Gift Yourself A Backyard Horse Or Two
by Nikki Alvin-Smith
Rural dwellers often have property that is large enough to support horse ownership. The benefits of spending time with animals are well-documented. People that expend energy caring and loving on any Equus, training and developing their trust, enjoy a wealth of very real health benefits.
Physical improvements folks may experience include a decrease in blood pressure plus reduced stress and anxiety levels. Mental gains include learning patience and improving self-esteem. Animals can teach humans to feel more trustful, empowered and generally more satisfied with themselves and their lives. That’s a lot of health benefits to consider – real horsepower.
No matter how small or how tall the horse, how many or how few, or the Equus species chosen, the ownership and home care aspect of a backyard horse or two is well worth thinking about.
Many horse lovers return to horse ownership later in life, after their hiatus from time spend with equines was halted due to obligations of work and family. Retirees find owning Equus a source of both delightful entertainment and a method to stay active during their vintage years. Animals require care every day, and it gives people motivation to get off the couch and out of the house and participate in some form of exercise. For others, the dream to own a horse makes owning one a fairytale come true.
During the pandemic when equestrians found their beloved equines off limits at boarding barns with restricted access available to them, the panic to visit and spend time with their animals kicked into high gear. Setting off a flurry of backyard barn building to facilitate bringing their horses home.
Whatever the nature of the want and need to own horses may be, there is no question that achieving the goal of horsekeeping at home is a worthy pursuit. But before you set out to build a horse barn and erect a paddock fence or enclosure, don’t forget to check with your local township zoning department to make certain your planned development is allowed.
Modular horse barn builds offer a quick and easy way to acquire a structure suitable for sheltering the animal(s) from hot sun and wet weather. A form of shelter from the weather elements is essential for good horse care. It is smart to consider not just what the immediate needs for housing may be, but also the future.
If you don’t already own a horse then finding the right horse or Equus will take some effort. What you buy will depend much on the job you want it to do. Many animals need a soft landing or forever home, but it is wise to tread carefully when making your selection and consult a professional trainer for help if necessary.
Animals can be sourced from sale yards, kill pens or horse rescues, horse breeders, or private sales online. When it comes to shopping for a child’s horse, it is prudent to take extra precautions to ensure that the animal in question is safe and suitable for them to engage with and enjoy.
Transportation of the animals to your property can be navigated with the help of a horse transport professional, or sometimes the seller will deliver the animal to its new abode for a small fee. Never part with money for a horse before seeing it and hopefully having a vet examine it for health status. Deposits given to ‘hold horses’ are not the norm and should be avoided. A seller with integrity will always hold a horse pending a vet exam and await payment on the animal until it is delivered or picked up.
Once the horse is home there is a protocol to ensure that the new arrival enjoys a successful ‘go’ in his new environment.
Learning about how to properly care and manage horses is straightforward to do, and with the help of online resources that cover everything from what barn to build, to what forage to feed and how to store it and find it, the successful mini-farm set up is easy to accomplish.
If you cherish the idea of learning to ride or of improving your horsemanship skill set then don’t be timid about taking some lessons at a local barn. The equestrian community is happily full of kind individuals that are always willing to lend a hand or offer advice on where to find what and how to deal with issues that may arise during horse ownership. Here are a few guidelines on how to select the right trainer for your individual needs.
The idea of bringing a horse(s) home to live in your own backyard can feel daunting at the outset, and that is perfectly normal and shows you respect the responsibility that you are about to undertake. Enjoy the process of finding the right barn, the right site, the right horse and learning more about them. There are always industry professionals that will help out if you get yourself in trouble, and by following a few simple rules for working and caring for horses you will soon develop a bond with your equine that will provide solace, support and satisfaction to your world.
And just like everything else in life, having ‘just one’ is hard to do and in the case of the horse, its herd nature make giving it some form of daily companionship almost essential.
Big or small, all Equus can bring sincere joy to your life. Why not give it a go.