What advice do you wish had been given to you as a first time horse owner? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: North Texas
Posts: 480
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Originally Posted by Avishay View Post
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).
I think that this is a good idea for life in general .
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post #12 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 10:09 PM
Join Date: May 2014
Location: WI
Posts: 372
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1) most vets dont know much about nutrition.

2) always always bring someone more knowledgeable with when looking at horses.

3) dont trust anyone, dont go off of recommendations.

4) treat your BO, trainer, vet and Farrier like gold. You never know when you might need them.

5) dont underestimate ill fitting tack

6) buy used when possible
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post #13 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 10:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New York
Posts: 68
• Horses: 5
Don't think yourself to be smarter than anyone and everyone around you, especially the professionals. You may have a lot of time around horses, but these people likely own them, and have for a long time, so they know what's going on. Always ask questions when you're not sure, and be open to suggestions even if you are. Keep an open mind and consider all things equally (depending on what's going on, of course) And don't jump to any conclusions about anything e.i. someone's younger than you, so they don't know as much. Take your time learning new things, so you, and your horse, can have a better understanding. And always, always, ALWAYS be on the look-out to learn new things. The sky is the limit, there is no end to what you can learn as long as you're open to learning it. And remember, ignorance isn't not knowing something, it's not being willing to learn. Don't. Be. Ignorant. =] Oh.. ANNNDDD Love your pony, and yourself, and know there's always room for improvement. Don't think you're better than everyone, because someday, someone will happen by that could do circles around you. Okay.. I think I'm done.
(Sorry.. a lot of things I think about that I see a lot of people doing when they've got horses. I've been guilty of it as well)

Forgot to say to cherish every moment you have with them like it's the last. Okay..I'm done. =]
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Carpe diem sine desiderio, et ad vitam vivere summum

Last edited by MeggPottr; 07-29-2014 at 10:58 PM.
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post #14 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 11:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New York
Posts: 68
• Horses: 5
And.. When going to look at a horse, show up early, maybe 30 minutes or so. If they're in a pasture, you get the chance to see how easy (or not) they are to catch, how they react to other horses, if they're with any, and the owner wouldn't have the chance to down 'em (it's not as common as you hear, but it does happen)
Also, if the horse is "rideable" be sure to get in a ride or two, but not before the seller hops on first. I have a friend who went to look at a mare that was "safe" and she asked the seller to ride first. The mare started bucking before she got her bum in the seat.
Be sure to keep a helmet around when riding a horse you've never ridden or haven't ridden much (most of the western riders I know don't keep helmets around because "they're for the English snobs" and "they're useless") I keep on in my car, and one in my barn, even though I haven't been able to ride in two years.
And if possible.. Take a few trips to see said horses before making a decision rather than just going by one visit. Like people.. Every day is different. Try to get as many views on their personality as you can before you end up with a moody mare or cranky gelding you're not ready for. (I'm only assuming you wouldn't get a stallion for your first, but the same applies to them)
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Carpe diem sine desiderio, et ad vitam vivere summum
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post #15 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 11:11 PM
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Location: A good place
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Find a hay grower with a good reputation and buy early. Treat him/her fairly.
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post #16 of 38 Old 07-29-2014, 11:14 PM
Join Date: May 2014
Location: WI
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Yup always make the owner ride first! When I was 16 I went to go look at a broke horse. He seemed a little high strung, no arena to ride in. They kept making excuses why they couldnt get on him. Finally told them I wouldnt get on first, if they didnt I would just pass on him. As soon as he swong his leg over the horse bolted and started bucking like a bronc...they were going to let a 16 year old girl ride him lol some people!
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post #17 of 38 Old 07-30-2014, 01:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 979
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Be prepared to NOT ride for extended periods of time. The horses that just keep working and never miss a beat are very few and far between. Pretty much every horse owner I know has had extended periods of time when they didn't ride due to lameness or colic.
Be prepared to make tough choices.
Decide beforehand what you will do when your horse becomes permanently unsound or too old to ride.

There have been too many posts on here lately from people who are trying to give away their unrideable horses for free and were desperate cause nobody wanted to take the horse.
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post #18 of 38 Old 07-30-2014, 01:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: British Columbia
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Lots of good advise in the previous posts. The best thing about having your own horse is that you can spend as much time as you want, whenever you want, doing what you want. I don't know if you have your own horse property or if you would be boarding, but either way, if most of your experience is on lesson horses or a friend's well trained horse, I would recommend having a trainer or very experienced horse person at the ready to help you with any issues that may come up. There is a fairly recent thread titled (I think) "Was your first horse your dream horse?" that's worth a read.
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To ride or not to ride.....What a silly question!
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post #19 of 38 Old 07-30-2014, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
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For that matter treat every decent horse person like gold. FYI I love chatting with my mare's previous owner (she owned her for 6 years and loved her, just not riding her)
Also I believe Emma is referring to "Was your first horse everything you ever hoped and dreamed 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 #20 of 38 Old 07-30-2014, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: california
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Have more than one Vet. they do go out of town or can be busy on emergency calls when you have an emergency. Don't gossip about Vets , it can get around that you said such or such,
Have more than one farrier , you never know what can happen.
Visit more than one barn. Take lessons at other barns, compare what they offer.Leave your options open . You may get unhappy with one barn and need another.
Have a VET FUND set up . You will Need it. Figure an average call out is going to be $250.00 and up . For emergency call outs you can add another $100.00+ depends on your area.
stay away from gossip at the barn , this will only lead to problems.
Most importantly Remember to have fun
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