Before owning a horse.... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-01-2013, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Ohio
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Before owning a horse....

What do you consider quintessential skills to know before you own a horse?

I told myself no horse until I can sit the canter well and jump, but as I draw closer to meeting both my goals, the more I am uncertain if I know enough.

(Ignoring the fact I am not allowed to own a horse for the next 6-odd years anyway )
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-01-2013, 08:32 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virginia
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You have to know basic horse care or at least have people around to help you out when needed.
Know good farriers and vets in your area.
Find a horse that suits where you are in skill level or a been-there-done-that horse to help teach you.
Know at least walk, trot, canter, I think in the case that the horse bolts on a trail or something. Jumping isn't mandatory to know but a bonus.
When I got my first horse (whom I still own) I was only about 8-9 years old. I just knew the basics and would take an occasional lesson. I'm now 23 and I learn something new everyday still. You can't know everything possible before owning a horse :)
Buy one when you are comfortable enough to
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-01-2013, 08:53 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kansas
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Things you should know before owning a horse. Let's see. I would say, at the very least:

Basics of equine nutrition
Basics of hoof care
If the horse will live on your property, setting up and maintaining a safe environment (waterers, feeders, fences, shelter, pasture, footing)
How to evaluate a horse's body condition and figure out what they weigh
How to use good deworming practices for your situation
The equine diseases prevalent in your area (vets are great resources for this)
How to apply basic first aid (especially a pressure dressing)
How to recognize signs of colic
How to safely lead, tie, ride, load in the trailer
The names of good farriers, and a few vets in your area -- sometimes a local vet just won't cut it and you need an equine specialist -- or a vet school
How to check a horse's vital signs

Some of these might be learned shortly after you get a horse, but it would be easier all around if you knew them first.

Learning never stops
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-01-2013, 08:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Washington
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Adding to the above answerers:
Basic groundwork and how to discipline properly
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-01-2013, 09:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Middle-of-Nowhere, Illinois
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Knowledge of care and upkeep is infinitely more important than riding ability.

You don't really have to know much about riding to be a good owner. Your first horse should be quiet enough for you to learn on. But you need to know what you're doing husbandry-wise.
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What a man can be, he must be.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-01-2013, 09:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
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subbing. My friend is out looking for her first horse and wants to know about these things.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-01-2013, 09:38 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: northern arkansas
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There are tons of resources for beginner horse owners. Find a mentor, read anything you can get your hands on, spend time at a barn handling and working with other peoples horses.

Read, read, read! Research feeding, hooves, anatomy, conformation, riding disciplines, breeds, ailments and diseases, common problems, pasture upkeap, grooming, first aid, tack.

Things to think about:
Who do you want to be your; vet, farrier, trainer, boarding facility, emergency caregiver. Establish a relationship with all of them.

How will you keep the horse. Pasture or stall? Shod or barefoot? Hay only or grained? Western or english? Pleasure or competitive.

What do you want to do with your horse? Are you looking to compete and show? trail ride? 4h? rodeo?

ETA: Make sure you dont buy a horse based on color, size, shape, or breed alone. Buy based on the horses and your skills, for an inexperienced rider youll want an experienced horse regardless what it looks like.

Do you have the resources to care for a horse properly in case of emergencies?
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Last edited by Honeysuga; 05-01-2013 at 09:41 PM.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-02-2013, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Long Island, NY
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it is essential to know how to save money and not cry too hard as you continually part with it.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-02-2013, 01:17 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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Basic care and riding. Access the help if needed. Funds (lots of funds). The rest you can usually figure out along the way.

There is another thing, its a bit hard to word but I think there is a vast difference of perspective between two groups of riders. There are the people who are often new to horses that really humanise them. They're not tough with them and they don't understand the importance of ground skills etc. Then the other group understand that you have to be tough with horses, you have to demand respect, notice warning signs and act immediately.

I think its important to become part of the second perspective before owning a horse. Then you can build on your skills.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-02-2013, 02:40 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, OR
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In addition to what's already been mentioned, I think it's important to understand the financial commitment you're getting into. Horses are expensive in the best of circumstances: make sure you know what it costs to care for a horse in your area and don't rely on boarding at the cheapest place or using the cheapest farrier you can find because you may find that you get what you pay for. And then sometimes it seems like they could injure themselves on a wet noodle, so make sure you have an emergency fund set aside!
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