Have you ever thought about becoming a first-time horse owner or even expanding your herd but questioned if it was the right decision for you? It might seem like such a big step to take but with the right research and understanding, now could be the time to take that leap of faith and fulfil your horsey dreams.
What you need to know about owning a horse
Whilst owning a horse can seem like a dream come true and the start of a beautiful friendship, you need to consider the practicalities both in terms of your time and the financial commitment.
Keeping a horse is an all-year-round job. Its full of early mornings and afterwork duties, come rain or shine you will need to be there for your horse. Even if you opt for assisted or full livery, it does require a huge commitment, and you'll need to figure out how to fit that into your already busy schedule.
Owning a horse is realistically like taking care of a small child, and the costs associated with it can be very high. It’s not just the purchase of the horse or pony it’s the ongoing cost, feed, farrier, livery, vets bills etc.
Finding the right horse
Once you have made the decision to fulfill your lifelong dream of owning a horse or pony, it’s onto the exciting stage- finding yourself the perfect family addition.
Things you will need to consider:
- Have a budget in mind
- The right size, breed and age
- Finding a horse that suits your personality
- Finding a horse that is aligned to your riding goals and experience level
It can seem like a minefield at times but persistence is key, after all, they will hopefully be with you for many years to come.
When going to look at your potential new horse/pony it’s always worth having a list of questions which you will want to ask the current owner. If you are not as experienced it’s worth taking a more experienced person with you for a second opinion as they can also help alleviate any nerves which you might have.
Once you have found that perfect horse, what happens now?
You have now been to try your new horse and more than likely fallen in love. At this stage you may or may not want to get your horse/pony vetted, this will be a personal preference but it is highly recommended.
If you choose to get your new horse vetted then it is advisable to use your own vet, however if you do not have one then do some research in the local area and use a vet which the owner does not currently use. Once you are in contact with the chosen vet you will be offered two options, 5 stage vetting examination or a 2 stage. Below is a table which outlines the main differences.
We advise you attend the vetting as this will give you a good opportunity to ask the vet questions and they will be able to raise any concerns with you immediately.
Horse riding essentials
Fingers crossed the vetting went as expected, so what happens next?
By now you will have arranged the collection date, have the perfect yard to move them to and you’re super excited about the future with your new horse or pony.
If it’s your first time purchasing a horse you will need to stock up on some horse-riding essentials! Owning a horse is exciting and rewarding, but it can also be daunting. What does such a majestic animal need? Below is a list of essentials to get you started:
- Grooming kit (brushes, hoof pick, sponges)
- Tack (saddle, bridle, numnah, headcollar/ leadrope)
- Yard essentials (wheelbarrow, fork, sweeping brush, feed buckets, water buckets)
- Your own riding kit
- Fly repellant, hoof care, first aid kit
Once you have the essentials to set you up for success the next thing to consider is the nutrition of your new horse. It’s important to find out from the current owners what they are currently being fed and the quantities. Once they have settled into their new home you can start to adjust their feed if required. It is important to make any changes gradually.
The rest is history as you start to build a great friendship with your new family member and living your dream of creating an amazing partnership.