There’s no doubt: Horses are captivating creatures — powerful, graceful, and majestic. But buying a horse is a complex decision. So, if you’re looking for a little guidance, we’ve compiled a few tips just to get you started.Cost
There are several factors to consider beyond the initial price of the horse.
Will you be boarding, or do you have enough land to accommodate the horse’s needs?
If you plan to board, check for pricing ahead of time. Stables vary in cost by locale and amenities. Also, be sure to ask if extra services are included in the monthly boarding fee.
If you have your own property, factor in the cost of adding — or updating — fencing, stalls, a corral, and possibly a barn.
Ask experienced horse owners in your area about local feed prices, veterinarian services, and the cost of regular farrier bills —hoof trimming and shoes are essential.
You may buy a horse with saddles, and bridles included. However, in case that’s not an option, be sure to budget the cost of these items.
Making a Match
Consider your riding experience when choosing a horse. Some breeds, such as Quarter Horses, tend to be calmer. While other breeds, like Thoroughbreds, are generally high strung.
There are always exceptions: Age, training, and the horse's individual personality, will also factor into the temperament equation.
Ask an Expert
When checking out a possible purchase, bring an experienced rider or trainer to determine if the horse is a good match for your skills.
And always have a veterinarian check out the horse before making a final purchase. In the long run: This may save you thousands in unexpected medical bills, as well as years of heartbreak.
Options Before You Purchase
If you’re not already an experienced rider, lessons are a good idea. Lessons will give you additional confidence, and allow you to determine if your dream of owning a horse is what you truly desire.
Leasing a horse is also a great pre-purchase option. Most stables offer leases by the month, or year. Contracts may vary from riding privileges a few times a week to unlimited use.
A lease will give you plenty of riding time, added experience, and the chance to decide if horse ownership is ultimately for you.
And a lease helps owners too — allowing them a cost offset, while making sure their horses are getting plenty of exercise and attention.
Ultimately, leasing can be a win/win/win pre-purchase option: For the owner, the rider, and the horse.
Making Your Final Decision
Remember, choosing and buying the right horse can bring you years of pleasure and a lifetime of incredible memories. So, consider all the factors, bring in the experts, and enjoy the ride!
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