventually abandoned by their owners.
If you aren’t certain that you’re ready for all the work of owning a horse, there might be a few other options for you to consider like co-owning a horse with someone else or keeping your horse at a full-service boarding stable.
To get a better idea of the responsibilities involved with owning a horse, you can check out my article here on 50 Tips for New Horse Owners.
9. It Helps You Become More Resilient
Working with horses requires resiliency, and if you aren’t resilient by nature, owning and working with horses will start to work this quality into you. Horses are beautiful and incredible creatures, but they can also be incredibly stubborn at times!
Horses respond best to assertive and clear commands, and if you have trouble with this, training a horse with bad habits can be very difficult. In these instances, it’s helpful to have someone more experienced around to show you the ropes.
I know it can be done because time and time again, I’ve seen beginner horse owners increase in confidence and begin ‘taking the reins’ with their horse. One of the best ways to become more resilient and improve your skills as a rider is to master basic groundwork.
I know that groundwork can be intimidating if you’re not sure where to begin, so I put together this step-by-step guide for the 5 best groundwork exercises to help.
10. Owning a Horse is Incredibly Rewarding
If you’re looking for a really rewarding way to invest your time, owning a horse could be the thing for you. The first way it’s rewarding is because you get to see clear and immediate results when you put in the effort of training a horse.
It’s so much fun learning new techniques, and then instantly getting to apply them to your training routine and see your horse improve. Horses are smart creatures with fantastic memories. It’s amazing how much information they can absorb when you’re willing to put in the hard work.
Next, you’ll be amazed how much you yourself develop over the years of working with horses. When you fully immerse yourself in the world of horses, you’ll begin learning things at an incredible rate. While no one could possibly ever know everything there is to know about horses, it’s really nice being able to answer questions for new horse owners and novice riders.
11. Owning a Horse Improves Your Problem Solving Skills
When you are faced with a health or behavioral challenge as a horse owner, you’ll have to put on your thinking cap. The greater the variety of problems you face over the years, the better equipped you become to face new situations because many things in the horse world are interconnected with one another.
Learning to be a critical thinker helps you not only in the world of horses, but it’s also one of the most highly sought after qualities by businesses all around the world. Meaning perfecting your problem-solving skills as a horse owner might just help you land your dream job!
12. Horses Make Great Companions
The last amazing thing about owning horses that I’ll mention is what excellent companions they make. There’s nothing like the bond that a horse owner forms with their horse, and it’s something that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
By now, you might be rearing to get a horse! If that’s you, here is my complete guide on choosing a horse. If you’re interested in finding equipment for riding, you can check out all of my recommendations here.