BUYING YOUR FIRST HORSE
You have made one of the most exciting decisions in your
life-you're buying your first horse.
Many people grew up dreaming of the beauty of horses,
watching movies, or reading stories about horses. If you
find you are saying strange things such as; my what
magnificent animals they are, and things like oh, if wishes
were horses you may be certifiably horse crazy. And it is
true, horses are fun to ride, nice to watch, and a wonderful
way to enter a whole different world. But horses are more
than whims, it takes a great deal of commitment and care to
not neglect the animal, and a lot of money to support these
horses as well.
If you are lucky enough to have the time and necessary funds
to spend on this hobby please take a moment to read a few
guidelines before you get out your checkbook.
(WHAT DO I REALLY WANT AND WHY?)
There are numerous books and videos out on the topic of
horse care and riding. Although all knowledge can not be
learned from a book it is a very good way to learn the
"language" of horses. Visit local stables, feed stores, and
saddlery shops to ask what the horse community is like in
your area. Realize that there are very many styles of
riding, and types of horses and all them are sometimes
worlds apart even though horses are the common factor.
Decide on the breed of horse you desire based on what you
have learned. Define your goals and make darn sure this big
animal has a place in your life.
2. WHERE TO
A very important factor in horse ownership is "where shall
we put it". If you do not have acreage you will have to find
a stable that will look after your horse for you, or a
boarding stable. There are many different kinds of boarding
facilities ranging from a friend's farm to a big fancy
stable with show facilities. Here you must consider your
budget and mostly the well-being of the horse. Safety is a
major factor and research can help you find a suitable place
for your needs. If you have your own land, you will need
safe, sturdy fences, and some kind of shelter from the
weather. This depends on the climate of your location. Feed
storage and availability must also be considered. Keeping a
horse is expensive, they require a lot of food, they need
care from a veterinarian periodically, and they have other
costs such as blacksmith and a long list of equipment that
is needed too. All in all, horses are expensive.
THE RIGHT HORSE: ( From Minis to Shires)
Horses come in many different shapes and sizes. Horses are
classified by breeds and types and can be purebred,
crossbred, or grade. Don't buy the first horse you go and
see. This decision should not be rushed into as without
knowledge of horse conformation, (the way the horses body is
put together), disposition (the horses innate" goodness or
badness"), and soundness (refers to health, especially of
the legs and wind). Someone could be badly hurt or the horse
may not be suitable for your needs. A person without riding
experience should never even consider purchasing a young,
untrained horse. An older, well-trained mount will be much
safer, especially for a youngster. Letting a child and a
young horse grow up together is just inviting disaster. An
older mount, ten years or older, is usually the ideal for a
The sex of the horse is a major fact to consider as well.
Stallions should only be handled by experienced horse
Mares are used as breeding and riding animals. They can
sometimes be moody depending on hormonal levels.
Geldings are well suited for a family horse or friend.
Breeds of horses and sizes vary greatly too and choice is
depending on the discipline the horse will be used for. It
now comes down to personal preference, you must really like
this horse to consider spending all that money, and hard
There are many classified ads in newspapers, or horse
magazines, listing horses for sale. Hopefully you will have
met someone in your search for this horse that you can
trust, and you can use he or she as a mentor. When you have
found the horse of your dreams have a veterinarian perform a
soundness exam or have the horse "vetted". This can save
heartache in the future, should the vet find anything wrong
with the horse, before you decide to buy.
This is a very brief outline of things you should consider
before purchasing a horse or pony of your own. Take the time
to gain knowledge and experience and your choice will be
better than just jumping into the saddle.