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Before You Buy That Horse…


LEXINGTON, KY --- A “free” horse is often one of the world’s most expensive acquisitions.  As a horse owner, regardless of whether you pay a substantial sum of money to purchase a blooded horse or a “friend” gives you his horse, it’s the subsequent expenses that can lead to disillusionment and the neglect or abandonment of an innocent creature.  That’s why the Kentucky Horse Park wants to circumvent potential disasters by preparing new and would-be horse owners for the realities of horse ownership in So You Want to Own a Horse?? on Feb 25. 


So You Want to Own a Horse?? is a practical, down-to-earth seminar offered by the Education Department at the Kentucky Horse Park.  Some of the ground covered in this class will include the factors which should be considered prior to horse ownership:  selection of the horse, the importance of correct handling, equipment, living facilities, appropriate health and hoof care, training and education.


John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park observed, “Owning a horse can be one of life’s best experiences.  It’s a great family activity and one that teaches young people important life lessons.  It also encourages responsibility and empathy.  Best of all, there are few things that will give a better return on emotional investment than horses.


“However, far too many people acquire horses thinking it will be like owning a cat or a dog, but horses are never that easy or inexpensive.  They are high maintenance animals that require daily attention and a substantial, long-term investment of time and money. 


He continued, “While we don’t want to discourage people from owning horses, we definitely want to help them to make an educated decision.  If owners go into this commitment with their eyes wide open, they are far less likely to become discouraged and the animals are less likely to end-up with the short end of the stick.  We simply want to encourage people to do their homework first.  The investment in a couple of classes or books and some hands-on experience on the front end will reap great rewards down the road.” 


Margi Stickney, Education Director for the park offered, “If you think you can buy a horse, throw it out in your grandpa’s field and only see it occasionally when you want to ride, please think again.  That’s a recipe for certain disaster, a less-than cordial visit from the Humane Society, an empty bank account, an appointment before a judge, your name in an embarrassing section of the newspaper and possibly a trip to the emergency room – all of which can be easily prevented through education.  We want you to find out what you’re getting into before you get the horse. You and your horse will be much happier that way.”


She continued, “This is a great class for anyone who is considering horse ownership or has recently purchased a horse.  It’s especially perfect for every starry-eyed horse romantic and every parent whose little girl is relentlessly hounding them for a horse of her own.”


Registration for So You Want to Own a Horse?? is $30.  For information on this or any of the other education classes offered by the Kentucky Horse Park, contact Margi Stickney at 859-259-4206, click on or email


Hours and Rates: November 1-March 14 the Kentucky Horse Park is open 9am until 5pm, Wednesday through Sunday admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children 7-12.  From March 15-October 31, the park is open seven days a week.  Admission then is $15 for adults, $9 for children 7-12.  Children six and under are always admitted free of charge.  Admission includes most dog shows and always includes the American Saddlebred Museum.


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