If you are a horse owner, you will know how wonderfully wise and beautiful these large creatures are. They seem to know everything, they respond to your calls, and they become your best friend. Unfortunately, when your horse ages or becomes ill and then passes away, it can be a heartbreaking experience.
The typical cost of horse cremation is a range starting at $250 and can go beyond $1500. I will share some other considerations to help you below.
The very crux of owning any type of animal is the knowledge that one day you are going to have to say goodbye to them. There are many wonderful things about giving an animal a home, any type of animal, but the agony of their eventual passing can be crippling for many.
There is no way to make this time less painful, but knowing your options and researching costs and regulations ahead of time can often make the time after they have gone, a little easier to bear. In terms of the death of a horse, everything can seem so overwhelming. This is a large animal, and disposing of his or her remains in the right way is vital.
Is It Illegal To Bury A Horse?
Your options are a cremation or a burial, but you cannot simply bury a horse on your own land without express permission. There are many laws and regulations which prevent this, and you will need to find out about any which pertain to your area (both state and local) before you even consider this option.
A few anomalies which may occur even if you are allowed to bury your horse on your own property are that the remains cannot be buried either more than 24 hours after the horse has died, that there must be a set amount of distance between the burial site and the house, the water supply etc. There are so many possible red tape areas that thinking about all of this after you have just lost your beloved horse can be extremely overwhelming. For this reason, knowing the options beforehand is vital.
How Much Does Horse Cremation Cost?
The exact price of cremating your horse will depend upon several factors, so we can only really give you a rough idea of average costs. Most cremation companies will only cremate the whole horse, which is often the choice of most owners anyway.
The price depends mainly on the size and weight of your horse. A smaller horse will have a lower cremation cost, compared to a large horse. This makes perfect sense. It also depends upon whether you require your horse to be picked up from your property and taken to the cremation facility or whether you are happy to take them there yourself. If you are, you will cut costs, but not everyone wants to do this. Do what you are comfortable with in this case.
The general cost of horse cremation is anywhere between $250 to $1500. Remember, the price also depends on where you live, as some areas have higher costs than others.
If your horse is to be picked up, and it is between working hours and not at a weekend, you probably won’t need to pay an extra charge. If however it is after hours, e.g. evening time or during a weekend or public holiday, there will be a charge that could be anything up to $1000 for a horse, again depending upon the size.
Other Costs to Bear in Mind
Aside from the possible cost of picking up your horse out of working hours, and the cremation itself, there might a few extras you need to think about. It’s important to know about these ahead of time, so you can make the right decisions, according to your available budget.
For instance, if you want to witness the cremation yourself, you may need to pay extra for this service. This can be up to $30 extra. Not everyone wants to be at the cremation, but again, this is something you need to decide for yourself. Some owners feel they want to be by their horse’s side until the very end, and if that is you, this extra charge will be a very small price to pay for fulfilling your wishes.
Because of the size of a horse, individual cremations are really the only way forward. If you were cremating a domestic pet, e.g. a cat or a dog, you would decide whether you wanted them cremating individually or communally. With a communal cremation, there are several other passed animals in the same cremation. This means you are very unlikely to be able to keep the ashes, because you cannot be sure that the ashes you have are those of your pet. With a horse however, the size of the animal means that individual cremations are the only way forward. This does mean you will be able to keep or scatter the ashes as you wish.
Of course, if you want to keep the ashes, you will need to pay for an urn. These can once more vary hugely in cost, and it depends on the design, the material, and the size. Generally you are looking at anywhere between $50 to $1000, depending on how opulent you want to go with your urn.
Another option is burying your pet in a pet cemetery. Your local veterinary surgery will be able to give you more details on local pet cemeteries and prices, as these vary quite considerably. Of course, in this case you would also probably opt for a memorial service and a tombstone, which would add to the cost of the casket and the burial price. Be sure to check these prices carefully before you opt for pet cremation burial. Again, remember that burying your horse on your own property is a very difficult process which is often not allowed by laws in most cases.
How Does Animal Cremation Work?
In order to properly grieve and process the enormity of what has happened, you might have additional questions about the entire creation process. A pet cremation is not hugely different to the cremation of a passed human. The same high heat is applied to the deceased, causing the body to absorb and return to its most basic, mineral form. From this, a machine is used to pulverize the mineral to create the ashes you are given at the end.
Cremation isn’t a particularly pleasant thing to think about, and most people try and avoid thinking too much about the actual process itself, but it could be that in order for you to move on and grieve properly, you do need to have these questions answered. In that case, that is totally fine, and your local veterinary surgery or cremation company will also be able to give you extra information.
There should be no worries about the dignity and care of your pet once they have left your possession and been transferred to the cremation company’s premises. Companies which run pet cremations completely understand the responsibility they have been given by pet owners, and the same dignity and respect is given a deceased animal, as with a deceased human being.
Can A Whole Horse Be Cremated?
The case of horse cremation, as we mentioned before, the cremation will be individual and it should be the whole horse’s body which is cremated as once. However, some horse crematories need to have the animal’s body in smaller pieces. This can be rather terrible to consider for your sweet horse and you will want to make sure you are asking the question ahead of time to ensure you do not have any surprises.
After you’ve done your research, you do not have to worry about anything else occurring. If you have questions about this however, do ask the cremation company on your shortlist before you make a final choice. There may be questions you need to ask about specific policies, procedures, and guidelines pertaining to that company, and a genuine, quality company will have no issues in answering these for you.
What To Do With Horse Ashes?
Remember, you are in a time of grief, and the company understand this. Any question you ask will be answered openly and honestly, in order to help you make a decision you are comfortable with, and which you can live with after this sad event.
Once you have received your horse’s ashes, you need to think what you are going to do with them. Many owners choose to keep the ashes in a decorative urn and they remain in the home as a reminder, just like they may do with a human who has passed. Some owners choose to scatter the ashes, normally over the fields where the horse loved to roam. You could also opt to do a half and half, e.g. scatter some of the ashes and keep the rest in an urn.
If you are going to opt for an urn, be sure to look for one which really sums up the character of your horse. You can choose many different materials and designs, and having the right choice will allow you to feel comfortable with your choice and remember your beloved horse for the many years to come.
The passing of any animal is a difficult time. We focus so much on what happens when a family member or friend passes away, but often when a beloved pet passes, it can be equally as hard for many. Having the right information to hand will help to make the process at least a little easier.