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Horses need your attention every day, to be fed, groomed, exercised and if they donít have another horse to bond with during the day/night this may be up to you as well.
When you are deciding to buy a horse or pony this decision shouldnít be taken lightly, particularly if you donít know a lot about horses yourself.
WHAT TYPE OF HORSE DO YOU WANT?
Ask yourself why do you want a horse and what do you want to do with it?
There are several types of horses that are more suited to different disciplines, for example if I was looking to buy my first horse, which I wanted to go showjumping on, it wouldnít be wise to go and buy a thoroughbred straight from the racetrack. A sensible horse to buy would be a more mature or experienced horse that would be more forgiving while I was learning. If you are buying your first horse, particularly if itís for a child, it is very important to buy a quiet and reliable ride.
HOW MUCH TIME AND MONEY DO YOU HAVE TO SPARE?
If you want to buy an inexperienced horse and train it yourself you will need to spend at least one to two hours a day with the horse, so ask yourself, how much time do I have to spare?
If you donít have much time to spare it may be wiser buying a more experienced horse, which doesnít need as much training; this may of course cost more money. Or maybe if you donít have much time spare and not much money to spend you could lease a horse or share the horse with someone else.
The initial cost of buying a horse is not the only expense that you have to consider. Ask yourself these questions:
Bills like the farrier, dentist, 6 week wormer pastes, maybe the occasional vet bill, not to mention the feed costs.
Owning a horse is definitely not cheap!
PICKING A HORSE
Ask yourself these questions;
Talk to someone about what type of horse you need for example, if you want to compete in the show ring with your horse it may be very important that the horse is good looking with near perfect confirmation and no scars or scratches. However if you purely want to ride for pleasure these things are not as important. Itís also a good idea if you have a video camera to tape the horse you are considering buying to watch it and also show the tape to other experienced people to get their opinion.
FINDING THE HORSE FOR YOU
It would be recommended that if you donít know much about horses that you get a vet to check the horse or take someone with you who is knowledgeable.
Itís a good idea to tell as many people as you know that youíre looking for a horse, there maybe a chance that they know a horse good for you.
Take your time in finding a horse, see as many horses as you can before committing to one. Have the owner show you what the horse can do and then try to do it yourself. Spend as much time as the owner will let you with the horse before you make your mind up.
Also watch how good the owner rides the horse; itís no good if the horse will only respond to an advance rider if youíre a beginner yourself.
Ask lots of questions about the horseís history and why the people are selling the horse.
There are plenty of quality horses out there for sale whether it is on this site or in the trading post, a horse magazine or through a stud. Leave your options open and search high and wide for the perfect horse for you.
ONCE YOU HAVE BOUGHT YOUR HORSE
Now the fun begins!
Make sure your new companion has sufficient food, water, shelter and is settling into its new safe environment.
Make sure you keep up with your horseís requirements for example:
If you are unsure of anything you should consult your vet or someone who is knowledgeable with horses.
Itís a good idea to have lessons (see list of instructors on this site) as often as you can and ride with people who can give you tips on how youíre going.
Most importantly love, enjoy and learn with your horse.