Things to do before buying a horse?
I've been looking into getting a horse for quite some time now. I'm 19, and I would say an intermediate rider. I've worked around horses, and had friends who owned horses and mostly ride for fun. No competitions, none of that sort of thing. Horses are just my passion and I've had my heart set on owning one since the day my butt hit the saddle.
I feel like I've been waiting and waiting for the right time, and I'm ready!
I'm not in college, but work full-time, nine to five, monday through friday. Some people think I'm not financially stable enough to own a horse, but that's their personal opinion. I've been saving for a while now and I've saved up to enough to knock out the "initial" costs of getting the horse and I feel like my income is more than enough to support one happy healthy horse.
My dad had a horse once when I was younger, but ended up selling him because us kids lived with our mother in another state and we weren't around much. Now I am back in Louisiana, not living with my dad, but living near by.
My grandparents own a 5 acre lot a few miles outside of town where my dad kept the horse when we were younger. He started to build a barn, poured the concrete aisle and had most of the frame work up, but that's as far as he got and it still stands like that today with weeds growing between the cracks. It's quite sad, because it would have been a beautiful barn. It's pretty big. five 12x12 stalls and a 12x12 tack/feed room. The lot also has about 6 or 7 pecans trees scattered around. It's a nice looking piece of land, and surely large enough for one horse. (There is also one large automatic stock watering tank that still works, just needs to be cleaned).
But... I have nothing in terms of tack, or equiptment. No shelter (other than the big pecan trees), I'm really starting from scratch here. And I need some advice on where to start. I don't want to jump into a sale and buy my dream horse, and then get him home and be way over my head with things that should have been done before hand.
I feel like I should have some sort of shelter, a round pen or arena, equiptment, etc.
Any advice is good advice!
Well, first off you will need to fence in a paddock or 2 for rotation. The rotation might not be completely necessary but it will keep your ground healthier if your horse doesn't over graze, and might help cut down on mud.
Second, you will need some kind of shelter. Whether you fix the barn, or make a run-in in a paddock for 24/7 it's personal preference. I am personally a fan of a barn in winter and 24/7 in summer, but that's just because I hate the cold.
An arena isn't a necessity. A fenced off paddock can do the trick, but if your really want an arena, look at how cheap you can make it, and still make it good(but remember to give yourself plenty of space. I LOVE big arenas.)
You don't necessarily need a round pen. There are very few near me, but if you ever get into boarding, along with an outdoor this might be nice. But only if you have money OR need it to train a horse, but you can do training in an arena.
Put money aside for equipment. You really can't buy the stuff till you find/buy the horse. Your dream horse might be a 15.3 quarter horse, but you might end up with a 14.1 Arabian, and there is a difference between horse and pony. So just put the money needed for equipment aside. Also, try to buy a used saddle and bridle, cheaper then new, or you can get good quality for the same price as a cheap one.
You can however slowly pick up brushes, lead ropes and other stuff that can be universal.
People have a lot of misconceptions about horse ownership so I think it's really smart of you to try to consider the possibilities before taking the plunge!
One thing I usually tell new owners is that the expensive part of owning a horse is not so much buying tack and the actual horse, it's the upkeep that's expensive! Make sure that you have plenty of money for this horse in case of a medical emergency, medications and supplements if he needs it. You mentioned that some people don't think you are financially able to care for a horse. I don't know your situation but if this is a close family member then you may want to consider their opinion. It can be difficult to wrap your head around all of the financial obligations you will now have as an adult. Being able to provide for the animal is so, so important.
Also, I wanted to mention that most horses do not like to be alone. They are herd animals. It sounds like you just want to keep one horse around by himself which could be stressful for him. It would be a good idea to think about some kind of companion animal for him if you won't get another horse (like a goat or a donkey).
Those were just a few thoughts. Good luck!
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