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Where to start?

This is a discussion on Where to start? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        06-01-2010, 04:52 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Where to start?

    Hey everyone.

    I'm new to the forums, and horses to a degree. I'm in my mid 40's and have recently (over the last 12 months) became interested in owning a horse or a few. Problem is, I never have, so I thought I would come on here and hopefully get some advice from you all.

    My wife and I are working on getting our "retirement" place squared away. We have plans on purchasing some land over in east Texas, either near Paris, or Tyler. We currently live in the Dallas area but are looking for that out of the way, way of life and we both would like to own a couple of horse for recreation. I've read over these forums, done a lot of internet research on the subject and realized it's a big responsibility.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should look into, where I could go to get some hands on experience with horses before making the commitment or some really good articles to read? I am trying to educate myself on breeds, good ages for riding horses, care and of course; costs.
    I've read that if you don't have at least 12 hours a week to devote to care and bonding with your horse that you shouldn't really think about it. I've also read that a good rule of thumb for cost (which could vary I realize) is around $10k a year? That article was based a lot on livery services so I'm not sure how much that changes if you house them yourself.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, and thanks for your time.
         
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        06-01-2010, 08:11 PM
      #2
    Green Broke
    Welcome to the forum. Here's 2 cents from an old (55+) man...

    Quote:
    Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should look into, where I could go to get some hands on experience with horses before making the commitment or some really good articles to read?
    When we started with horses, we got experience at a long time (40+ years) breeder/trainer's ranch down the road. We found that they were a lot more experienced, practical, and not partial to 'fads' than many of the younger folks in boarding stables.

    Quote:
    I am trying to educate myself on breeds, good ages for riding horses, care...
    We are partial to the stock horses (Paints, QH, Appys). All our Paint mares (6-16 yrs old) are good, sane, pleasure trail horses. In general if you want an experienced, bomb proof horse, you're probably looking at a 10+ year old horse, but you need to look at the history and disposition, too. Our lead mare (16 yr) was a cattle penning horse and is the most calm, willing horse I've ever ridden... we were lucky to get her. Are two younger ones will get there...they just need more miles under saddle.

    Quote:
    ... and of course; costs.
    I've read that if you don't have at least 12 hours a week to devote to care and bonding with your horse that you shouldn't really think about it. I've also read that a good rule of thumb for cost (which could vary I realize) is around $10k a year? That article was based a lot on livery services so I'm not sure how much that changes if you house them yourself.
    We looked for 'low maintenance' horses. I always tell people to look at what they eat and how their feet are. Those can be two of the biggest expense differences between horses. All our mares eat free choice grass/hay (no grain) and are barefoot, and since we keep them at home, our average total cost (including everything...hay, vet, shots, worming, etc) is about $6/day/horse.... much cheaper than children

    Good luck. We've found having horses to be a wonderful experience.
         
        07-02-2010, 04:49 PM
      #3
    Foal
    Thanks a bunch for the reply. I appreciate you sharing.

    I've found a stable near Fort Worth that has some beginning classes on horse riding and care. I am going to go check out what they have to offer as far as that goes.

    Thanks again.
         
        07-04-2010, 11:19 AM
      #4
    Weanling
    Yes, try to get as much experience working around horses as you can. I worked for an Equine Veterinarian for 2 years prior to purchasing my first horse. What I learned there helped prepare me for my future with horses...you cannot beat first hand experience, especially when there is a knowledgeable horse person to answer all of your questions. Forums like this are extremely helpful--there are so many people here that can answer any questions you might have.

    The cost of owning a horse really depends on where you live. I'm in Minnesota, and hay usually doesn't get over $5 a bale here. In conjunction with their pasture, I don't spend over $3/per day/per horse. It would work out to be a higher cost if I added in farrier care ($40/per horse/per 8 weeks) and vet expenses ($25-150 per horse/per year). I probably do not spend over $1000 per year/per horse, unless there is a medical emergency or a drought.
         

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