Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Most critical is buying the right horse for your level, physically and mentally. To do this, you cannot be in a hurry or swept up by pretty looks, a good deal, etc. Best to have an objective knowledgeable shopping buddy.
With the right support network (a decent barn owner if you're boarding, a coach or trainer) can really make it a success.
I slaved and worked in many barns as a child/youth. Worked with horses as a guide and trainer, too. Bought my first horse after over 20 years in the culture... Only because no one was going to buy one for me and that's when I could afford to care for one. 10 years and 3 wonderful horses later, and I'm ecstatic to say not only am I still going strong, but I've been hurt far less since owning my own mounts!
Buy with your head and your gut. In fact, put your heart away until 6-8 months after you've brought your new buddy home. You'll need to assert yourself during the settling-in period.
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