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What You Need To Know Before You Buy Your First Horse
I'm going to begin by saying that you can never know everything about horses, but you can know a lot. If you are looking at buying a horse in the near future of the far away future, there are many important things to know. These things are very important to keeping your horse healthy and happy, which ideally keeps you happy! Below I have a long list (Bear with me) of simple yet important things you need to fill your brain with before you bring home your first horse.
Owning a horse is a huge commitment, and requires serious thought. It should never be an impule buy. You will know when youy are ready for this challenge. You need to accept that horses live a long time, and it is a long commitment to keep one.
The Long Check-list of what you need to know
Know how to check for Disease and Injury: Disease in horses can sometimes go on forever, and nobody knows. Disease can also kill a horse. I'ts always better to be safe then sorry. Know how to check for disease properly, and what to do when something is wrong. You also need to know how to prevent Disease and Injury.
Know the kinds of Disease and Injury: There are so many horse diseases, and types of injuries. It is best you know them all, so you know the symptoms, etc. If we take a disease like collic, and you have no clue what it is, then it could be apparent in your horse and kill your horse...
Know what to do in case of an emergency: Im going to lay this out easy. If it is a horse-health related emergency, call a vet! If it is any kind of people injury or emergency call 9-1-1!
Know how to Groom a horse: Everyone needs to know how to groom a horse. That is the basic knowledge of horse ownership. You need to know all the tools, and how they work. You also need to own tools if you own a horse.
Know where to check when grooming: Basically, you need to check every body part of the horse where the saddle goes to make sure it is clean and dirt clump free. If there is something under a saddle that bothers the horse and irritates it, chances are your ride won't be so good.
Know how to tack-up: Know where to put all the buckles and 'thingies' on a saddle. You should know all the tricks and tips of tacking up, so your safe and everyone ends up happy.
Know about horse feed: Horse feed is important. There are all diffirent types of food. Chances are your horse is probably going to need more than plain hay, so you should know what is best for your specific horse.
Know how to Ride a Horse...And ride very well: You need to have all the tips and tricks of riding pretty much down to own a horse. If you barely know how to ride, then your horse will get the better of you and may become 'ruined'.
Be comfortable with all Gaits: You need to be very comfortable at a walk, trot and lope (canter). It would also be preferable if you were comfortable riding your horse at a gallop.
Know what to do in a Riding Emergency: You need to know the 'emergency stop', and what to do if your horse freaks out. You also need to know what to do if you fall off and get hurt. Saftey is number one!
Know Horse Body Language: You really need to be able to tell if your horse is sad, happy, angry, and confused. You can tell by ears and body motions. When you can tell their body language, you can tell how their feeling and how to make them better.
Think like a horse: Pretend to think like your horse, and then you can do everything better! If you think like a horse, you can understand your horse more.
Trust your horse, and have it trust you back: You and your horse will probably form a significant bond. You will form trust. The horse will more than likely love you and be protective over you. But if you feel like you and the horse arent connecting, then its okay to try again.
Know 'horse' people: Don't be afraid to get contacts and friends who love horses, and know about them in the end. It will always help you out in the long-run. You also need to know a vet, farrier, etc.
Have a proper place to put a horse: Most first time owners will board a horse, which is great. Some people also board at friends houses. If you want to put a horse in your backyard it has to be zoned, and you have to provide proper shelter and care every day.
Be financially able to own a horse: Before you own a horse, you have to be financially able to own a horse. Horses cost thousands to keep a year, and in the long run it costs even more. You have to be 100% sure your financially able to own a horse before you even start thinking about buying one.
To Buy And Not To Buy
I would always recommend an older, calm horse to a beginner, one that has been there and done that. One that goes, ties, and dosent need any training. You also want an 'easy keeper'. One that dosent require special foods, or has special needs. Here are some horses you don't want to buy.
1) Never buy a Foal. They may be cute and cuddly, but trust me, they grow out of that fast. They are a pain in the ankle to train, unless you have a trainer. Some foals can be resistant and hard to train.
2) Don't buy a Green Horse. A green Horse is a horse in training. They have a lot of polishing off, and bad habits. They are not at all recommended for the beginner.
3) Don't buy at an auction. The horses are not as they seem. Some could have been given calming drugs.
4) Never buy a horse from a picture on the internet. Chances are they are lying, and the horse is crazy or unrideable. Always ride and see a horse before you buy.
And remember, no impulse buys!
Buying a horse is complicated. End of Story.
Plan of Action: You see a horse you like, now go visit it! Take friends, trainers, your vet, your family, and any expert you can find.
**Before you go se any horse, make sure you can take care of one**
First, see the horse, and have them judge it. Ask to groom it and ride it. If you cant groom and ride, give up on that horse- the owners may be hiding something from you.
Second, Take a couple days to think about the horse... Did you make a connection? Do you really want this horse?
Third, see the horse again. Make sure you L-O-V-E that horse, and that horse is perfect for you.
Fourth, Discuss with the seller about buying the horse. You need to know when to take it home. Collect every paper the horse has.
Fifth, Once you have it to wherever you want it, ten give it a check-up. Give it some time to get used to its surrounding before you ride it, etc. Try walking it around the area, get it used to its new life.
Sixth, enjoy your new best friend!