What advice do you wish had been given to you as a first time horse owner? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Location: North Texas
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What advice do you wish had been given to you as a first time horse owner?

I have some off and on experience for 18 years in various aspects of riding and care. But, I have never owned a horse of my own. So, if you could tell me something, just one thing, what would it be?

And please, be nice .
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post #2 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 01:27 PM
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Your trainer/BO/BM/farrier/vet/equine dentist/coach is a wealth of knowledge, don't try to be your own expert. Going against that don't blindly follow what the people around you do. For example I use my BO/coach's farrier even though I didn't even talk to him before hand because I had seen his work on all her horses as well, I trusted her opinion but I also backed it up with my own experiences
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"I don't think he ever gave a thought to other people's opinions, which was just as well because they were often unkind."
-- James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
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post #3 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Texas
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Get a reliable vet/farrier that genuinely cares about your horse and can get to know you a little more personally...being able to call them in an emergency or just with questions is priceless and their concern for you and your horse is really important.
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post #4 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 01:46 PM
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Your horse is your problem. No BO, trainer or friend will ever do more than you. Vet's care, tack, lessons are yours to pay, so the last word on everything has to be yours, don't let anyone bully you into choices that you don't approve.
It's up to you to make sure that the horse will be let out and ridden; don't trust blindly any professional figure, don't trust that what you asked for will be done, check personally on everything.
No, the mere fact that you are giving money to a trainer/BO/rider, doesn't automatically mean that they will really do what you paid for. Now, there's plenty of honest people who do what they said they'd do, but never take it for granted.

Your friend who knows a lot about horses and told you that he/she will help you, will be available maybe once a month, or even less. If you need help, hire a trainer. Friends who help for free, are free to have more important business to do and they will have more important things to do.

Oh, and don't overestimate your skills and buy a horse that you can ride safely.
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post #5 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 03:30 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Huntsville, AL
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Have disposable income, because the horse WILL dispose of it!
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post #6 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 04:04 PM
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Yep before I bought my own horse to be boarded with my BO/coach I had been at that barn for a year, which in retrospect isn't actually that long, but I saw her horses, her boarders horses and how she cared for her horse who developed chronic laminitis and her 27 y.o. had-since-birth arab all of which she personally trained. Also the reason I started at that barn was because 2 of my good friends rode with her before she moved states/they moved states. I KNEW what I was getting into but I also know several barns that I could move to ASAP (even though I don't like the trainer personally all the horses are well taken care of)
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"I don't think he ever gave a thought to other people's opinions, which was just as well because they were often unkind."
-- James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
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post #7 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 04:52 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Your horse will not love you and do everything you want just because you love him and feed him....

I seriously thought this and took me months to get my head around this concept.
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post #8 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Colorado
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Don't bite off more than you can chew. I mean this in many aspects. Buy a horse in your budget; board in your budget; only go to shows/travel you can afford; don't buy a horse that requires six days of riding when you only have time for three; acknowledge when you don't know something; and buy a horse suitable for your level ;)

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #9 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Kentucky
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Everybody lies.

Some do it deliberately and dangerously - like saying a horse is beginner safe when it's not.
Some by omission - you didn't ask, so they didn't say.
Some by ignorance or accident - they didn't know it was relevant or important, or they measured something wrong by mistake.
Some are a little more complicated, maybe not even a "lie" - like a vet only suggesting the product they carry at their practice instead of a different brand that would be better.
Some do it kindly - saying a horse is a little worse than it really is to make sure the new owner can handle it safely.

I've encountered all of these.

I've been casually shopping for a new horse, and I've taken to searching people's social media profiles/photos/posts before asking them too much about a given horse. You would not believe the lies I have caught people telling, just to get a horse sold.
I've seen the same horse listed on two different facebook groups - one was a general "horses for sale" thing where the mare was described as beginner safe and lazy, the other was specifically for barrel horses where she was described as hot, fast, and only for an experienced rider!
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post #10 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 09:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: So Cal
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Have backups - for EVERYTHING. And have backups for your backups.

Have at least 2 of everything that's really critical. Always buy more hay/feed than you think you'll need for a given time span. Have at least two fully stocked first aid kits (one for you, one for your horse, but know that you can always use your horse's first aid kit for yourself in a pinch ;p ). Have photocopies of your horse's records, ID, your own ID, etc - one in your tack box, one in your car/truck/trailer. Have an extra phone charger in your tack box, and one in your car (cell phone batteries always run low at the worst times). Have emergency plans for any sort of natural disaster or personal disaster, and have a backup plan in case that one fails. Have a backup bank account you keep a minimum of $500 in for emergencies.

Basically, if it can break, get lost, get stolen, or fail - have a backup for it.

I also keep what I lovingly call my "Zombie Apocalypse Kit" in my car, and my spare kit in the barn. These kits have saved my butt more times than I can count. Here's what's in them:

- 1-2 person "quick up" tent
- Sleeping bag rated to 0 degrees (in the barn), rated to 20 degrees (for in the car)
- an inflatable pillow
- A crank lantern
- A basic tool kit
- Extra bottles of water
- Non-perishable foods (I usually buy self-heating MRE's)
- Extra outerwear (jacket and/or sweatshirt)
- Extra clothes - EVERYTHING - underwear, socks, sweat pants, etc.
- Gloves
- A hat
- Extra shoes
- A favorite book
- Toiletries (TP, Advil, travel toothbrush, etc).
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