It is not uncommon for people to purchase horses that are not right for them. Then, in frustration or after an injury, they sell their horses, missing the enjoyment they could have had. Sometimes, despite their love of horses and riding, some riders are not cut out for owning a horse because ownership involves considerable time, patience, and sizable expenses. So, before purchasing a horse, potential owners need to talk with knowledgeable horse owners and trainers.
If not an experienced rider, a person should consider these actions before buying a horse:
- Taking riding lessons
- Leasing a horse to find out if ownership is what a person wants
- Find an experienced horse owner to assist in the decision-making
- Spend time getting to know the horse you intend to purchase
After deciding to buy a horse, people should determine their intentions for this purchase. If pleasure riding is their only intention, they can purchase a good horse (quarter horses are good pleasure horses) for $5,000 or less. Pleasure horses do not need to be pure bred; in fact, mixed breeds are often calmer. However, anyone with intentions of competing or showing should consult with professionals. Having the veterinarian check the horse is a good thing to do before buying the animal.
Feeding a horse can be expensive if there are small or no pastures for it. Even with ample pasture, the horse will need grain during the winter months. Older horses will need special supplements. Also, horses need their hooves trimmed regularly, and unless they trod on only grass or dirt, they need shoes provided by farriers. Boarding involves expenses, too.
Saddles, pads, bridles, blankets, coats, grooming supplies, and other items such as fly screens and spray, along with balms and hoof treatments, are also needed.
If there is a grassy pasture for the horse, warm weather feeding is less expensive. While older horses make good first horses as they are calmer and used to many things, they often require feed and supplements to provide the nutrition they need to keep them healthy and at a good weight in addition to grass or hay. Owners should consult with an equine veterinarian for advice on specific nutrition needs.