10-22-2011, 01:28 AM
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I think there are too many contingencies that need to be met in your plan.
It's pretty hard to find a decently priced good first horse, but you're also looking for one that can be pasture boarded, go barefoot, have no other health and maintenence issues and comes with tack.
Not saying that you can't find such a horse, just that you're putting a lot of limitations on your search.
What if you run into a riding or training problem that you need help with? Will you have money for lessons or to hire a trainer?
What is the horse gets hurt? You'll need an emergency fund to dip into for the vet and first aid supplies. .
I think an ideal situation for you would be to find a horse to lease for at least 6 months. That way you can discover for yourself what the real costs of ownership are, how they work with your budget, but without a long term commitment at first.
After you've leased for a while would be a better time to go shopping for a first horse. You'll have that much more riding experience under your belt, and a clearer idea of what you do and don't want.
As far as tack, you didn't mention your budget or what you consider decent tack, but just as an example, a good used saddle comparable to the one I ride in now, that would fit me and both my horses would run about $650.
Good luck in your search, and good for you for thinking and planning ahead.