Horse Shopping Is Easier If You Do This First

Horse Shopping Is Easier If You Do This First

Top 10 Things to​ do BEFORE you go horse shopping

Buying a​ horse is​ a​ big commitment in​ both time and​ money. the​ emotional energy spent is​ a​ large factor as​ well. With so many horses for​ sale, how do you choose?

If you buy a​ horse before you lay the​ correct groundwork, you run the​ risk of​ coming home with one that isn't suitable for​ you. at​ the​ worst, he could be dangerous and​ at​ best, you could easily spend a​ thousand dollars or​ more to​ get professional trainer to​ correct the​ problems.

Make a​ plan before you look at​ horses for​ sale and​ do these 10 basic steps first.

1. Take riding lessons for​ at​ least six months.

Horse riding lessons will teach you the​ basics of​ control and​ the​ foundation for​ correct horsemanship. in​ addition to​ learning to​ ride a​ horse, you’ll also learn how to​ safely groom and​ handle one. You'll establish a​ relationship with a​ professional horse person in​ your area who knows you and​ who you can turn to​ for​ help if​ you need it.

2. Decide on the​ type of​ riding you want to​ do.

There are many types of​ horse riding styles. the​ most basic are Western or​ English. Then you can break down those two styles into many subcategories. You don't have to​ make one choice exclusive of​ all others. Many people enjoy riding both styles and​ compete in​ both.

Decide if​ you want a​ horse to​ trail ride and​ just enjoy having him or​ if​ you want to​ be competitive and​ show.

3. Horse's personality

The type of​ personality you want for​ your horse depends a​ lot on the​ type of​ riding you want to​ do and​ also your personality. Some riders want a​ horse with a​ big engine and​ a​ lot of​ fire. Others like a​ horse to​ be quiet and​ laid back.

It’s usually easier to​ get the​ laid back one to​ rev his engine than to​ get a​ hot horse to​ relax.

4. Decide on what breed of​ horse you most want.

Once you’ve decided on the​ type of​ riding you’re interested in​ and​ the​ type of​ personality you want your horse to​ have, the​ breed choice will become easier. Some breeds are associated with certain types of​ riding. for​ instance, a​ Thoroughbred or​ Warmblood breed are usually thought of​ for​ the​ Hunter/Jumper circuit or​ dressage. in​ the​ past, the​ Quarter Horse, Appaloosas and​ Paints were thought of​ for​ Western riding. Today, these breeds can successfully compete at​ all levels with the​ more traditional hunter type horse.

If you want a​ very smooth ride, look at​ the​ gaited breeds such as​ Missouri Foxtrotters, Tennessee Walkers or​ Paso Finos.

5. Decide on how big a​ horse you need.

If you’re looking for​ a​ horse for​ a​ child, buy a​ pony that your child can groom and​ handle now. a​ too big horse is​ intimidating for​ a​ young child to​ deal with.

If you’re looking for​ one for​ yourself, consider the​ type of​ riding you want to​ do. Western styles of​ riding do not require a​ large horse and​ most of​ the​ stock type horses can carry a​ large adult even if​ the​ horse is​ 15 hands or​ smaller.

If you want to​ show in​ hunter/jumper classes, a​ 16+ hand horse is​ necessary to​ be competitive. However, if​ your plans are to​ learn to​ jump and​ go to​ small local shows, you’ll save money by buying a​ smaller horse.

6. Decide on the​ gender of​ the​ horse.

A gelding or​ a​ mare should be your only consideration. a​ stallion is​ difficult to​ handle and​ can be downright dangerous even if​ you are a​ very experienced rider. He isn’t suitable unless you’re in​ the​ breeding business.

Geldings make great riding horses and​ companions. Preferably he was gelded before his second birthday so that he never learned stallion behavior.

Mares sometimes get a​ bad rap for​ being difficult every time she comes into heat. Perhaps some are, but there are many wonderful mares with very stable personalities.

7. Decide where you will keep your horse.

If you plan to​ board, check out several boarding stables. Your first choice is​ probably the​ barn where you’ve been taking riding lessons. Look at​ some others to​ have for​ back-up choices and​ as​ a​ general comparison.

If you plan to​ keep your horse on your own property, be sure to​ have safe fencing, a​ solid barn and​ know your time schedule will allow you to​ feed your horse at​ least twice a​ day – every day – rain or​ shine. Find out any local and​ state liability laws for​ a​ horse property before you bring your new horse home.

8. Figure how much you can afford for​ the​ initial price of​ a​ horse.

The original purchase price of​ a​ horse is​ a​ large upfront expense. Obviously, the​ more you can afford to​ spend on a​ horse, the​ more choices you’ll have to​ look at​ when shopping. if​ you have this money saved up in​ advance, you’ll have better leverage with a​ seller. if​ you have to​ buy your horse on payments, you’ll limit your bargaining power and​ choices because many sellers won’t want to​ take payments.

9. Figure out your monthly expenses.

Monthly expenses include board, lessons and​ supplements if​ you keep your horse at​ a​ boarding stable. if​ you keep your horse at​ home, you’ll be buying feed, hay and​ stall bedding instead of​ a​ board bill.

There are reoccurring expenses that don’t come every month but still need to​ be added up for​ a​ year’s cost and​ averaged as​ a​ monthly expense. These include farrier visits, worming, vaccinations and​ vet care such as​ floating teeth and​ a​ yearly Coggins test.

10. Tack and​ Supplies

Purchase the​ basic supplies before you get your horse so that you’ll be all set when you bring him home. Brushes, shampoo, liniment, leg wraps, buckets and​ a​ first aid kit are a​ good start on supplies to​ have ready.

An all purpose headstall and​ a​ few bits, saddle pads, a​ saddle, halter and​ a​ long lead rope with a​ stout snap are your basic tack supplies.

If you follow these 10 steps before you begin horse shopping, you’ll have a​ clear idea of​ the​ horse that will be the​ best choice for​ you when you do begin your search.

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