Skip to content

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.


More Stories

  • Sally Wadhams Announces Retirement

    After 25 years working for the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show®, Sally Wadhams announced her retirement from her position as development officer. Sally is looking forward to the next chapter of her life, including her son’s wedding this summer. Read More
  • Obituary - Dick Boettcher

    Saddle Horse Report received the sad news that Redmond, Washington trainer Dick Boettcher passed away today (March 22). A 2012 inductee into the UPHA Tom Moore Hall of Fame and recipient of the ASHA Lifetime Achievement Award... Read More
  • Local Riding Club to Host Charity Horse Show

    The Castlewood Riding Club, in Castlewood, Virginia, will host a charity horse show May 5, 2018 at the riding club. The show will feature a variety of breeds and the schedule will include numerous divisions including academy classes. John Scott will serve as the judge for all divisions... Read More
  • Bobbie Jo Jaakkola Wins AMHA Young Adult Alliance Judging School Scholarship

    The American Morgan Horse Association Young Adult Alliance (YAA) presented their fifth annual Judging School Scholarship to Bobbie Jo Jaakkola of Northwell, Michigan. The Professional Development Project created by this passionate group awards a $1,500 scholarship to one individual aged 21-40, professional or amateur, who is interested in attaining their Morgan R judging card. Read More
  • Spring Fling Horse Show to debut in its new location of the Equestrian Center at Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids, IA, April 5-8, 2018

    Spring Fling Horse Show to debut in its new location of the Equestrian Center at Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids, IA, April 5-8, 2018... Read More
  • Des Moines Springfest announces location

    The Des Moines Springfest Horse Show is scheduled for April 26 – 29, 2018.   We are pleased to announce the show will be held in the beautiful, state of the art Jacobson Arena at the Iowa State Fairground, Des Moines, IA. Read More
  • Coming Home Again

    Kevin Michael made a triumphant return to the show ring at Carousel Charity Horse Show Friday morning behind the elegant and high-stepping Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony CH Heartland Resplendant owned by Sandra Surber of Calistoga, California. Read More
  • ASHA Seeks Executive Director

    The American Saddlebred Horse Assocation (ASHA) is currently seeking to hire its next Executive Director. Founded in 1871, the ASHA’s mission is to safeguard the integrity of the American Saddlebred breed, to promote the use of American Saddlebreds, and to expand the public knowledge of the American Saddlebred.  Read More
  • Prize Lists Available for Asheville Saddlebred Classic

    The inaugural Asheville Saddlebred Classic is fast approaching and prize lists are now available at The entries closing date is April 20th and entries can be submitted online until that date. Hard copies of the prize list are available upon request... Read More
  • Hall of Famer Dies

    Ronald E. “Ronnie” Graham passed away on Tuesday, March 13, during the Gasparilla Charity Horse Show. The horse world mourns the loss of this talented trainer, astute ground man, and friend to all. The recipient of the 2015 UPHA Tom Moore Professional Horsemen’s Hall of Fame Award, Ronnie was the first to lend a hand to those in need... Read More