Considerations Prior To Buying A Horse

Before buying a horse there are many things to consider carefully such as the costs, the time and commitment involved and where to keep the horse so check out this guide to the needs of a horse or pony.

Buying a horse requires a commitment to provide proper care for it and there are many things to consider before buying a horse. In addition to considering the cost of searching for and buying a horse and the cost of keeping a horse to ensure it is affordable, any potential owner needs to consider carefully whether they will have sufficient time and experience to look after a horse or pony. A child cannot be expected to provide all the care and finances required to keep a horse or pony and so if buying a pony for a child it is important that an adult shares the welfare and financial responsibilities.

Owning a horse or pony will require a regular daily commitment all year round whatever the weather and whatever the owner's personal circumstances. At the very least a basic knowledge of caring for a horse or pony is essential.

All these important factors must be given careful consideration before looking for that special horse or pony.

Consideration will also need to be given as to where the horse or pony is to be kept and whether it is to be kept at grass or stabled and whether help will be needed on a day-to-day basis in looking after the horse. This decision may be determined by costs, lifestyle, personal preference and facilities available.

For most horse owners who do not have land to keep their horse or pony at home, they choose to keep their horse at a livery yard. Most livery yards offer different types of livery to fit the needs of different owners. Livery yards may be full and even have waiting lists. It is important to choose a livery yard carefully, check out types of livery offered, prices and availability prior to buying a horse to calculate if owning a horse is affordable and to ensure that there is somewhere suitable to keep any horse purchased.

A horse kept at grass 24/7 will require:

  • Checks to ensure it is healthy and has not sustained any injuries, at least twice a day.
  • Filling of water buckets once or twice a day dependent on the size and number of buckets, unless automatic filling water throughs are available in the field.
  • Feeding of hay in the field at winter, once or twice a day depending on the amount and quality of grass available.
  • Breaking of ice on frozen water buckets or water throughs at least twice daily when temperatures are below zero degrees centigrade.

A horse turned out in a field during the day and stabled at night will require:

  • Checks to ensure it is healthy and has not sustained any injuries, at least twice a day.
  • Turning out into the a field in the morning.
  • Bringing into the stable in the evening.
  • Mucking out the stable, topping up the bedding and feeding hay daily.
  • Breaking ice of on frozen water buckets or water throughs at least twice daily when temperatures are below zero degress centigrade.

In addition a horse will require regular grooming, regular maintenance of the hooves from a farrier, regular worming and may require additional feeding each day, changing of rugs and regular exercise if it is to be kept fit for riding.

Some types of livery may include some of these duties being undertaken by staff but the more duties carried out by the staff, the more expensive the cost of livery.

Once it has been ascertained that owning a horse is affordable, sufficient time can be given to looking after a horse, enough knowledge and experience has been gained to ensure the horse will be looked after properly and somewhere suitable can be found to keep the horse then consideration can then be given to the type of horse to look for.

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