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Tuesday, November 9, 2021

5 Things To Consider Before Buying A Horse

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Buying a horse is a big decision. For many people it's a childhood dream, but it’s a dream that comes with a lot of responsibility. Below are a few important things to consider before buying a horse. 

Why do you want a horse?

If you’ve been riding for a while now, it’s likely you may be wanting to take your passion to the next level. Owning a horse can prevent you from having to rely on the availability of lesson horses - you can go riding whenever you want.

Of course, there are other reasons to own a horse beyond wanting to go riding. Horses can make great companion pets that will live a long time. Looking after a horse can be a lot of work, but it can be rewarding. It can motivate you to spend time outdoors and exercise. If you own a farm, a horse could even help with certain farming tasks. You could even set up a horse-based business such as a riding school.

You should think twice before buying a horse as a pet for a child, especially if you and your child have little experience with horses. Kids often go through phases - unless they’ve been avidly riding horses for years, there’s no guarantee they’ll maintain this passion.

What type of horse is right for you?

There are many different breeds of horse. Certain breeds may be better suited to certain climates and activities. Temperament can vary a lot from each breed. It’s important to find the right breed for you. This post lists some of the best breeds for first time horse owners

You should also consider the age and the size of the horse. Older horses are easier to handle than younger horses - they’re generally more predictable and will likely already have good ground manners. When it comes to size, think about your own weight and height if you plan to ride your horse. 

Where will you keep your horse?

Your horse will need to be kept in a stable or at least have some kind of run-in shelter. Many people rent a stable - there are likely to be many horse boarding options locally, which are worth looking into before you buy your horse. 

If you have enough land, another option is to build your own stable. Search online for an equestrian barn builder that can build you a suitable structure.  This could work out cheaper in the long run, but you need to make sure that you have enough land to make it work.

Can you afford it?

A horse is one of the most expensive pets you can buy. Hay and straw, feed, vet bills and boarding are just some of the regular costs to factor in. This can cost thousands per year. This isn’t even including the initial cost of buying a horse and all the equipment.

There are ways to save money on a horse. However, it will never be cheap - so make sure your budget stretches far enough.

Do you have the time?

You’ll also need to dedicate a lot of time to looking after your horse, exercising it and creating trust. Riding is just a small part of it - there’s so much more from mucking out stables to grooming your horse. 

You may be able to use boarded facilities or hire a stable hand to relieve some of the responsibility. However, you’ll still need to be prepared to spend a good few hours per week with your horse. If you’ve already got a busy life, this could be something to carefully consider.