Discussing the Lancaster County Dutch Market

Choosing the Perfect Horse For Your Child

So, you have a horse crazy child, and you are thinking about getting him or her that first horse. Whether you have experience with horses or not, finding the perfect horse for your child can be like finding a needle in the proverbial haystack. There is no shortage of horses and ponies that are advertised as “kid safe.” Unfortunately, the actual percentage of horses that are true “kid safe” is very small. Here are some tips on finding that perfect horse or pony that will become a member of your family and take care of your precious little one.

First of all, consider the age and skills of your child. For a very young child who hasn’t had lessons in horsemanship, an older “babysitter” horse is a must. Often there is a misconception that likes with puppies, young horses and children can grow up together. 

A young horse needs the guidance and experience of a trainer or very experienced rider. It takes many months, even years of training to teach a horse his job, and this is something well beyond the scope of an inexperienced child. A “been there, done that” type of horse is much better suited to a young or inexperienced rider.

I initially look for several things when considering a safe, kid’s horse. First of all, the temperament of the horse is crucial. Will he stand tied quietly (for hours) without getting impatient, pulling back, or jumping around? Is he calm under pressure, like loud noises, sudden movements, and being touched all over? He should be easy and safe to saddle, bridle, attach to a horse and carriage and have his feet handled, easy to catch, and trailer load.

Then I look at his history. What has he been used for? A horse that has had a lot of miles on him may be a good bet. If he’s been sitting in a pasture for much of his life, he doesn’t have the exposure to the many situations that an old veteran may have. I also look at his age. Not that there can’t be a great kid’s horse that is younger than 6, but it would be much less common. I don’t discount the older horses at all, even the much older horses. 

My daughters all learned to ride on horses that were 20 years old and older. These horses were worth their weight in gold, and they took care of my girls. In return, we gave them a loving home in their golden years with light work, good feed, and lots of love. We lost the last of these great horses at the ripe old age of 36. The criteria I mentioned before still apply to these older horses; you don’t want one that is highly spirited, and some are, even at 20+years.

Also of equal importance is the horse’s training. “Whoa” is much more important than “Go”. The horse should have a good handle, and he should be easy to stop and steer. A horse that is hard to control is not only frustrating for a child, but dangerous as well.

Then, I look at the overall condition of the horse. Does he have any lameness issues? Some very mild lameness in a kid’s horse wouldn’t necessarily be cause for me to rule him out.

 A veterinary inspection should be done prior to purchase to rule out any serious health issues. Lastly, and probably most importantly, your child should be comfortable with the horse and you both should feel safe with him. If possible, a trial period of a week or two would be ideal. That way, you can determine if the horse or pony is a good match for your child. I always encourage horsemanship lessons because knowledge and safety are the key to a great relationship with horses. When you find the perfect kid’s horse for your child, you will be amazed at the partnership and bond they will form together, and the peace of mind you will have knowing that your child is being taken care of by his equine friend.

A Few Details On Successfully Raising And Caring For Horses

A most enjoyable experience is Neutering Horses. The prospect of looking for, selecting, and buying a horse, can be fun, but it is important to realize what the initial cost is going to be, as well as the continuing costs associated with the care of the animal. Finding the correct match between the rider and the horse requires some work, but it will pay off in the long run.

It would make no sense to purchase a spunky race horse, and expect the animal to be docile for a child rider. By the same token, an old, docile mare would not be much of a challenge for a person with some riding ability. It is important to know what you want your horse to do before you buy one because certain breeds have differing abilities.

It is always a good idea for a horse buyer to ride the animal, to determine if the fit is right. Horses that intimidate a rider may not be the best choice. In that case, the search should be continued.

Once the decision has been made to buy the horse, a medical examination should be conducted by a veterinarian before any money exchanges hands. Depending upon the value and the plans for the horse, the examination may only need to be a basic once over, or it may need to be more thorough.

After the health of the horse is assured, and money is exchanged, you are a new horse owner. Now, decisions will be necessary regarding the care and feeding of the animal. You may own enough property to keep the horse nearby. If not, you will have to make other arrangements to stable the horse.

If it is necessary to board your horse elsewhere, it is important to remember that animals living in barns are totally dependent on people for their sustenance. Some things to notice when considering boarding stable are quality of the hay and grain, condition and cleanliness of stalls, and general condition of other animals housed there.

Wherever your horse is housed, it will require feed, water, and forage. A trusted veterinarian can develop a feeding plan that will promote the well-being of your horse. The type and amount of feed you give your horse will depend on upon its health, its nutritional needs, and its activity level.

Horses need a great deal of water, so their buckets will have to be regularly filled. Cleaning the buckets often will be necessary to keep the water clean. While refilling the water buckets, you may want to take that time to clean the stall. Mucking the stall is the daily process of picking out the urine and manure, while letting the dry, clean bedding sift through. Some types of bedding are wood shavings, sawdust, and straw.

Your horse is dependent on you to care for its body. Initially, the horse may be fearful of being touched or handled. However, if you speak in a soft tone, the animal will be calmed and ready to be groomed. The disposition of a horse can be improved by daily contact with a caregiver. Brushing its coat and combing the mane and tail can be good for the horse and the handler.

Horses are like humans in that they need comfort when they stand and walk. Horse’s hooves should be trimmed about every six to eight weeks. A horse pick should be used daily to remove any stones or other foreign objects that can be lodged in their soft tissue. It is wise to protect the hooves by applying horseshoes.

Raising and caring for horses can be a very rewarding way to pass time. Horse ownership is a big responsibility, and helpful information is available online at various websites on equine matters.

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Welcome to my website which is all about Lancaster Country Dutch Market. We cover topics ranging from horses, to free range elements, food and even some of the entertainment that happens.

The blog is dedicated to covering everything County Dutch market related. My name is Ben Mckenzie and I will be your blog leader so I hope you enjoy