Yunh. I feel that I ought to weigh in, because a lot of these posts seem to be based on the assumption that prospective horse buyers are going off seriously half-cocked.
And I agree, but I want to speak for the rest of us who ARE NOT. I am taking lessons to learn to ride, and to handle horses on the ground, and I am asking advice from my trainer and from experience horse folk. A couple of weeks ago I learned to recognized mud fever. Last week I learned how to do a little bit of horse chiroproactic and how to recognize when a horse's back muscles are sore. I've learned how to catch a horse that wants to play games instead of being caught, I've learned how to stop a horse from pawing in the cross-ties (or at the hitching post) and why that is important. I've learned about bedding, and mucking, and fly control and what's important, including disinfecting stalls. I've learned how to groom and tack, and assess saddle fit, and how to deal with a horse who is pissy about being ridden. I've learned how to deal with the temporary freak-outs you get from horse who forget they've ever seen the grass mowed, and who don't want to cooperate under the saddle.
I plan to lease a few horses to make sure I know what it is that I want from a horse. I've asked about what happens when the horse can't be ridden any more. Next on my list is to ask what happens to the body when the horse dies (whether expected or not). I'm planning to board my horse, because I know that only an idiot has "horse" instead of "horses" - or at least, horse + mini or + goat or + lama or some other herd-type critter. I've got a savings account that will handle horse emergencies, and I'm prepared to come walk horse around in the ring for hours for colic until the vet gets there...but I've also briefed myself on the best ways to avoid colic, and will be boarding horse at a barn that feed small amounts several times a day and doesn't put horse out on lush green grass for uncontrolled feeding. I have been briefed on how often horse will probably require visits from the farrier, and have the names of good farriers in hand. I have the name of a good vet that makes horse-calls. I know that horse needs to be monitored for its weight, and I know that horse needs to be worked 5x per week, whether it's in saddle on on-ground. I know that horse should not rely on hand-fed treats. I know that horse needs to know that I have a grasp on the situation and can be trusted to provide and protect. I know that horse has to be specially fitted for saddle, and that bridle and other gear require attention. I know that horse, for me, needs to be at least 8 years old, because otherwise horse will not be experienced enough to deal with inexperienced me.
So. I do NOT know everything about horse. But I do know a heck of a lot more than the "So you want to own a horse" threads assume. I know that there are people out there who are getting horses without thinking things through, but I also want you people to understand that there are a LOT of us HERE who know kind-of what we don't know, and we ARE prepared for horse ownership, and getting more so every day.
Please stop peeing on the rest of us. (This is not a dis on "A Knack For") - it's more a reflection of the general approach here that anyone who wants to buy a horse must not know their butt from a hole in the ground. Yes, many people do not. But there are a lot of us who do, and we're thoughtful and ready and don't need to be shuttled into some heap with the people who buy untrained horses because they feel that growing with the horse would be a good thing, or some other such rubbish.
I never once stated that everybody who goes out and buys their first horse has no knowledge of horses whatsoever, but I have seen far too many people go out and buy a horse and then they end up either hurting themselves or their horse. Worse yet is when these people who rush into horse ownership finally realize how much a horse costs (and the fact they can't afford it) and how underprepared they are to handle the 2 year old colt they bought, so they send them off to auction where chances are the kill buyer scooped the horse up and its now on its way to a canadian slaughterhouse.
I am glad when people go out and do their homework and actually learn proper horsemanship before
they ever consider buying a horse. And that's the whole point of my (and all the other posters) post. People need to realize that horses are not dogs or cats. They are 1,200 expensive and time consuming pounds of muscle, and they aren't afraid to use it.
Like you serafina, I've never owned a horse in my life, but I'm making d*mn sure I know I'm more than prepared when the time comes for me to get one. Am I going to have the answers to everything? No. But does any horseman; regardless of their expeerience level? Nobody can know everything there is to know about horses, and that is one of the many reasons this forum is around. So people who have questions about horses can get them answered. The bottom line of my entire post; Learn before you buy.
It's so much better for the horses in the long run if people (especially the people who know diddly squat about horses) realize how much time, effort, and knowledge goes into horse ownership before
they go out and buy a "pweddy poneh" that they can't handle and/or afford.