Buying your first horse
Buying your first horse isn’t a decision that you should rush into. There are a number of factors to consider before you choose a horse and send your payment to the breeder. Horses are an investment, both in money and time. You need to pick the very best one for your needs. Here are some things to consider.
Know What Type of Horse You Want
This is twofold. There are different breeds of horses, as well as horses with very different personalities. If you’re new to riding in general, then you’ll want to purchase a horse that is gentle and easy to ride. However, if you’re a more experienced rider – and have just spent your time thus far on other people’s horses, then you’ll need one who meets your skill set. As far as breeds are concerned, you may want to do a little research beforehand in order to understand the general temperament and size of various horses. Keep in mind that a healthy horse can live for over 20 years, so age is not really a factor.
Do Business with a Reputable Breeder
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of breeders out there. Some are far more reputable than others. You need to find a breeder who has a good track record of producing horses that are healthy and strong. Look into the breeders in your area, pulling up online reviews (if there are any.) You can also ask around the next time you’re at the stable to see who the other horse owners purchased theirs from. Equine vets are another good source of information during the initial search phase. A good breeder will be able to show you definitive proof of their horse’s lineage, as well as give you some references that you can check. They should also be willing to answer all of your questions.
Time of the Year Matters
Did you know that horses tend to be less expensive in the fall? This is because many people don’t want to have to pay the extra winter boarding fees and the food is much more expensive. However, if you want to have a lot of horses to pick from, then spring is the best time to buy. There are plenty of foals being born during this season, so people will want to sell their horses to make room.
Check the Horse and Its Stall Well
Finally, once you’ve narrowed your choices down to a few horses, it’s time to take a closer look at them. Take time to look at the stall that the horse normally lives in. Are there signs that the horse has a temper? For example, there may be marks on the walls of the stall from when the horse has kicked it repeatedly. Also, you never want someone to take the horse out to you. Instead, walk back to where the horse is stabled. You need to see how it behaves when it’s confronted by a new person. In addition, you’ll want to see the horse in motion, and then ride it for a bit to see if it responds well to your commands. If possible, bring a horse expert with you (or at least someone with more experience.) They can aid you, as they know what to look for.
The experience of buying a horse should be pleasant. As long as you keep all of these factors in mind, then it will go well. And before you know it, you’ll have a horse of your own.