Before You Buy A HorsePublished July 6, 2011
If you are thinking of becoming a first-time horse owner, there is a lot to consider before you make the purchase. Horses take a lot of time and money and you must make sure you are ready for this commitment. With that in mind, here is some advice for how to get started:
1. Find an Advisor
A professional, such as a horse trainer or breeder, can help you with your search and guide you along the way. Often there’s a fee involved, so it’s important to find someone trustworthy by asking for suggestions from friends and neighbors or even checking the forums on websites like www.chronofhorse.com. Once you find someone, if anything they say seems odd, it’s always OK to ask for a second opinion.
2. Stay Open
Humility is important. Now that you have someone advising you, remember that there is always something to learn from those who have more experience.
3. Make Living Arrangements
Do not take a horse in at your home if you do not know how to properly care for it. Instead look for a boarding facility near you that can take care of your horse and teach you the basics of horsemanship first. This will involve care, feeding, turn-out, etc.
4. Define Your Relationship
Decide if you want this horse to be a companion or you want to ride it. If you want a companion, consider rescuing a horse that is need of a loving home.There There are hundreds of different organizations all of the country. The Humane Society is a great place to start.
If you want a horse to ride, you must decide what discipline that suits you. The basic decision is between English or Western. This would involve taking lessons and getting a feel for what type of riding you enjoy before you purchase a horse.
5. Gear Up
Make sure you have all the necessary equipment. This involves tack, riding apparel, cleaning and grooming supplies. If you are keeping the horse at your house, make sure she has shelter, a field and the correct food. It is also important that the field has been checked for harmful plants because there are a lot of plants that are lethal to horses.
6. Consider Cost
Understand that owning a horse can easily cost over $500 a month on food, vet and farrier bills, and board, and decide if it is definitely a commitment you want to make.
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