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6 Disadvantages of Owning a Horse

Adrienne is a certified professional dog trainer, dog behavior consultant and former veterinarian assistant for an AAHA animal hospital.


What Are the Disadvantages of Owning a Horse?

While the advantages of having a horse can be obvious, the disadvantages often will be hidden under a veil of idealization. Indeed, passion may overlook some major flaws that come with buying the noble equine, yet most of these disadvantages will be unveiled 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 require many expensive accessories. While buckets, brushes, saddles, and reins are fixed investments that will last for quite some time, there are other costs that will be ongoing such as lodging, food, horseshoes, and veterinary care. In 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 its tail and mane, clean its 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. Horse Manure and Flies

Of course, all the food you feed will eventually come out the other end. 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 when the flies decide to get a taste of 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 lot of ''baggage,'' unwanted behaviors which the previous owner may 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 friends. 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 find themselves at a point where 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.


Gabrielle Ramirez on May 25, 2019:

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

Jessie Miller on June 05, 2018:

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

Bilal nawaz on September 23, 2017:

A horse is a beautiful animal but way expensive

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 09, 2015:

A house or a horse?

Alexis on February 08, 2015:

I really want a house

marina higgins on January 10, 2011:

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 from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on June 28, 2009:

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.