Do you dream of having your very own horse? Does the whole process of searching for your ideal horse seem daunting? I've seen and heard too many stories of people buying horses that aren't suitable for them. It can become a whole cycle of the horse going from one owner to the next, and you are left still searching for a horse. It is important to take your time to do the proper research and don’t let yourself or anyone else rush you. Remember this can be a life changing experience and trust me when I say that owning, or half leasing in my case, a horse is possibly the best opportunity and privilege to have as an equestrian. When done correctly, your new horse will very well become your new best friend. Before looking and buying your faithful steed, take the time to do your research on all the different aspects.
What to consider before searching for a horse?
Firstly, you need to be completely honest with yourself and as realistic as possible. Ask yourself if you have the much needed available finances, time and experience? These questions are highly important to know before buying a horse. These questions will determine if you can indeed carry on in the searching and buying process.
1. Do you have the money for a horse?
Is there enough money to actually buy a horse? Do you have the available finances every month for the horse’s upkeep? Does the horse come with his own tack or do you need to purchase your own? Also bear in mind that the horse will need different blankets, especially in winter. The cost of blankets alone will set you a few thousand back. Purchasing a horse suitable for you is just the very beginning of the journey. You will also have the monthly costs of stabling your horse to handle. If you have the spare time and experience, you can look into stabling at a DIY or semi DIY yard to lower your expenses. Have a look and research your local livery options. Go visit the yards, look around and ask your necessary questions to see which one is best for you and your horse. Try and get an idea of how much the stabling will be per month. Also find out what each yard offers, what is included in the stabling fees and the facilities they have available. You will also need to consider and work out roughly other extra costs. The horse’s feed and needed supplements. Equine insurance and yearly dentist checks. Your horse will need a farrier every 6-8 weeks, whether he is barefoot or shoed. Planning a correct deworming programme and purchasing the dewormer from your nearest equestrian store. Remember to also keep lesson and show fees in the equation.
2. Do you have enough available time for your horse?
Horses and their health and care can/will consume a big chunk of your time! Your riding lessons will be about 30-60 minutes of your day, plus another 30 minutes to bring in the horse and tack up. Remember, depending on your goals, the training of yourself and the horse will not be a short and easy process. If you decide on a DIY livery, you need to be there once in the morning and once in the evening. Your duties would include: cleaning the stable, feeding, grooming, turning the horse out, and changing the blankets. The list can go on.
3. How much experience do you have?
A person doesn’t require loads of experience to buy and own a horse. However, you will need others with the needed experience and knowledge to help you. To gain some experience look into leasing a horse first for about 6 months. This will give you an idea of what you are getting into and if you truly are ready for a horse. If you are a first time owner or inexperienced, I don’t recommend a DIY livery for you just yet.
Remember take your time, don’t rush the process because you are too excited or you are being pressured. This is a start of a whole new adventure for you. All good things take time and patience, and also don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone with the experience and eye for horses!
Author: Cathleen R.