Buying a horse is undoubtedly an exciting time. However, owning this magnificent and beautiful animal is a huge commitment that will last for years to come. It’s a decision you shouldn’t take lightly so that you wouldn’t feel any remorse. You need to do a lot of research, a little experience, and some buying tips beyond buying your first horse. To make things easier for you, we’ve collated the best advice on how to choose a horse and end up with a purchase you can be genuinely proud and happy with!
Have a goal
Getting a goal in mind keeps everything in perspective. That goes the same way when you are buying a horse. Know what exactly you want in a horse as it will give a sense of direction, help you limit your search, and save you time in the long run. If you are looking for one that can accompany you in pleasure riding, then go for a light horse. Do you want a horse for your kid? Then, go search for a pony instead. Remember, there are lots of horses available out there which can suit your goal.
Do ample research
Don’t fret if you aren’t sure what your goal is yet. All you need to do is do ample research to determine which specific horse type will fit your needs. It will be best to ask an experienced trainer who can help you gauge further if the horse you’re envisioning to get will suit your situation. Discuss all you want and get their idea. Then, take your time until you’re 100% sure of what exactly you need.
Match your personality
Though some horse breeds are generally known for their relaxed demeanor, there can still be variations in terms of personality. With that, a crucial consideration you need to take is whether the horse will match your personality. If you’re a beginner, opt for calmer, laid-back horses. If you’re more experienced, then you can surely handle more vocal and energetic ones.
You can sense a horse personality by checking his body language. However, it can still be tough to tell his exact nature by only meeting a horse once. The best way to go is by visiting him a couple of times or asking for a trial period to know if the horse is a good match for you. You can also get opinions from various individuals who know and have been around him. You’ll very likely get a geist of his temperament, which can significantly help in your decision.
Find a horse that suits your experience level
Aside from matching your personality, another factor you need to take into account is your experience. It’s a standard rule that a green rider or a beginner rider should not get a green horse, one that has very minimum experience. It can be troublesome and can result in mishaps and bad habits as both parties are still learning down the ropes. So, if you’re a newbie, get a horse with a decent amount of experience, which can help you understand the basics. On the other hand, if you’re a skilled rider, opt for ones that suit your level of experience and expertise.
Consider where you’ll keep the horse
Buying a horse means you need a place to house him. It can be on your farm or at a livery or boarding stable. If you chose the latter, see to it that the facility is reputable and well-maintained. Check whether the horses seem to be well-taken care of. Assess if people using the livery yard share the same purpose as yours. See if they have a fenced-in outdoor area or indoor arena where you can safely ride. Lastly, find out if their operation hours match the time you are free to ride. Of course, you don’t want the schedule coinciding with golf time or family duties.
Know the financial obligations
Given their size, owning a horse entails a much bigger financial obligation compared to dogs or cats. You need to take the horse’s daily food, supplements, housing, grooming needs, veterinary care and dental care into account. The list can even grow longer depending on the horse’s purpose. As such, you need to be well-prepared for the financial duties before getting a horse. Not to mention that taking care of a horse will also require a certain amount of time. Make sure that you only get a horse you can fully commit with.
Selecting the right horse is an overnight process, so never feel pressured to make a decision. Remember, there are lots of horses out there. You just need to determine your goals and align with the other factors to find the horse fit for you.
Once you get the horse, devote extra patience as it also takes time before you and your horse build a strong bond with each other. After everything settles, you’re in for a rewarding and wonderful friendship that’s meant to last.