The horse: a great (but expensive) childhood pet

There are plenty of people—both adults and children—who aren’t much into animals and prefer the relatively tidier company of humans, but of those children who do like animals there’s not too much who don’t love horses. Horses are especially beloved by children, in my mind, because they are large and powerful creatures but are usually very gentle and loving. To a child that can be an extremely positive combination as the child can feel both safe and have a connection with an animal.
Despite how important that obviously is, the biggest reward of having a child own a horse isn’t so much the way it makes the child feel, but the roles that it play in the child’s development is priceless. Children often cultivate feelings of strong responsibility towards their horses, especially if they have formed deep attachments. In in addition to the self-discipline and responsibility that the experiences affords the child, they often cultivate a strong sense of self-worth because they are looking after a large and powerful animal.
In a more roundabout way, courage is a virtue that horse riding can instil in a child. Personally I didn’t have a horse growing up, but I was able to visit the stables once or twice every summer to go for a ride with some of the more experienced people who worked at the stable. When I was on those riding trips in my mind I was also in some sort of adventure. I would create adventure stories in my head and act them out on the horse. For me that was something that fostered bravery by going out on my ‘adventures’ and they remain some of the most vivid memories from my childhood.
However, it needs to be said that if you’re considering getting a horse for your child you’ll definitely need to be able to afford it. Horses themselves are well into the thousands, pricewise, and their food and stable fees on a monthly basis can run into the hundreds, so it’s not a decision taken lightly. But for such a rewarding experience, it’s definitely worth the costs.