aiming for my first horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-14-2017, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Queensland Australia
Posts: 5
• Horses: 0
Question aiming for my first horse

Hi everyone, I'm new to the forums here

I've been riding for a few years now and have just started researching and saving towards my first horse, I've made a few categorised lists of things I will need to gradually aqire while I'm saving and have tried to mark more important things that I will need to distinguish from things I can do without in the beginning (the list on fencing I didn't bother marking any of it since that's more a reminder to build the nonexistent fence and I'll need most of that for it anyways)

Is there anything you can see that I should or could add or remove from the lists or anything I should change to a priority/non priority? Or even what kind of equipment I should look for? (I'm already looking at second hand equipment)
My interests are in trail riding and endurance riding and a little jumping for fun, I prefer bitless but do already own a bit (loose ring oval link snaffle) which came with a bridle I got on the cheap (if it doesn't fit said future horse it'll make nice decoration, it's a beautiful bridle, I'll wait for the horse for other tack)

I've already estimated the financial side of things and know approximately what I need to save and continue to earn, I'm just looking at physical things that I may need for the moment, already know a few local farriers and will look for a vet and dentist closer to being able to afford the horse, and I've already looked into my local councils rules, I can have 2 horses without needing an approval as I'm on 5 acres so I'm all good legally speaking.

Link to screenshots of my lists:
image_zpsrogeyl0j.png Photo by ZequineZ | Photobucket
There's a few so feel free to scroll through them or bypass them completely lol I just enjoy planning way too much

Any other tips and things to be aware of are also welcome, want to learn as much as I can ahead of time
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-15-2017, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: bay area, ca
Posts: 772
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Hi there!

Congrats on planning for your first horse! There are lots of ways to do horses on the cheap :) what I recommend is you get your new horse insurance. it is about 300 a month depending on what you set your horse's value at. I'm doing it for my show mare, to help take care of vet expenses.
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-15-2017, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Queensland Australia
Posts: 5
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Good thinking, I'll definitely look into that, thanks :)
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-15-2017, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: bay area, ca
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not 300 a month, 300 a YEAR. They bill yearly. The company I am going with covers all vet care costs and requires just a copay (probably 40-80).

Also, learn a lot of horsemanship skills. Verse yourself in riding all kinds of horses, because if your budget is low and your skill is high the only option is either a very old horse you will have to retire within a few years, or a young horse who is very green and needs training. The retiree will probably be less expensive than the young horse, as i found out, but you'd be stuck caring for a horse you can't ride, versus having a (hopefully) long time with a horse you can, and then there retirement is well worth it.

Don't turn your nose up to a horse in need, or a rehab case. But be forewarned: you must a) know the horse will get better (most cases this is swampy), b) have enough understanding of equine medicine/vet care/anatomy to know what is healing and what is not, c) come to peace that the horse may never be ridden, especially if you pick a harder rehab case. These horses tend to be very cheap and there is a good reason why, BUT many times all they require is a year off the owner did not want to provide, or special diagnostics/tests/therapies that owner couldn't afford either. And when I say afford, it's probably in anyone else's budget. The ones who require extremely expensive treatment are almost always free, so keep that in mind. Sometimes they require a new riding style the owner refuses to partake in, as they no longer can compete the same as before.

Don't look at what is presented to you, look at what it COULD be. If you go to an auction and a large, 17 hand horse who is skin and bones with an empty gaze walks onto the stage, imagine what he would look like healthy and strong. Likewise, if you are looking at a horse who is young and tearing around a xc field, imagine yourself taking care of a bowed tendon, a suspensory injury, a fracture. Is this something you'd be willing to do to own a horse like that?
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Last edited by thecolorcoal; 12-15-2017 at 05:48 PM.
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-15-2017, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
Posts: 6,239
• Horses: 3
The hardest thing about buying a horse is finding the right one. Having an experienced mentor who will matchmake for you is incredibly valuable. First time horse buyers seem to fall into buying inappropriate horses more often than not. The MAJORITY of horses are inappropriate for you. The more you take that to heart, the better luck you'll have. You are not ready for a project or a problem. Doesn't matter how much love you have.

Second hardest: finding a saddle that fits your horse, you, and your planned activities.

Can't buy the saddle without the horse, but once you have those two things, it's coasting, in comparison.

Short horse lover
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-15-2017, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: bay area, ca
Posts: 772
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omg yes finding a saddle that fits...

