So, You Want to Buy a Horse? Pt. 1: To Buy or Not to Buy
So, you got the itch and interest to buy a horse- now what? First and foremost, as much as we love horses, we also know that not every horse lover should own one. Horses are a huge time, emotional, and financial commitment that is sometimes overlooked. If you’re currently trying to decide whether or not to take on this big responsibility, here are a few general questions we suggest asking yourself before you/your family decide to buy.
Have you taken lessons & have experience?
You should have a solid understanding about horses, their care, and have taken regular lessons with a reputable trainer or instructor. This is the best way to start understanding what it takes when it comes to caring, riding, up keeping, and safely owning a horse. Having absolutely no understanding and experience when it comes to horses should be a good indicator that you have some work to do before you make a purchase. It is also smart to have contacts within the horse community that you can go to with your questions and for support when it’s needed.
Have you considered a full/partial lease?
Consider a full or partial lease of a horse for at least six months before purchasing one for yourself. This is an arrangement in which you pay a fixed fee or a portion of the horse’s expenses in exchange for the riding time/caring abilities/access to that horse. In a typical full lease situation, you take over all of the horse’s expenses and care responsibilities. This will give you a real look into what it takes for caring and financially supporting a horse before you make the huge commitment buy. If, after that amount of time, you’re feeling confident and assured that you are the right person to take on the responsibility, consider the next question before taking the next steps.
Can you afford a horse?
This is a huge factor on determining whether or not you should buy. How much a horse will cost will usually depend on what you want to achieve with it. Typically, if you just want to go have fun and maybe complete at a local level, you should be able to find a suitable option for $5,000 or less. However, one very important thing to know is that the initial purchase price of the horse is just a small fraction of the ongoing expenses you can expect to pay up for. Other expenses will include board, lessons, competitions (if interested), farrier costs, veterinarian bills, tack & equipment, feed & supplements, bedding, and miscellaneous items that arise over the horse’s lifespan. We HIGHLY recommended doing some in-depth research about what these totals look like, and make sure that the expenses are doable for you.
Overall, deciding whether or not a horse is a good fit for you is a huge responsibility in itself! Make sure you’re taking the necessary steps and considerations before jumping into the commitment- this will not only benefit you, but it will also benefit the well being of the horse as well.
Check out this quiz that helps determine your basic understanding of horse’s needs and see how you measure up: QUIZ
(Look for part 2 of our, “So, You Want to Buy a Horse” series later this week!)