new here as well as to horses
First of all I am new on here from the la area of California. Ever since i rode a horse of which i had full control of a few years ago i wanted to get one. Ive rode a couple of times and was just wondering what i would need to do in order to own one and prior to owning one as far as all the commitments required to owning one. please help as i want to do this right and dont want to get in waaay over my head.
The sticky at the top of this forum is a great place to start!
I rode for six years before I got my first horse, been riding for 30years now, and still learn something new everyday.
Welcome to the forum, and the wonderful world of horses!! The only way to fully answer your question, would be to know if you intend to have a horse/horses at home, (requiring land), or at a boarding stable. When you make that decision, I'm sure you'll find you've come to the right place :)
I would take lessons for a while, even a long time, before buying a horse so you can figure out exactly what you want to do and what type of horse would suit you. You don't want to buy a trail horse and then discover 6 months or a year later you really want a hunter or you're very interested in learning upper level dressage. Once you know what you want to do your trainer can help you find a horse. As a beginner your choices will be more limited since you will not be able to handle a lot of horses. If you advance more in your riding you will have more to choose from in terms of temperament and ability of the horse, which can be exciting. Try to ride lots of different horses as you think about what you want - a few years ago I had never done the type of riding I do now and would never have thought to look for the type of horse I have, but I am so glad I waited to buy this guy and didn't buy the sort of horse I thought I wanted back then.
If you want sort of the experience of having a horse without the commitment you can always lease or part-board.
Horses, as I'm sure you know, can be very expensive. I don't mean the purchasing price, but the upkeep. I'm assuming that if you're in LA you will be boarding, not keeping horses at home. Be sure to price out boarding, farrier, vet, tack, insurance, etc. Boarding can cost $300 a month or $2500 a month. Saddles can cost $200 or $7000. Farriers can cost $50 or $350. And even the most budget-conscious among us often find that the cheaper options aren't right for us or our horses so don't count on being able to get the cheapest of everything. Consider what your backup plan would be if your financial situation changes - if you lose your job, for example. The last thing you want is to be unable to care for your horse because it's costing more than you thought it would. Think about what you will do with the horse when it retires.
As you take lessons, try to learn as much as you can about how to care for horses, learn about what the boarders' schedules are like, what you can expect from boarding and what type will be right for you, etc.
Maybe going out and buying a horse tomorrow is the most fun you'll ever have. I think there are even a few people on this board who bought horses without any experience and they just love it. But if I were in your position I would set a timeline of at least a year of lessons and learning before you even start looking. You might want to wait several years so you are ready for the type of horse you want to keep for a long time and who can help you grow as a rider, but of course it depends on your own goals.
What type of riding are you interested in?
thanks for your response. As far as boarding there is a stable where id be able to board the horse within 10 minutes from home as i live in the city. I would mostly be doing trail riding for now but you never know what can happen in the future as i get more into it. Now as far as lessons thats something i def want to do. I see the same stable that does the boarding offers lessons but theres so many to chose from. what would you recommend doing for that? Ive done research and read the sticky at the top of this forum prior to posting this thread as well I just want to do this the right way :D
I think lessons are a great way to start; an added bonus is getting to ride different kinds of horses. Ride them all! Big, small, gaited - there are so many ways to enjoy our beloved horses!
I think it's important to consider very carefully whether you're in a position to own a horse - can you afford it? Not just the purchase price of the horse, but vet bills, boarding costs, and the time investment? All of that will likely be on top of lessons, tack, etc.
I like the idea of taking lessons for a while to help you decide what you want to do. I'm certainly not suggesting my way is the best way, but I took lessons for about 6 months before I started leasing. While I'd really love to have my own horse, I still think there's too much I don't know to take that leap. For now, I am enjoying my lease, my lessons, and learning. Of course, I still look at horses for sale all the time, but for now, I am glad to have the time and exposure that meets my needs. I definitely see a horse in my future, right now, leasing is best for me and my level of experience.
The third main thing you must learn, aside from understanding horses & gaining savvy to be their leader, is husbandry. Many spend big $$ on fancy barns & shoes & feed, but these don't help the horse: horses need simple safe fencing, might not need shoes (lots online about the benefits of barefoot) & plain, varied feed.
As others've said, LA area's bound to be extra-pricey, but horses are expensive in the middle of nowhere these days.
I suggest that you take at least a year of being with horses (a weekly lesson won't cut it, since you don't know enough to pick a good teacher), just observing them in their herd dynamics & gaining understanding of horse psychology, plus a bit of interaction under the guidance of a true horseperson, learning groundwork first. (Groundwork? What's that? :)) Any teacher who wants you to get on without learning how to lead a horse & move a horse is the wrong teacher; groundwork is foundational. If you can't find a true horseperson in your area, save your $ on "get on" lessons for visits to that horseperson, at the least.
If you take the time it takes to understand more of what it entails to be a help rather than a pain to a horse, at the end of a year, you'll know whether you want to stick with it, because you'll know that your year was only a start on a lifelong journey.
Hope that helps!
affordability i believe i could afford one but i def want to be around them more and take lessons plus ride a few times a week before i even consider leasing one then go from there. I have dogs so i know this is somewhat similar just on a waaaaaaaay bigger scale plus the responsibility is waaaay greater with horses so i want to do this right which is why i am asking questions before hand :D
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