Horses are regal and mild mannered animals of distinction that many love; but few are able to own and properly maintain. Whether you’re a horse-lover, ride as a hobby, or you just love the idea of owning one, it helps to know what owning a horse involves.
You have to know how to choose and buy the right horse
It’s better to write down the type of horse you want and what you’ll use it for, to have a structured focus of what you’re in the market for. Determining a budget you can comfortably live with is the most important consideration when thinking of owning a horse. This means research, so you’ll know what your financial obligation is.
Never buy a horse because it’s “cheap”
Something is sure to be wrong with a horse priced too far below the normal. Once you’ve decided on a horse and what you’ll use it for, you can start browsing equestrian magazines and websites. By searching for a horse at a showjumping facility, you’re sure to find a quality horse that’s been well cared for, at a fair, negotiated price. But, it’s not a good idea to buy a horse you haven’t seen or tried out–on word-of-mouth from a friend.
When viewing a horse, take an experienced person with you, who knows what to look for. Let the owner ride the horse first so you can see its behavior. Never be the first one to mount and ride a strange horse. Nor should you buy the first horse you see.
Save the cost of travel by asking key questions
You’ll incur the cost of traveling 50 miles or more to view a horse. Before viewing a horse you’re considering, write down some key questions to ask to determine if making the trip is worth your time. Answers to certain questions will help you weed out horses that don’t measure up:
- Why is the horse for sale?
- How long have you had the horse?
- Has the horse had any injuries or diseases?
- What’s the horse’s temperament like?
- Is the horse shod?
- Is the horse registered with a breed society or eligible for registration?
Consider the time and commitment needed to own a horse
Caring for a horse is time consuming and requires commitment. When considering a horse, you have to know where you’ll keep it. Keeping a horse on your own land eliminates livery fees, but it will also consume most of your time. Your horse will need feeding, bedding, farrier, and warming; insurance, hay, vaccinations, and dental checks. It’s wise to also calculate this into your initial budget when deliberating.
Horses need shelter from wind and rain
Horses require shade–preferably from a natural cluster of trees– during summer. If you own a stable, it should be at least 2.75 meters high. The floor area for horses should be at least 12 square meters, and nine for ponies. Your stable should have good drainage and ventilation; clean straw should line the floor, and should be changed daily.