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Tips When Buying Your First Horse

Jul 19, 2008
So you've got a love of the outdoors, you've taken some riding lessons and now you want to buy a horse. Just like any other animal you're bringing into your life, this is a serious undertaking. However, because horses are not a household pet, there are unique considerations when buying one.

Here are some tips to help you find a horse that is right for you.

Education

Educate yourself on all things related to horses. Read as much as you can but also be around them as much as possible. Volunteer at a stable and see what taking care of a horse is really like. Take extensive riding lessons. Learn how to recognize a horse's disposition and temperament. Also, talk to people in the horse community by going to horse shows. Talk to trainers and vets to truly understand the magnitude of what you are about to undertake. Can you afford to make the time and money commitment of being a horse owner?

Know Yourself

You have educated yourself on the responsibilities of being a horse owner and you have decided to go ahead with this venture. The next step is to make a list of what you are looking for in a horse.

What type of riding do you enjoy? Would you prefer a calm horse or a horse with a lot of spirit? Decide on a breed, age, size and gender that is the right combination for you. Your exposure from riding lessons and being around stables will come in handy when making this decision. However, for a first time horse buyer, it is probably best to stick with geldings and mares.

Expenses

At the beginning, there will be a lot of upfront expenses ' the actual cost of the horse along with tack and supplies. Next, you will need to calculate the monthly expenses. Monthly expenses could be from boarding cost or maybe you're keeping the horse on your own property. If you plan on keeping the horse on your own property, estimate the cost for feed, hay, bedding and general upkeep. Also, don't forget the housing repairs for fences and stable. And then there are other reoccurring bills such as vet bills, farrier bills, and other maintenance costs. You should have a good idea in your mind after talking to people in the horse community.

Stick With the Plan

You've done your homework by educating yourself. You've created a checklist of what you're looking for in a horse. You've also calculated that you can afford to keep a horse. The horse you're looking for might not come instantly but don't let emotions cloud your judgment. The important thing in purchasing a horse is just to stick with the plan!
About the Author
Mariam Ma is a freelance writer for Drop In Bucket, a great source for horse care supplies such as horse fly masks and horse fly sheets to keep those pests at bay.
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