Ask for help, don’t starve them

Owning a horse costs a lot - if you can't afford yours, give it to a rescue group.

Owning a horse can be very expensive – a lot more than I ever would have thought.

Four starving horses from Princeton were surrendered last week because their owner couldn’t afford to feed them (Front page Feb. 22 issue).

It costs around $300 a month to look after a healthy horse, according to the B.C. Interior Horse Rescue Society.

And that’s to care for a healthy horse, not one that’s old, injured or sick.

If an owner had three horses, that’s $900 a month just for basic care.

It’s no wonder people with a lack of horse knowledge find they can’t afford to feed their pets.

A woman from the rescue society told me people buy horses from auctions. Many are in bad shape and go for cheap.

But when the new owners get home, they realize how much it really costs to look after one. They have to rake out a lot more than the sticker price.

The rescue society spends around $650 a week to feed its horses. I would have never guessed hay and other food would cost this much.

But it does, and hopefully prospective horse owners look into the costs before they purchase one.

How can a middle-class family afford to keep horses? It’s a huge investment. Not like owning a cat or dog.

The decision to buy a horse has to be thought about carefully. The average horse lives to be 25 to 30 years old – owners spend a large portion of their lives with their horses.

No one can ensure they will always be well-off enough to pay for their horses. If you do get into serious financial crisis, call a horse rescue group.

Accepting that you have to give up your horse is much better than letting it suffer like the ones rescued from Princeton.


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