7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Horse
If you’re considering buying your own horse, the chances are that you’re already well-versed in basic husbandry, riding and equine care. But before you invest, there are a few things you should consider:
Why do I Want to Own a Horse?
This is the most important question any prospective horse owner should ask themselves before considering making a purchase.
Are you motivated by spending time in the great outdoors? Do you enjoy riding and training? Do you want to be a competitive rider? Do you find the bond and relationship you develop rewarding or is it a combination of all these things? Understanding your reasons for wanting to own a horse will help you to answer the following questions honestly.
Can I Afford to Own a Horse?
Horse ownership is a big financial responsibility.
Over its lifetime, the purchase cost of a horse will pale into insignificance compared to the annual costs of livery, hay, feed, bedding, tack, vet, McTimoney treatments, Sports massage, dentistry and farrier bills, transportation, training and insurance.
Although costs will vary depending on the age, health and temperament of your horse, according to Equine World UK, ownership is likely to cost anything from £2000 to £10,000+ per year. Are you certain you can commit to those kind of costs in the long-term?
How Competent and Confident am I?
You might aspire to being a championship dressage or event rider but the breed and age of the horse you purchase should reflect your current, not your future, riding abilities.
Horses are both intuitive and sensitive so you need to be sure that whether you buy a young and inexperienced horse or a seasoned schoolmaster, you have the skills and confidence necessary to handle, train and care for him successfully.
Where Can I Find the Right Horse?
Understanding why you want to become an owner will help you understand what breed, age, type and temperament of horse you want.
It may take months of searching and hundreds of miles travelling around the UK to find the perfect horse for you so be prepared to be patient, do your research and ask lots of questions of breeders, trainers and owners.
How Much Time Can I Invest in My Horse?
Taking responsibility for your horse is a full time commitment and means spending time exercising, grooming, mucking out, feeding, shopping for supplies and arranging veterinary appointments not just riding out.
It can mean long hours and hard graft but the more time you spend with your horse, the greater your relationship and bond will be.
Understanding how much time you can realistically commit to your horse will help you choose the appropriate DIY, part or full livery yard for him.
Be aware that some livery yards have waiting lists so it’s worth contacting or visiting a few to check their availability and see how they operate before you buy a horse or reserve space.
Do I Understand Horse Feeds?
One of the best things you can do for your horse is ensure that he gets the right amount and type of feed for his age, condition and temperament. Providing a balanced diet tailored to your horse’s specific needs creates a great foundation for the future as it can affect his riding, behaviour and overall health and wellbeing in the long run.
Inappropriate feeding can lead to plenty of problems, they can easily become under or overweight, and develop more serious health conditions that include, colic, laminitis and respiratory problems.
You can find detailed information about horse feeds, feeding methods and ways to spot weight and nutritional issues online from the equine nutrition specialists at SPILLERS.
Am I Prepared for the Responsibility?
Britain’s equestrian community is a knowledgeable and friendly one and there are plenty of people that you can consult for advice, but as an owner, the responsibility for making decisions about your horse’s welfare ultimately rests with you.
If you’ve been able to answer all of these questions and still feel motivated and excited about the prospect of owning your own horse, then a rewarding and fulfilling equestrian future awaits you!