There are over 400 recognized horse and pony breeds in the world. Choosing which one is right for you can at first seem a daunting challenge. Quickly winnow your choices down by considering what you want the horse to do, how much money you have to spend and what breeds are available in your area.
Want do you want your horse to do? Do you want to jump fences, work with livestock or perhaps pull a wagon? Many horse and pony breeds were specially bred to perform certain jobs. For example, the Arabian is riding horse with plenty of stamina for the trail but also plenty of flash for the show ring. But this horse is often too light to pull a plow.
If you are looking for a companion animal or an equine pet, forget about picking certain breeds and go for temperament. Check out animal rescue centers to see if they have any horses or ponies that suit your needs. They often will not have a pedigree or they may be a pureblood but their previous owners never bothered to register them.
Consider Your Budget
Take a long, hard look at your finances. You not only have to consider a horse’s purchase price or adoption fee, you also have to factor in hay bales, veterinary services and other maintenance costs. If you have your heart set on a breed not seen in your country, let alone your locality, sober up fast. You must be very wealthy to afford finding and importing such a rare breed.
Unless you are planning on breeding or seriously competing in breed-restricted events, forget about getting a purebred. A set of papers does not prove that a horse is going to be any better than a non-registered or grade horse. Look at the individual’s temperament, level of training and overall health before registration papers.
Unless you are willing to wait months or even years to locate, purchase and transport a particular purebred horse home, stick with the selection of horse breeds available in your area. Chances are that you will still have many to choose from. This will not only save money on importation costs, but may help save an equine life in your area.
Because of the worldwide recession of 2008 and rising hay prices, horses and ponies are being abandoned in record numbers. Purebred animals are also being abandoned. Check local shelters or horse rescue centers first before checking out any breeders. Search a rescue pet database like Petfinder if there aren’t any suitable animals in your area.