What to consider when buying a horse
Horses are not your average pet, when you are considering buying one; make sure you do your research before taking the plunge. They are hugely time consuming as well as a huge financial responsibility and so you will need to make sure you can dedicate enough time and money to look after your horse.
Generally, there are 5 main factors to consider before buying a horse:
Horse buying cost
It may sound obvious but the first thing you should take into account is your finances. A horse cannot sustain itself and will require a large amount of investment. The initial cost of the horse may be steep but the costs are also ongoing. Make sure you can afford everything your horse will need from food, farrier fees, medication and boarding. Don’t forget to budget for those unexpected vet bills too, they will crop up when you least expect it.
Your horses’ lifestyle will impact the feed you choose to give them. You need to make sure that you can provide enough pasture to graze on and provide alternatives during winter months. If you have a working horse you will need to provide extra calories to maintain a healthy weight, and any supplements to aid performance.
Unfortunately you cannot buy a horse and keep it in your back garden unless you have a spare couple of acres! The general opinion is that you should have one acre per horse to ensure they get adequate grazing and exercise. You should also provide shelter from wind rain and hot sun, there are various shelters on the market to suit most budgets. From temporary field shelters to purpose built stables. It really depends on the area you are working with.
You will need tools for mucking out your horses stable, rakes, shovels and wheelbarrows come in especially handy. Horses need regular grooming and so you will need an array of brushes, shampoos and hoof oil. Hoof picks are necessary for cleaning out hooves, this should be done almost every day. Make sure that you have correctly fitting tack, saddles and bridles; you can get your horse fitted by any reputable saddle maker. Your horse will require rugs for when the weather is bad, and potentially fly nets for the summer. There is lots more equipment on the market but as long as you have the basics you are all set.
Just like humans, horses can get lonely. It is highly recommended that you keep your horse with some sort of companion to spend their time with. This can just about any type of farm animal from a goat to a donkey, although another horse is best. Essentially you will need to double the costs of keep above, to provide the best environment for your horse. The alternative of course is to keep your horse at a yard along with other people’s horses, this may be of benefit if you cannot dedicate a lot of time for your horse as you can pay for someone else to clean their stable and feed them.