How to Buy a Horse

How to Buy a Horse

How to Buy a Horse

Owning a horse isn’t the right solution for everyone but if you’re tired of playing Vegas online casino games and want a bit of exercise and 4-legged love you might want to get a horse.

Some people are content with going to a riding school to ride when they feel the need for some horse-company but horse-fanciers say that there’s nothing as satisfying as owning your own horse.

If you’re thinking of buying a horse, keep these guidelines in mind.

Breeds

There are literally dozens of horse breeds. The breed of horse that you choose depends on your goals in owning a horse. Do you want companionship? Exercise? Do you want to race a horse? Here are some of the main breeds of domesticated horses that you might wish to explore:

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  • Arabian Horses – Arabian horses originated in the Arabian Peninsula. The breed sports a distinctive head shape and a high tail carriage. Horse experts believe that Arabian horses are one of the oldest breeds of horses still thriving today. They are known for their spirit and endurance and are raced  in many parts of the world.
  • Tennessee Walker – A Tennessee Walker is, as you can imagine, very popular in the south-eastern region of the United States. It’s a gaited breed of horse that was bred in America’s South during the 18th century for use on plantations and farms. It is best known for its smooth gaits – known as a four-beat “running walk” and is especially comfortable  for riding long distances. It was the horse of choice for many Civil War generals. Tennessee Walkers aren’t raced but rather are used as show horses and as casual mounts.
  • Morgans — The Morgan horse is best known for its versatility as a compact, brave and agreeable breed. Morgans are one of the oldest breeds developed in the United States which all trace back to Figure, the foundation sire. Today they are generally used today as a riding horse and driving horses for those riding western and saddle seat.
  • Warmbloods — Technically warmbloods are a group, not a breed, and that group encompasses a number of types and breeds such as the Holsteiner, the Hanoverian, the  Oldenburg and the Trakhner. Warmbloods are characterized by open studs. They are known for their prowess as sport horses and excel in jumping.
  • Andalusians – Andalusians are a Spanish breed that originated in the Iberian Peninsula. They were first recognized as a breed in the 15th century. They are characterized by their long, thick manes and tails. The Andalusian is strong, elegant and compact and were once recognized as a war horses. Ownership was prized by nobility. Most present-day Andalusians are grey or black though in the past there were Andalusians of many different colorings. Today they are used for driving, saddle seat and even jumping.
  • Thoroughbreds – Thoroughbreds are the type of horses that you see most often on the racing track. Thoroughbreds are high spirited and known for being affectionate and loyal. They make excellent sport horses, and are used as jumpers and hunters as well as mounts for dressage and polo.

Getting Ready

Before you go out and plunk down your money, you should spend time with horses and learn about them. You should prepare yourself by learning about equine health and basic first aid for horses. Ride some of the horses and watch the stable managers care for the horses. It’s a good idea to participate in their care as much as possible so that you have hands-on experience.

You might want to volunteer to work at a local stable – perhaps at a program that does therapeutic work through horses or at a horse rescue where your help will be valued. As you work with the horses you’ll get a better idea of what owning horses is like and what work is entailed.

Check out the local laws concerning ownership of horses. Some locales have laws that relate to equine liability while in other areas there are taxes on livestock such as mares & stallions. Be sure that you’re familiar with the fire code laws for stables.

You will also find it helpful to develop a network of horse enthusiasts who can give you information about boarding facilities, feed stores, tack shops, vets, and other resources. You should also have information about the nearest equine hospital and horse ambulance service.

Other things that you’ll need to know include:

  • Where you can get good quality hay
  • Where you can find a local farrier to trim and shoe the horse’s hooves

Money

In their enthusiasm at the thought of owning a horse, many people forget that it costs a tremendous amount of money to properly care for a horse. You should calculate and budget for the cost of a horse and its upkeep before you buy the horse.

Horse experts say that it costs between $2500 and $4000 USD per year to keep a horse – and that doesn’t include the costs of boarding the horse. Your budget should include costs of:

  • Feed (grain, hey and supplements)
  • Grooming kit
  • Halter, lead rope
  • Saddle, saddle blanket, bridle, bit, cinch
  • Transport fee (if applicable)
  • Vaccines and deworming meds
  • Vet visits
  • Farrier visits (shoeing or trimming)
  • Emergency treatment
  • Riding lessons and training (if applicable)

Living Space

If you have space on your land to keep your horse, that is, obviously, preferable. Not only will you save boarding fees but you’ll have daily contact with your horse. If you can’t keep a horse nearby, you’ll have to find a place that will board your horse – for a fee. Ask your horse-friendly contacts for names of reliable boarding stables.

To keep a horse on your own land you’ll need several acres of land plus a place where you can ride. Since horses are herd animals and do best when they aren’t by themselves, you might want to consider the benefits of boarding – or get two horses!


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