Sunday, February 22, 2015

Six Top Tips for First-Time Horse Owners

Horse ownership can be a frustrating experience for both owner and horse if you don’t think carefully about it beforehand. It is a huge responsibility in terms of the time and money needed. Taking good care of your equine companion will include, among other things, yearly immunizations, regular dental care, hoof care and parasite control.

These responsibilities notwithstanding, horse ownership is a most rewarding experience. But the right horse must be matched to the right owner. For the match to be successful, the owner’s goals and equestrian ability must be taken into account.

Are you currently thinking about choosing a suitable horse for your family? Here are a few tips that will help you find just the right horse for you.

1. Learn horse riding – Do you know the right way to ride a horse? This is different from sitting on a horse while someone leads it around. Invest in some riding lessons so you and your horse can be safe and comfortable.

2. Consider all possible expenses – Horses are expensive pets. Apart from the high cost of buying one in the first place, their maintenance demands a big budget. Think about the money you will need to spend on feed, bedding, vet check-ups, stabling, horseshoe maintenance and the other supplies which every horse needs.

3. Take a professional with you – Once you have decided to buy a horse, take an equine trainer with you to see him. He can check whether your prospective horse is healthy and whether it rides well.

4. Know the horse’s history – Ask the seller about the horse’s previous owner and the reason he is being sold. You can also ask for the horse’s registration papers. If possible, ask the seller for the contact numbers of the horse’s farrier and veterinarian. This will help you find out about any health issues the seller might be keeping from you.

5. Handle the horse yourself – Instead of riding the horse right away, lead him around as he leaves the stall. Watch how the seller or owner groom or tack him up so you can spot any behavioral issues.

6. Ask the seller to ride the horse before you do – The seller will be happy to ride the horse if it has no problems. Observe how the horse moves and behaves while being ridden.

When all these things check out, you have probably found yourself a great horse. Make sure you continue to treat him well, providing all his needs and giving him plenty of love and attention. You will have then have a companion you and your family can enjoy for a very long time.

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