DON'T SETTLE FOR ANY SADDLE! Either find a horse that fits the saddle (huh???) or find the saddle that fits the horse.
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-18-2017, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 447
• Horses: 1
Take your time when looking for a horse; the right one will come along in due time. Make sure to read ads carefully, and be aware of scammers out there. It is highly suggested to look before you buy, so you can see how the horse is on the ground and in the saddle. A buy before looking case can be risky. I also agree with having an experienced person come along when you eventually do look at horses. They can give you advice and suggestions when sending them pictures and video clips of potential horses to look at.

When I looked for my first horse, I made sure to send pics, video, and info I got from the seller to my trainer via text. With her help, I was able to find the right horse (well rather, pony) for me.

"All bonds are built on trust. Without it, you have nothing."
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-18-2017, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: bay area, ca
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@Phantomrose is right - bring someone with you, someone who knows horses. Keep your heart at home. Use your head, or else you may be stuck caring for a horse you love but can't use long term (my situation), and will end up needing #2 that you can ride.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-18-2017, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Nov 2017
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I'd consider asking for a trial or short free-lease before purchase. This might limit the horses you have available to you, but will save you the heartache of being stuck with a horse that is too much for you to handle or ends up having health issues you didn't anticipate. Not all owners are willing to do this, but at least you know the ones that are will be more likely to be up front with behavioral or medical issues...

I was lucky enough to find someone willing to do an substantial free-lease (3 months). But, I would think someone who really cares about their horse and wants it to end up in a good home would be willing to do at least a month.

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post #10 of 13 Old 12-19-2017, 09:51 AM
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"not 300 a month, 300 a YEAR. They bill yearly. The company I am going with covers all vet care costs and requires just a copay (probably 40-80)."

I'd love to know the name of that company. I've yet to find a policy for MM that does not require Mortality covered alongside it. I've yet to see a policy that covers all expenses. They don't include things like chiro, massage, acupressure/puncture. They don't pay for preventative care or expected regular care. So no vaccines, floats, wellness exams, coggins, health certs, farrier work. No farm call fees. If I remember no emergency fees either - care only. All that is on you. They don't include things you are capable of doing - like cleaning and rewrapping, giving shots or medication unless specified and then costs shoot up and you hit your maximum quick. They don't pay the farm call portion if the vet has to go out. The maximum is the maximum - once you hit that the rest is up to you. The copays are optional on some plans but all that I have looked at have a deductible per event. Not a one time deductible, a per event deductible. So if you pay the deductible for an illness and then an injury happens you are paying the deductible again. Add to that the period of coverage is yearly so unlike human coverage once you renew anything treated in the previous year is a pre existing condition and not covered in the new year. You then have to ask how long do they hold that pre exisiting condition. Have a long term care situation, it is the end of the year, and have not hit your cap? Well they extend the policy payment for that event (two months is the max time I have found) but once that time is up even if you have not met max coverage and treatment is ongoing - it is now pre existing on your new policy and the rest of the care is not covered. It's all on you. Since they require Mortality - sure they will pay to put your horse down up to a certain amount but if the vet determines that surgery or acute care can save the horse then they don't cover the cost. They consider that a financial decision and not in the best interest of the animal. I suspect that they don't just leave that up to your vet. They have a vet on staff look at the file and decide if euthanasia or care is the better option and if their vet says no euth then that overrides your vet and you have to appeal. Look at the rating of the company. Payout percents and denials. Make sure you understand the terms and make sure they are clear and pay what you are looking to get paid. There was so much to look at and decide on in the end for me it wasn't worth it. Instead I have worked out payment plans up to a certain amount and anything over that has to be paid up front. For that I have Care Credit which offers same as cash payment plans. You have a choice of terms. You can use it like a credit card with a set interest or if you choose same as cash you better be realistic about the amount of time it will take to pay. I think there is a fee to choose this but it has been so long since I have used it. Go over the same as cash limit and the interest rate applies all the way back to the beginning. Insurance seems cheap and a great option but for the majority of horse owners putting that in an emergency fund and adding to it each year means you can pay in cash without the cost of insurance. Forgot to mention they have age limits. Differ from company to company but under a certain age there are no coverage options (24 hours to 30 days) and over a certain age all you can get is mortality and then add on specific care. I will say most don't require a vet to sign off so if you say your horse is healthy then then believe you and in most cases cover on your word but if you then file for something in the covered period for something that was pre exisiting they deny the claim because at that point the review your vet's file on that animal. Try to use a different vet and if this is a first time visit for that vet they do their own investigating and if they find you used a different vet to treat what they consider pre existing condition they consider that fraud.
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