There is no denying that horses are beautiful creatures and the idea of owning one may seem like a far off dream. But unlike getting a dog or a cat, buying a horse is a much different experience. There are many things to take into consideration before you buy a horse. Buying the wrong kind of horse can lead to a lot of frustration, financial problems, and even lead to giving up on the horse altogether. People tend to be in love with horses and often let their hearts rule their heads, but if you want to spare yourself and your new horse some stress and heartbreak, you’ve got to first do your homework.
Although there is a lot to take into consideration, buying your first horse can be as simple as finding an ad on Craigslist, Facebook, local newspaper ads or going to an animal auction. But to prevent disaster, breed, docileness, age and a host of others all need to be considered.
Finding The Right Fit For You
First off, you should take the time to consider what kind of horse you’d like and what you plan to use the horse for. Your number one priority should always be safety. Unless you are highly experienced with horses, you may want to consider getting a gentle-mannered horse; something that is tame and calm.
If you are a beginner, then you definitely want to ease into horse activities with an easy horse. It does no good to own a horse if you’re only going to admire it from a hospital bed. If you are considering giving children some lessons on the horse, then you especially want a gentle one!
You don’t want to buy a horse that gets easily spooked or will buck you right off. Unless you’re experienced with horses and have previously death with difficult ones, then your best bet is to find a gentle and easy-going one.
What Is The Best Breed
When it comes to choosing a specific breed, you’ll find a wide array of choices. A good majority of them, much like dogs, tend to have different attributes. Quarter horses, paints, and draft horses tend to be more docile and sweeter, while horses like Arabians tend to be more free-spirited. Your best bet is to do some research on what breed would best fit your needs. Talking to an instructor or even the person selling the horse can give you a lot more insight.
Size and Beauty
For many, size and beauty are two of the first things people look for when buying a horse. To be honest, it isn’t much more than a personal choice though. Beauty plays little to no part in the safety or personality of your new horse. A smaller horse might be better for children though, or for riders who may be less experienced. When you get bucked off, it’s less distance to fall. You should choose a size that you feel most comfortable with or that you feel will be the best for whoever the rider/riders will be.
Age, Health, and Experience
Age, health, and experience are more horse qualities that you will want to consider when you buy a new horse. Often, people think that getting a young horse is best. They want to grow and learn with the horse and imagine that it will all be rainbows and happiness. That is far from the case though. Unless you are experienced and know how to train a horse, you shouldn’t consider getting a young one. Younger horses will not be comfortable with riders, maybe skittish, and also, they’ll be playful. Playful can be a good thing, but have you ever heard of the phrase “horsing around?” It can be quite a rough experience, even if they don’t mean it to be. They are after-all big animals!
A horse with a few years on it though will be a lot smarter, less skittish, and easier to train and ride. Often times, older horses are best for children. These horses have long been comfortable around people and have been ridden many times. Older horses can come with their share of health issues too though, and if you’re not prepared for that, it can come back to bite you. So, it is important to consider the proper age and talk to the horse’s owner about any previously existing conditions that the horse may or may not have.
Your Budget and Your Horse’s Needs
Ensuring your budget can afford the care and maintenance of a horse is another very big issue. Many people who first buy a horse do not understand how expensive they can be. Your horse will require a lot.
You’ll not only need to come up with the initial money to purchase the horse, but you’ll also need to come up with the money for their boarding facilities, money for any lessons you give them, money for farrier care and grooming, money for their tack and equipment, money for their food, and also money for their veterinary bills.
If you do not plan on using a boarding facility for your horse, you will need two acres for your first horse and one additional acre per horse afterward. Not to mention water, a place to store hay, shelter, quality fences, and a host of other expenses.
If you plan on taking your horse to shows or taking them to some beautiful spot for a trail ride, trust me you will, then you need to think about transportation. I know I’ve said it before, these are big animals. Big animals require big transportation, there’s no way you’re going to be able to load your horse up and your minivan. At a minimum, you’re going to need a tow-capable SUV and a one or two-horse trailer.
You should go into it already having a good grasp on what the expenses are going to be. And these are just the costs for their necessities. You never know what else might come up. If you plan to enter the horse into a competition, that will also cost money. If you get your horse toys or other miscellaneous items, that is also going to cost. This can rack up to quite a bit of money, so doing your homework before buying your horse, is absolutely vital.
Finding the Right Horse to buy
You need to educate yourself about where and how to find the right horse. You’ll have to do a lot of digging because finding the right horse for what you need, can often be tricky. You will want to take your time and look through as many different ads as possible. Facebook, craigslist, and your local animal auction can be a great place to start.
It can be tricky to narrow down the right horse, at the right age, at the right price, in the best location. It’s a lot of work.
Location can play a big factor though in finding the right horse. You should try to find one that is as close to you as possible. This way, you won’t have to transport the horse really far and you won’t have to spend a fortune on its transportation.
You also want to look for ads that display the qualities of a horse that you are looking for. If you want a gentler horse, you will want to look for the ads that advertise the horse as such.
Hopefully, you found this helpful and informative in making the decision to buy a horse. As long as you factor all of these things and make a well thought, educated decision, we are certain you’ll find the best horse and find your happily ever after.