Tips for First-Time Horse Owners
Horses are beautiful creatures. They’re fast, strong, and resilient when put to work. The role of a horse owner requires constant supervision and love for horses and the work that goes into caring for them. While dutiful, it’s not an impossible task. Anyone considering buying a horse must read these tips for first-time horse owners to ensure you’re doing it right.
Do Your Research
While this guide is meant to educate, you must still do your research into owning a horse. A horse, like any pet or animal, is a major responsibility. They are, after all, creatures that weigh thousands of pounds—not to mention the various types of horses on the market. The most common stock horses on ranches or farms are American Paint horses, Mustangs, Morabs, Morgan horses, and Arabian horses, just to name a few. These horses are strong, fast, and reliable. Horses are also an investment with price ranges from hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the breed, size, and age. Do your research ahead of time before committing to this investment.
Know How To Ride
Even if you don’t plan to use your horse for equestrian-related purposes, like equestrian sports or equestrian therapy, it’s beneficial for you to know how to properly mount, ride, and dismount your horse. First-time horse owners will find it frustrating dealing with a horse they don’t know how to ride. Not to mention, it can be dangerous if you try to mount a horse without proper knowledge on how to do so. Horses are also intelligent creatures. Knowing proper riding techniques will also introduce you to your horse’s riding cues, body language, and behavior. Take lessons or have someone knowledgeable on horses guide you through it.
Make Sure It Has a Home
Shelter is essential for a horse’s wellbeing—remember these are not typical pets. You cannot keep a horse in your home unless you want broken dishes, broken furniture, or horse droppings littering your living space. There are a couple options for boarding your horse. The first option is to lease a stall at a local stable. While feed and bedding are included, leasing a stall can get costly. The other option is to build your own barn or stable. This might sound like an intense project, but it is not impossible. If doing so, there are a few key considerations to make when building a horse barn. Sizing, construction materials, number of stalls, storage, washing station, flooring, natural light, and air ventilation are all crucial elements to a good barn. Remember the feed and bedding as well. Although this might have a greater initial cost than leasing, you save more money in the long-term, especially if you plan on raising horses for an extended period of time.
Proper Nutrition Is Key
One of the most important tips for first-time horse owners is not to neglect nutrition. Feed, as previously mentioned, is important for a horse’s health and prosperity. Hay or grass easily make up the majority of horse’s food but consider supplements to add essential vitamins and minerals to its diet too. If you’re still unsure what to feed your horse, consult a veterinarian and experienced horse owners for further advice.