Growing up with horses is exciting for any child. Whether you grew up with them, yourself, or you’ve been in the leasing and boarding business for a while, you might be considering buying a horse property of your own. And chances are, your kids are excited about it. After all, what child wouldn’t want to grow up with horses all around?

It’s not just an exciting endeavor, but a beneficial one. Horses are a great way for kids to build confidence and self-esteem. They also teach children patience, responsibility, and social skills. For children with learning disabilities, they can provide a safe environment for exploration. In fact, horses are so beneficial for both physical and mental health, that equine therapy has become increasingly popular for children and adults alike.

But, as with any other good thing, there are some potential drawbacks. Taking on a horse property is a weighty decision, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. So, if you’re “on the fence” about buying a property, keep the following considerations in mind.

Looking at Your Finances

There’s no question that purchasing a horse property is expensive. But, if you have several horses, it can be a worthwhile investment. The average cost to board a horse can range anywhere from $400-$2,500 per month, depending on where you live. With your own property, you’ll save on renting out that space.

But, it’s still important to factor in how much the property and upkeep will cost before you buy. It’s the kind of financial investment that requires you to look at your budget and make sure you’re financially prepared. By using a budget calculator, you can factor in everything the property and your horses will need, including:

  • Property maintenance
  • Feed
  • Groundskeeping
  • Equipment

Looking at your finances should be your first step. Before you make an offer on a property, you’ll want to make sure it won’t drain your bank account.

You can also take into consideration that you may be able to earn money from your property. If you have extra space, you can board other people’s horses. Or, build an arena where other horse owners can ride. If you and your kids truly want a property, get creative with how you’ll be able to afford it comfortably.

Straying From the City

Another thing you’ll have to consider is how far your property might be from the nearest city. Most horse properties are well outside city limits. For some families, that might be too much of an inconvenience. Take into account how long it will take your children to get to school each day. If you have a full-time job away from the property, consider your commute.

Everyday errands like getting groceries can also become more of a hassle. It will take a bit of planning ahead any time you want to make a trip into town for the essentials.

More importantly, having a property away from a central city location means you’ll be further away from medical care — and accidents happen on horse farms. While there are things you can do to keep everyone safe (which we’ll cover below!), you can’t prevent everything. On top of that, if a family member gets sick with something as simple as a cold or the flu, you’ll want to be confident in their care.

Thankfully, the rise of telehealth can help. Telehealth allows you to use technology to connect with providers anywhere, so you can do so from the comfort of your own home. That way, if someone experiences a minor injury or sickness, you can contact your doctor via video chat and get the help you need.

Making Safety a Priority

When kids are working and playing on a horse property, safety should always be a priority. They  should know some of the essential safety rules for being around and handling horses, including:

  • Approaching them without startling
  • Tying them to safe, solid objects
  • Where to stand while grooming
  • Feeding them treats safely
  • Wearing the right protective gear while riding

It’s also crucial to make sure everyone in your family knows basic first-aid practices. You should consider having several first aid kits around the property at all times. If someone falls or gets injured, jumping into action right away can make a big difference. First aid training can save lives and improve recovery time. Consider whether you think you have the time and resources to make sure your family is on board with these safety practices. If you have very young children, educating them on how to stay safe now will help them to grow up knowing how to protect themselves around the property and the animals.

You already know owning a horse property is a big commitment. By taking everything into consideration, you can have more confidence in your decision. If you do decide to buy, enjoy the benefits and the bonding time the property will create for you and your family.

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