Before You Buy


So you want a horse. But can you afford it? Do you have the right facilities to keep it? Do you know what you need?

Horses Cost Money

Not only are they alot to buy, they are alot to care for. You can't just put them in their paddock and throw them hay every once in a while. Besides the cost of hay and grain, they must be shod, dewormed, ridden, vaccinated, kept clean, and every once in a while they may need a visit from the vet. You can't just buy a horse, you will need saddles, bridles, tack, grooming supplies, a barn or shelter, clean shavings for that shelter, and other odds and ends. They live a long time, which is a good thing, but can you afford to keep the horse for twenty or thirty years?

Horses Cost Time

If you can afford all of the basic care, you also need to have time to spend with your horse. Not just riding, brushing, loving time, but mucking stalls, feeding, and care time. Can you take time twice a day every day to feed your horse? Do you have time to ride and groom the horse? Most horses need, and want, human attention. They also need exercise and grooming. If you have the time to keep a horse happy and healthy, read on to see what you need to have before you buy.

Before You Buy.....

What should you need to know before you buy a horse? As much as you can! Read, read, and read more about horses. If you educate yourself about horses, then you will be more knowledgeable, and more prepared to find a horse right for you. If possible, get riding or horse care lessons. Usualy you can pay a fee to have someone teach you riding and horsemanship skills. It is a good idea to learn how to ride before you buy a horse. Also, you should know how to care for it, and how to keep it healthy. The more you know, the better!

Next, after you have learned alot about horses, you must prepare a place for your new horse to stay. If you aren't going to be able to keep it at home, then you need to find a boarding facility that you can stable your horse at. And, you need to know their schedual, what kind of care the horse will get, ect.
If you are going to bring the horse home, do you have enough land and shelter? While you don't need a whole lot of room, you still need some for the horse to get exercise and green grass from. Two acres is about the minimum land you will need. Now, do you have fenced paddocks or pastures? Horses need strong, secure, safe fences. Barbed wire fences are out of the question, they can cause ALOT of damage to a horse. Electric fences are good, but not for a horse that might run into them. They also must be kept on all the time, if the electricity goes out, your horse could get away. Some electric fences are sturdy enough so that even when they are off they will hold a horse. There are also new, light-weight fences that are supposed to work very well. Flip through any horse magazine and you will see adds for them. Sturdy, wooden fences are a very good choice. Wire fences aren't good for horses, because a horse could become entangled in them.
Whatever type of fence you choose, make sure that it is sturdy so the horse can push it over or get tangled up, and high enough so that the horse can't jump out.

Your new horse will also need a shelter or barn. If you have a barn, make sure the stalls are safe, and have doors that open and close properly. Check for rotten boards, nails sticking out, holes, or anything that your horse could get cut by or caught on. If you have a shelter, check it for any hazards, too. Shelters or sheds should be high enough so that the horse stand with its head up and not hit the ceiling. There should also be a feeder that is high enough so that the horse can't get a leg caught in it. Shelters should be higher than the surrounding land, because in the winter time if it rains hard, you don't want them to get flooded. The same goes for barns, you don't want them getting flooded either.

You will need to find a place to get shavings or other bedding for the shelter/stall. They should be made of something non-poisonous, so if your horses eat it, they won't get sick.

You will also need a place to store the hay and grain. It needs to be kept out of reach of horses, rats, insects, or anything that might contaminate or eat it. It has to be kept clean and dry, so mold can't grow on it.

Check your pasture for any poisonous plants, old wire fences, junk, or anything else that might hurt your horse. Walk around the perimeter of the pasture/paddock, and around the inside. Take out any old fences or fence posts, and scan the ground for any garbage or nails.

Before you bring a horse home, make sure that you have the money and time for it. Make sure you can provide it with shelter, food, water, and care. Create a safe enviroment for it before you bring it home. Once you do these things, you will be able to own a happy, and healthy, horse.

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