FHOTD recently posted an entry asking for suggestions about what to put on a test for new horse owners if there was one. I don't want to debate whether we should have a test, but let's just assume the government decided to put one in place... As you can see from the comments on the blog, coming up with questions isn't that easy. Many things to do with horses are dependent on location and many other things such as what vaccines to give are up for debate. Some questions are too vague, such as "How much hay does a horse eat?" and others don't affect certain people.
So, what do you think a person should know before buying a horse? Here's a sample 10 questions for me:
1) Label the parts of the horse (because you can't really call the vet up and say "my horse has a bump on the back of the sticky outy thing near his foot." )
2) Describe how to muck out a stall.
3) About how often should a horse be fed a) hay b) grain?
4) How do you find a good horse vet and farrier?
5) Where do you find information on:
A) what horse diseases exist in your area?
B) what poisonous plants exist in your area?
6) What are the signs of colic? What's the first thing you should do if you suspect your horse has colic?
7) If you were going to board your horse, what questions would you ask a stable owner before deciding to keep your horse there?
8) True of false: - Having a foal will improve a mare's behavior.
- If you have a nice mare, it's cheaper to breed a foal than to buy another horse.
9) You see a sale add for a horse that says "15.5H tri-colored pinto." Based on the add, what is your opinion of the seller and why?
10) Name two types of grain horses sometimes eat and two other types of food they shouldn't eat.
This is far from a complete list... and strange as it may seem I would also ask one or two questions about color genetics, because in my experience people who love horses enough to learn about that usually care enough to learn the really important stuff.