10 Useful Tips Every First-Time Horse Owner Needs to Know

Vet In Discussion With Horse Owner

10 Useful Tips Every First-Time Horse Owner Needs to Know


Keyword(s): first-time horse owner

Around 4.6 million people in the US either own or work with horses.

But owning a horse isn’t like owning a dog or a cat. They are a much bigger responsibility and they don’t come cheap. Before you make the investment, you need to be 100% sure about your decision.

If this is the first time you’ll be owning a horse, there are a few things you need to know. Here are 10 tips for the first-time horse owner that will make the process much easier.

1. Know What You Want First

Before you make the commitment to buying a horse, you first need to know what you want. Think about what you need it for and if it can accommodate those needs.

Will you be using it for racing, grooming or breeding? Do you have the time to dedicate to it? Do you have the space and equipment for a horse? Will other family members be riding it?

These are a few important factors when buying a horse. If you get an inexperienced horse, you’ll need a lot of time and patience. Keep these requirements in mind when buying. Don’t let a seller coerce you into getting the wrong horse.

2. Visit Horses Before Buying

Like any big purchase, you need to see your horse before you buy it. On paper, everything could seem perfect, but you won’t know for sure till you meet the horse.

Some sellers are only trying to make a quick sale and will say anything to palm off an untrained horse on you. You don’t want to buy a horse before physically examining it.

Insist on meeting the horse before going through with the sale. You’ll get a feel for their temperament and behavior. You’ll feel much better for it and you’ll know for sure if you need to back out of the deal.

3. Check The Horse’s Passport

When you’ve met the horse and decided it’s a good fit, you may be ready to make the sale. But hold off until you have checked the horse’s passport.

The horse passport is a valuable document. It will confirm that this is the correct horse you’ve come to see. It will tell you its age, breed and where it is from.

If you’re in doubt about the authenticity, check with the Passport Issuing Organisation. If it comes back invalid, leave the sale.

4. Where Are You Keeping It?

Before you get a horse, it’s important to consider where you’ll be keeping it. Do you have your own stables on your land, or will you be renting elsewhere?

Horses are big animals and you need to have the right place to put them. They need more than a field to roam on and you need to know how to care for them.

If you don’t have space, do some research on how to get it. Find a facility you can get to with ease and you can trust to keep your horse safe and happy.

5. Consult Someone With Experience

If this is your first-time owning a horse, you’ll need as much advice as possible. They’re complicated animals and they can be a real handful.

Try to consult someone with a wealth of horse handling experience. They can guide you on the sale of the horse through to caring for and training it.

It will give you that extra reassurance that you’re making the right decisions for your horse.

6. Keeping It Healthy

You need to remember to keep your horse up to date with inoculations and health checks. If you’re traveling with them or have regular competitions, they can fall sick.

Register them with a vet and get them checked ASAP. Make sure to rule out any health problems and get all their shots done.

Horses can also fall prey to intestinal issues so make sure to get their checks done every 8-12 weeks. These vet bills aren’t cheap and can get very expensive when there’s an emergency. You need to be sure that it’s a financial commitment you can afford.

7. Riding and Handling Lessons

If you’re a newbie to riding horses or haven’t been in the saddle for a while, consider getting lessons. Even if you’re experienced, your new horse may not be.

Lessons will help both you and your horse become better at riding and help you learn together. Plus, it’s a great way to help you bond with your new animal.

Learn how to handle your horse as well as ride it. You’ll learn how to deal with it and it will learn how to behave around you.

8. Think About Costs

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, horses aren’t cheap. Not only are they expensive to buy, but the cost of maintaining and caring for one can be pricey.

Everything from boarding to healthcare, to lessons and feed has a hefty price. Make a detailed budget for them all each month.

You should also be putting away some money for your horse in case of emergencies. Surgeries can cost thousands of dollars and you may need it on hand at a moment’s notice.

9. Learn As Much As Possible About the Breed

Each breed of horse has different weights, sizes, and requirements. Be aware of which breed you’re getting and do your research.

You need to know these things to learn their characteristics. They may not fit with what you want from your horse, or they could make the experience better!

Learn up about the breed and make sure you know the ins and outs well. Of course, no horse is the same and some of these characteristics may not come into play. But knowing about it can put you at an advantage when it comes to rearing your horse.

10. Make Sure You Actually Like the Horse

Your horse could tick all the boxes and be the healthiest of the lot, but none of that matters if you don’t like it. Each horse has a different personality and sometimes you won’t click with it.

That’s fine, but you want a horse you actually like and connect with. They are intelligent creatures and you’ll find one to form a bond with.

If you don’t find the right one, keep looking until you do. It may take some time, but when you do you’ll love your horse for many years to come.

Enjoy Your New Horse First-Time Horse Owner!

As a first-time horse owner, there’s a lot to consider before and after buying. But once you’ve bought your very own horse, it’ll all be worth it. There’s nothing quite like the bond you share with your horse. Once you have it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!

Looking to buy a horse? Get in touch with us to see how we can help.

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