Plenty of children love horses and want to own one as a pet. For some parents, the costs associated with this are simply outside of their price range. For others, though, the money is worth it for having a horse teach their kids.
As with any pet, looking after an equine animal requires a lot of work, so they’re an excellent way for children to become more caring and responsible. They also give kids something to devote their time to, which gets them out of the house and keeps them out of trouble.
Of course, being a horse owner is no walk in the park, and there’s a lot that children need to learn before you can trust them to look after the animal themselves. From how they should act to what they need to do, teaching your kids, these five things are essential. That way, they can grow up to be a responsible horse owner, and you won’t have to worry about leaving them to handle everything themselves.
Ensure They Behave Calmly
As with any animal, horses can react in various ways. If something spooks them, they might attack or flee, while if something makes them happy, they may become affectionate and playful.
It’s essential that owners understand their behaviour and what can affect it because there’s a stark difference between horses and other pets – they’re a lot bigger. If they get scared and run away, they have the power to harm others. It might not be their intention, but their sheer size and weight mean they can potentially be dangerous.
This is why you must teach your child to be calm around horses. Ensure that they move slowly, speak in a peaceful tone, and keep a distance when they can. If they’re incredibly loud and run around everywhere, it could unsettle the animal and put them at risk.
Obviously, this is easier to instil in your children the older they are. So, if you’re worried your kid might not have the capacity to stay calm, you may want to wait to introduce them to the horse.
Have Them Spend Plenty Of Time Together
Spending time with animals is a great way to bond with them, so if your child’s going to become a good owner, they need to be around their horse as much as possible. Even if they’re not ready to take on any caring responsibilities yet, it’s still a good idea for them to accompany you to the stables as often as possible.
Having them around and showing some affection to the horse should help them develop a bond, which is essential if they’re eventually going to care for the animal alone. The more time they spend together, the stronger the relationship should be.
However, make sure that your child keeps clear when its feeding time. Horses may act out if they feel the kid is getting in the way of their food, especially if they’ve yet to connect with them.
Get Them All The Right Gear
Safety is paramount when it comes to caring for horses, and one way to assure this is through what you wear. With the right clothing, you can significantly reduce the chances of getting hurt, even if your animal gets riled up or you fall off while riding.
You’ll want to ensure that your child is kitted out with helmets, boots, and other protective clothing whenever they’re around the horse. Thankfully, you can find these items at Equi Supermarket, which stocks everything an owner and their equine companion could ever need. You can find all your horse tack here, along with enough food to keep them happy. No matter what horse supplies you need, this supplier has you covered.
Show Them That Horses Aren’t Scary
While horses might have their dangers, they’re not aggressive animals. There’s no reason for your child to fear them. Unfortunately, given all these essential safety measures, it might be easy for a kid to get the wrong impression and no longer desire to own a horse.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to counteract this. For one, let them start feeding the animal sugar cubes as one of their first tasks. Horses love this, and it can be a great way to show your child how gentle these creatures actually are. Just make sure they don’t try to reach for the animal’s face, which is sometimes viewed as threatening behaviour.
Getting a horse that’s on the smaller side might also be a good idea, as your kid probably won’t find their size so intimidating. You want them to be as comfortable as possible, so they take all the necessary safety measures while still having a good time.
Teach Them How To Groom
Given how much time horses spend outside and in stables, it doesn’t take much for them to get dirty. That’s why it’s important to establish a regular grooming routine so they stay clean and healthy.
There’s a lot involved with this, from securing the animal to brushing their coat and picking dirt and debris out of their hooves. You’ve got to use a bunch of equipment to do the job effectively, and it helps if you do the tasks in a certain order.
All the advice you could need about how to groom your horse best can be found here, so you can get your head around everything first before teaching your child what to do.
This is one responsibility you likely want to help them with for a while, given how much is involved. Your kid may not be tall enough to reach everywhere they need to, and you may be concerned about letting them near the horse’s hooves if they’re inexperienced. Eventually, though, they should get the hang of things so that you can leave them to it. Provided they’re always gentle and keep the animal soothed. There shouldn’t be any problems.
Horses are incredibly loving creatures that can give your child so much joy and fulfilment. However, before they become a full-time owner, they must get all this stuff down. That way, you know they’re capable enough to handle the responsibility and – more importantly – are safe.