Tips For Buying Your First Horse

Tips for buying a horse, deciding which one is a good match for your needs.

Congratulations! You've decided to buy a horse. Now, do you just stop by the nearest horse ranch and pick one out of the stable? It's not exactly that easy. Since a horse is a major investment of both money and time, it's important to be sure you are matched with the proper horse before the final transaction is completed. A little research at the beginning will save you a lot of hassles in the long run.

One of the first steps that should be taken is to determine the amount you can afford. Remember that the initial investment is followed by regular costs for upkeep, veterinary care, and food. Determine what your budget is, then stick to it.

Next, consider your riding skill. The experts at Equerry recommend choosing a horse that has experience a few levels above your own, since "your horse is your greatest teacher."

A horse that is too inexperienced for you can present a danger, but a horse that is more advanced will pose problems as well.

Another consideration should be your riding goal. Does is simply involve pleasure riding, or do you have hopes of competing in shows?

Determine what size horse you need, as well as which sex you prefer. Remember that first-time horse owners should never choose a stallion.

To determine what breed of horse to choose, do your research. Study the various breed choices and their uses to see what you prefer.

Remember that your location may also be a factor in your decision-making, since certain breeds are more prevalent in some areas. It's possible to buy a horse from another area, but you have to be willing to pay the price for transportation.

After the important questions have been answered, the next step is actually looking for a horse to buy. Expect to spend a lot of time before you find the right one. Start by searching ads in newspapers, horse publications, and the Internet. Check with other "horse folks" for leads as well.

When considering a particular horse for purchase, it is a good idea to observe it in its natural environment for awhile. Notice how the horse interacts with people, other horses and its surrounds. Watch it with its regular rider if possible to get a better idea of its personality.

Questions you should consider asking before purchase, according to Equerry, include those concerning the horse's history. For example, what is the horse's age? How long has the owner had the horse, and what has it done in that time? What did it do with the previous owner? Does the horse have any bad habits, and has it ever had health problems? Finally, find out why the owner decided to sell the horse now.

If you have any doubts about your decision or if you are a beginner, it is a good idea to seek the help of someone who is more experienced with horses. A second opinion can help to point out something you may have missed. A pre-purchase exam from a veterinarian should also be standard procedure.

Although the quest for the right horse may turn out to be a long one, the extra time and effort is well worth it in the end. The result will be a horse that is well-matched to your needs, and the relationship can last a lifetime.

© High Speed Ventures 2011