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What You Need to Know When Buying Your First Horse
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What You Need to Know When Buying Your First Horse

Whether it has been a long time ambition or a sudden craving that you can’t seem to get rid of, for some reason you have fallen in love with the idea of getting a horse and you want to know what it entails. Like with getting any animal it is important to know the risks and to be able to accept the consequences of having another animal being entirely dependent on you for their well-being! Animals are lifelong companions and they deserve a long and fulfilling life.

Research!

Horses are not like fish for example. They require a lot of care and attention and there are countless reasons why horses are not always the best idea if you’ve never had a pet before. Make sure to do extensive research on the breeds of horse out there, what a horse will need in terms of attention, care, veterinary care, exercise etc. and how much keeping a horse will cost. If you are 100% certain you want to embark on the rewarding perils of horse ownership, congratulations! Just remember that although it will be a bumpy ride, you will gain an irreplaceable friend and companion in your new horse. In some ways it is a lot like becoming a parent.

Costs! Costs! Costs!

It is important to be fully aware of the number of different costs involved in owning a horse. A horse is not a small animal and requires a lot of time, effort and money in order to live a comfortable life. Before buying your first horse consider if it is what you really want. It is also important that you have the right amount of space to provide for a horse. You can keep your horse in a local stable; however they will want exercising so a country home with a lot of field space is ideal.

Checking for Disease and Injury

There is a huge list of possible diseases and injuries that can affect horses and some of these can be lifelong. When buying a horse learn to know what signs and symptoms to look for. If you aren’t completely sure that you are buying a happy, healthy horse, then walk away. Diseases are not to be taken lightly and many can even be lethal. Learn how to spot diseases and illnesses early in your new horse and get them to a vet quickly. It can be expensive but it is worth it to save a lot of heartbreak in the future.

Body Language

Learn to read the body language of your horse. The way they stand, the way they move their body, the positions of their ears, all of this contributes to how they feel. Recognizing the signs and understanding them will allow you to communicate far better with your horse and will be infinitely helpful when they are ill or upset.

Be a Comfortable Rider

Why buy a horse before you learn how to ride one? This may seem like a silly point but it is actually not a good idea to buy a horse before you have learned how to ride. Your new horse will quickly pick up on the fact that you are an inexperienced rider and may quickly become a troublemaker. It is better to have had several lessons beforehand so that you are a comfortable rider before buying your first horse. Horse ownership can be a frightening thing to jump into, but you will soon find that it is an immensely rewarding experience and that once you get to know them, horses are beautiful, intelligent beings who can be quite affectionate!

Mike James has been passionate about horses and ponies from a young age and is privileged to be a member of an active amateur equestrian team. He also writes about relevant issues for Dollar Bedding, suppliers of natural animal bedding. 

Disclaimer: Of Horse! and sponsors do not endorse nor validate the accuracy of a blog post. Each article is the opinion of the blogger.

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  1. jst4horses
    This is a good article, but people need to know, a horse is NOT a bike, do not buy them until you have taken care of a horse (leased, borrowed, in a sanctuary where you volunteer) for one whole year at least. And not ride, NO ONE should buy a horse if they are not a horseman. The only exception would be a horse that is going to be turned out forever.......and you have a good vet and at least $10,000 in a special account for vet bills. Horses are expensive, dangerous, and pathetically at the mercy, which humans have little of, of those who own them. A horse loses 200 pounds in one or two days of not eating. Seriously. They founder easily by being overfed, or improperly fed. Colic and founder are seriously painful for horses. Most "owners" need to lease from a good trail or teaching stable and after a year, every single day, rain shine, snow or blow going in and feeding and cleaning, decide IF you still want "my little pony". If you really end up with the Black Stallion, it will be a great big surprise...............to the whole horse industry. Along with all those days of taking care of a horse under the eye of the stable, and your vet, you also need to take some serious horsemanship classes, NOT riding lessons from someone who took some riding lessons and bought some horses. I bought my first forever home horse after decades of training for prestigious trainers, and taking classes with world class horseman and horsewomen. GO TO THE horse slaughter auction and see where so many my little ponies end up.......just because they really are horses, not someone's dream of what a horse should be. I have just spent more than a month reconditioning a rescue horse at a sanctuary after he was dumped, from one rescue after another when his racing career ended..............he is gently, well behaved, but has bad knees and is NEVER going to be someones dream of the Black Stallion. He is crippled and needs special care, One of the rescues left him in a stall where he was so bored he ate the metal bars and wood walls and harmed his front teeth.......he is maybe seven. A lot of hurt from people, but now is in a forever home sanctuary........PLEASE do not buy a horse until you are a horseman, it is not fair to the horse. I have spent fifty plus years convincing people they DO NOT want a horse. Lease one, sponsor one at a sanctuary. Getting up at three am to check a horse that is boarded across town is NOT fun, and then going to work at 7 am. Going to the stable to check a sick horse at midnight in a suit and heels is NOT fun, and finding the horse down in the mud, and ruining suit and heels walking the horse after going down on knees to cry and plead with him to get up so you can walk him out until the vet gets there in a couple of hours, and THEN having to go to work at 7 am.
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