Get in the saddle! More than one million people own horses throughout the United States.
This statistic may make you believe that buying and caring for a horse is easy. In reality, owning a horse is very tricky. Before you get a horse, you must understand what it takes to buy and protect your horse.
How do people care for horses? What do you need to keep your horse healthy? What are good types of horses for beginners, and how can you save money when buying a horse?
Answer these questions and you can find the perfect horse in no time. Here is your quick guide.
Learn About Caring for a Horse
Caring for a horse is not like caring for a dog or cat. Horses are larger than most pets, so they need more food, water, and space. Some horses eat dozens of pounds of food a day, namely grain, which can be expensive.
Horses also need regular vaccinations and trips to the veterinarian. Threats to their health include tetanus, parasites, and viruses. You must study horse diseases and take steps to keep your horse from getting sick, including from the cold.
You will need to groom your horse at least once a week. This involves using combs, body brushes, and scissors to remove dirt and tangles from your horse’s hair.
If you’re not comfortable with taking care of a horse, you should not buy a horse. You can get an exotic pet like a snake or ferret.
If you plan on riding your horse, you need to buy a saddle. You can also put a saddle blanket over your horse’s back, which will keep your legs from getting dirty. If you’re worried about falling off your horse, you can put your feet in safety stirrups.
To feed your horse, you need a feed pan that your horse can eat out of. You should get a water trough or a large bucket so your horse can drink when they are thirsty. You can use a pitchfork to stack supplies of grain on top of each other and move food into the feed pan.
To maintain their pasture, you can use a broom and a wheelbarrow to get rid of waste products. The pasture should be dry and contained behind locked doors so other animals can’t access it.
For handling and grooming, you should get a few combs and body brushes. You can also buy high-quality horse blankets to keep your horse warm during cold weather.
You should have a first-aid kit on hand so you can treat cuts and sprains. Your kit should include self-sticking bandages, leg wraps, and gauze. You can use salt to clean out wounds and an antiseptic cream to treat infections and burns.
Look at Different Types of Horses
You can buy several different breeds of horses. Most American quarter horses can adapt to many climates, and they have good dexterity and reliability.
If you want a strong and quiet horse, you can buy an Arabian horse. Look for a gelding, which is a castrated adult male. Geldings tend to be calmer, making them good for beginners.
If you want a horse to bring near children, you can get a paint horse. Paint horses are easygoing and social, and they like to form bonds with children.
All of the horses you look at should be trained. Training a horse by yourself can take months, and it requires experience to do right. You should hire a trainer if you wind up buying an untrained horse.
Consider Adopting a Horse
Once you’ve found a type of horse you like, you can start looking into getting a horse. The cheapest thing to do is to adopt a horse.
Talk to a horse rescue organization about a horse you can adopt. Some organizations may be willing to give you horses for free.
However, you should keep in mind that many horses go to rescue shelters because they have behavioral problems. Spend time looking at a few different horses and talk to a staffer about any problems they may have. See what you can do to train the horse you want to adopt.
You can also talk to farms in your area. Some of them may have horses that they don’t want to take care of anymore. As with rescued horses, you should see if the horse has any behavioral problems you need to deal with.
Examine Buying a Horse
There are a few ways you can buy a horse. You can acquire a leased horse, paying money to someone else in exchange for riding the horse.
You can also try part-boarding. You share the use of the horse for a fee every month. You and the other owner split the expenses.
If you can’t find any ways to save money, you can go to a horse dealer and buy a horse at the sticker price. Do not go to an auction, as auctioned horses can be very expensive.
Get a Horse the Right Way
You should get a horse after you study the essentials. Caring for a horse requires a lot of work, including regular feedings and cleanings. Buy tools and find a place where you can give your horse room to exercise and sleep.
Popular types of horses for beginners include American quarter and paint horses. Do your research and then see if you can adopt a horse from a local rescue shelter. You can also save money through leasing and part-boarding.
These are just the basics of horse care. Read more horse care guides by following our coverage.