Owning a horse can be an extremely rewarding experience. However, buying a horse is a big investment and not one that anyone should rush into. The initial costs aren’t all you have to take into consideration when making a purchase. On-going upkeep costs will mount quickly, and should also be taken into account.
If you are desperate to own one of these beautiful animals then the first thing I would recommend you do is sit down and do the maths. You will need to budget for all the essentials:
• New shoes every 6 weeks or so
• The cost of a farrier
• Vets and dental bills
Beyond that, you will also need extra funds to cover any emergencies that may arise and cash for livery. The cost of renting out space at stables can vary. If you opt for full livery then it will cost more, however, all of your horse’s needs will be catered for, which can be the less stressful option.
If all of that is within your budget, then you can get really excited! But before you go rushing off to buy a horse, it’s important to take time to work out exactly what you are looking for. Start by writing out a checklist which can help you to make sense of your thoughts and give you something to work from.
Think about what age you want the horse to be ideally; do you want the horse to be experienced or do you have the time and the skills to spend on an inexperienced horse? Making these decisions early on will help you to be clear as you start your search.
Start by asking around anyone you know who is interested in horses and at local stables to see if they know anyone selling. Get online and check out sites like Horse Deals where you can see comprehensive listings for hundreds of horses. You can also check out the listings in magazines; however these obviously aren’t as up to date as those online.
Once you have a few options, write down any questions you have and give the current owners a call to find out more before making a journey to view any horse. If you get all your questions answered and you still want to see the horse then that’s the time to arrange a first viewing.
During the first viewing, have someone else ride the horse first so you can see it in action, then jump on and have a ride yourself. Always go back for a second viewing so you have another opportunity to check out the horse’s temperament. The temperament of the horse is the most important thing in the long run and you should pay more attention to that than to anything else.
Once you have found the right horse for you, make sure to have an independent vet check the horse over before you commit to anything. If, at this stage, you are still not 100% confident that the horse is right for you, ask for a trial run to give you a chance to see how you get on. If you are happy to go ahead, always get a written agreement and a receipt to confirm the purchase and immediately get the horse insured so you are free to ride straight away.
Even if you already own a horse it is still a good idea to follow this process to make sure you can afford to look after a second horse – and to ensure you get the right kind of horse to compliment the horse or horses you already have.
Buying a horse is not a quick process so it is important to be patient and see the time you spend as an investment. It will be worth it in the end.
Guess post by Joyce Pearson.