The Disadvantages of Owning a Horse

Updated on July 29, 2019
alexadry profile image

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, former veterinary assistant, and the author of "Brain Training for Dogs."

What Are the Disadvantages of Owning a Horse?

While the advantages of owning a horse in the eyes of a horse lover can be various, the disadvantages often will be hidden under a veil of idealization. Indeed, passion may cover up some major flaws that come along owning the noble equine, yet most of these disadvantages will unveil as the horse lover gets accustomed to owning a horse. The following are a few of the many cons of opening your heart and soul to a horse.

1. Horses Are Expensive

You may love to own a horse, but you will certainly not love the big hole in the wallet that comes along with it. Horses are sold as a single piece but along with the horse you will need several accessories. While buckets, brushes, saddles, reins are part of fixed costs that will last for quite some time there are other costs that will be ongoing such as food, horse shoes, and veterinary care. At the end a horse may end up costing an arm and a leg, and this can be deleterious if the horse owner was not prepared for such expenses.

2. Horses Require a Huge Investment of Time

Your horse will need a good slice of your time. You will have to brush tail and mane, clean the horse's coat, remove dirt and feces from the hooves, change bedding, feed and of course, ride and exercise the horse. This can easily take more than a few hours a day away from your already busy lifestyle.

3. Horses Smell and Attract Flies

Of course, all the food you feed will eventually come out from the opposite side. Horse manure can turn quite smelly and worse, attracts flies, a lot of flies. These flies are a nuisance especially when your horse reacts to them and the flies decide to get a taste from you too.

4. Horses Are Hard to Train

Most horses need some level of training. Some may spook easily; others may engage in bad behaviors. Adult horses may come with a ''baggage'' of unwanted behaviors which the previous owner of course will not mention to you. If you are a novice horse owner you may not be able to fix some behaviors and may need the help of a professional.

5. Health Issues

Horses may encounter health issues some even serious or life threatening. Hooves need a lot of care; parasites are always a possibility; vaccines should be administered routinely; preventive care is vital; and above all, the risk of a colic always lingers. Colics are pretty common in horses, and often they cannot be prevented.

6. Attachment

While this is not really a disadvantage, it comes with the price of owning a horse: owners get attached to their four-legged friend. It is inevitable that you will bond as you care for your horse, watch him run, ride him, and if you get him as a foal, watch him grow. Most horse owners eventually may find themselves at one point where because of a life changing event they may no longer be able to keep their horse. Of course, this can be a devastating event that nobody enjoys.

As seen, there are various disadvantages of owning a horse, but often a true passion for horses is able to overcome them. Horses are intelligent creatures, and often even their mischievous acts can be forgiven as soon as we see the horse greet us each morning with the cutest grumble.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


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    • profile image

      Gabrielle Ramirez 

      14 months ago

      I used this website to give my dads the pros and cons of getting a horse. fingers crossed it works

    • profile image

      Jessie Miller 

      2 years ago

      What do you think is the main reason to get a horse

    • profile image

      Bilal nawaz 

      2 years ago

      A horse is a beautiful animal but way expensive

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      5 years ago

      A house or a horse?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I really want a house

    • profile image

      marina higgins  

      9 years ago

      i love horses but they do burn a hole in your pocket so if u do want a horse i would advise u to save money first and keep saving and then buy a horses...

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      11 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      I think economics play a big part here. If you visit Farm and Garden on Craigslist, it is fll of heartbreak as financially strapped people are forced to sell their beloved horses.


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