Monday, 31 March 2014

Buying Your First Horse? Slow Down And Read This!

Many first time horse owners choose a horse that they like the look of, but technically isn’t right for them. This means that you can eventually become frustrated and decide you’re done with horses forever - but this way, you miss out on all of the joys horse ownership can bring! Doing it the right way will ensure that you are a happy horse owner for life. Buying your first horse is a little bit like buying your first car. You need to do your research and pair that with some smart buying strategies in order to make a purchase you’re going to be pleased with. As much as a person might like horses, that doesn’t necessarily mean they should own a horse. Horses are a massive commitment, not just financially but emotionally.

Photo source: flickr

Before You Get Your First Horse…

… enroll in riding lessons if you haven’t had any already. These should be with a reputable trainer or instructor and you should have them at least once a week.

Think about getting a full or partial lease of a horse for 6 months. Leasing will mean you pay a fixed fee or a portion of the horses expenses in exchange for riding the horse. In a full lease, you take over the horse’s expenses and care responsibilities, but in a partial lease the owner usually remains responsible for most of the expenses and responsibilities.

If leasing the horse doesn’t give you enough time on the horse, then you could consider purchasing your own horse. Remember that this is a massive commitment - almost like going from owning a puppy to having a baby!

The financial commitment of owning a horse is huge. Not only do you need to pay the initial fee for the horse, there are plenty of ongoing fees too.

Ongoing Fees

• Board that ranges from full care to self care. Sometimes somebody will feed your horse and clean the stall, but in some cases you’ll need to do this yourself.You shouldn’t choose a boarding facility too far away or you could find it a chore to get over there.

• A professional instructor to help build your skills and make sure you stay safe.

• Participating in competitions will involve entry fees, transportation of the horse, and special outfits.

• A farrier every 6-8 weeks.

• An equine vet to administer any important medication and treatments. See here for more information.

• Tack and equipment.

• Food and supplements.

• Bedding.

• Any miscellaneous items!

Choosing Your Horse

Now you know how much you can expect to pay, you need to consider the kind of horse you’ll buy. Your safety is very important, so your first horse should be well-trained, well mannered, and have a quiet, steady temperament. You need to be able to handle and ride this horse, otherwise you won’t find it fun and it could be dangerous. Be sensible when choosing your first horse and have somebody with a lot of knowledge on horse to give you second opinions!

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