Post by Dara Turner
You’re so excitied. You’ve scrimped and saved until you finally have enough money for the purchase price for your new horse. Congratulations should be in order. But wait!! Have you thoroughly researched the cost of keeping a horse? If you haven’t, you’ve missed a VERY important step. Relatively speaking, buying the horse probably is the least expensive part of horse ownership.
Let’s start at the begining. You have a lot of homework to do. The first step is look at your monthly expenses. I don’t want to discourage anyone, but you have to be brutally honest here. Sit down & figure out what you have as far as expenses. This includes utility bills, insurance, daycare, car payments, food and any other type of expense that applies to you. If you are only living paycheck to paycheck, you can’t afford a horse. If you only have a little left over at the end of each month for a few extras, you can’t afford a horse. If you don’t have enough left over at the end of each month to cover one of those life’s gotchas, you can’t afford a horse.
Now here is your homework. You have to research costs for each of these, because prices vary in every part of the country. Have you found a stable? Are you going to do self service or full board? Are you bringing the horse back to your own property? Have you found a hay supplier? Which feed is right and where is the feed store? Have you decided on a vet, found a farrier or trainer? These are just a few fundamentals for horse ownership and if you don’t have an answer for even one of them, you are not ready to buy.
As a novice horse owner, it is your responsibility to make yourself as edcuated as possible. As a horse owner, it is your responsibility to make sure the horse is cared for properly. Doing your research on the costs of keeping a horse is the first step in making sure it is healthy and happy.
posted in Beginners, Horse Care, Vets |
Post by Dara Turner
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! I think the only resolution I’m going to make this is year is to try to provide more information. I wasn’t very good at this last year. Soooo . . .
I have heard new horse people ask if a certain color of horse is the best to get. Unless you are going to stay in a particular color breed, color should not be the first thing to look for in a horse. Although some colors & coat patterns are very eye catching, resist the urge to buy based solely on color. If you are a novice, you should look for a horse that would be good for your skills, one who has a great attitude, and probably an mature horse. A horse that is too young, green broke, nervous, or labeled “needs experienced or intermediate rider” is not a good candidate for you. Also, don’t read what you want to see in an ad.
If you have done your homework and invested in riding lessons, ask your riding instructor for help. He/she may have good leads for a suitable horse. Or if you have found one, ask your instructor to go with you to look at the horse. Let the instructor ride the horse. He/she will have good judgement for matching your skills to the horse in question. If the instructor is satisfied, you ride the horse. Discuss your ride, the horse’s skills and its attitude with your instructor. But do yourself a favor and go home to discuss it. You may feel pressured to make a quick decision if you stay. Listen to what your instructor has to say and keep an open mind. If you go into this with a case of the “have to haves”, you are likely not to accept constructive criticism.
If the horse still looks like a possible candidate after discussing all of the its qualities & flaws, make arrangements to go back for another ride. Go back for a third ride or fourth. The point is don’t make a decision too quickly . This is one purchase that absolutely should not be made in haste.
posted in Beginners, Lessons, Riding, Trainers |