What you need to know before buying your first horse (a very brief guide)

Learn as much as you can first-the first point is the most important. Never buy a horse unless you have experience of horse management and how to handle a horse. Your riding ability should be good enough for you to walk, trot and canter without stirrups. You need to have developed an independent seat and have knowledge of the correct aiding and have developed empathy

Find out about the costs of keeping a horse-the costs of keeping a horse are astronomical! The equivalent, if not more, of having a mortgage. Please do not think you can keep a horse on a shoe string budget

Have a part time share first-this is a perfect solution and will give you the experience of owning a horse without so many of the up front costs. Many people that own horses feel they would like their horse to be ridden more than they are able to and are looking for someone that is reliable to share their horse. Usually the costs for a part share are reasonable and you have sole care of the horse as much as 2 or 3 times a week.

Try loaning, but….-make sure you draw a contract up between you and the owner, as this is a different proposition from a part time share. This covers all of you and should include who is in charge of the insurance and day to day expenses. Do not leave anything to chance.

be sure of your capabilities-never buy a horse that is advertised as “not a novice ride” if you are a novice. This is a bad idea and often ends up being a disaster for all concerned, especially the horse. Be honest with yourself and do not over horse yourself.

Don’t rush into buying-the right horse may take you a long time to find, but it is worth the time. Narrow your list down by thinking about exactly the type of horse you need-including height, breed, age, sex, and even colour. That way your search will be easier and less frustrating.

Always take a knowledgeable person with you when you are looking-it may work out more expensive but someone who knows your riding abilities and understands horses is invaluable and essential.

Do not assume-that once you get your new horse home that he / she will feel like he did when you rode him at his original home. Horses take time to settle into a new home with new people looking after them.

Be prepared to find-a good trainer/ instructor– if you don’t already have a good trainer then before you begin your search is a good time to check out someone that you think you can work with. There are many reputable trainers that are freelance that will come out to your yard and help you.

http://www.horseandhoundschool.co.uk

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This may be your dream, but do not hurry into a decision!

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