It's not uncommon for an inexperienced horse admirer to want to own a horse of their own. If this is your dream and you are currently at a point in your life where owning your own horse can easily become a reality, then you want to make sure you are as knowledgeable as possible and fully prepared before you bring a horse permanently into your life. This guide will walk you through some important steps you should take to make sure you are ready.
Know where you will be keeping your horse
If you can keep your horse on your own property, then you want an experienced horse person to come inspect the entire area and all of the facilities to make sure that they are going to be fine for a horse. If you will be boarding the horse somewhere else, then you want to make sure they have a good reputation within the horse community, that you can afford everything involved with boarding there, and that they are going to offer you the care you need for your horse. For example, if you can't tend to your horse every day, then you want to board it somewhere where they will care for it fully on the days you don't.
Invest in complete riding lessons
Get yourself riding lessons that go beyond just learning how to ride a horse. You want to also learn about preparing the horse for a ride, including saddling and bridling them, exercising them, cooling them down, brushing them, feeding them, and dealing with common issues that may come up along the way. You'll need to be educated on how to spot bad feed, what human snacks they can have, how much they can have, and what ones are definite no-nos. You'll even want to be educated on such things as how often a farrier should come out to tend to their hooves and how to care for their teeth.
Get help with buying a horse
Take someone who really knows horses with you when you look at one to buy. Ask the seller to ride it first. If they appear leery about getting on the horse, then this is a red flag that the horse may have issues. If all goes well, then you want to ride the horse yourself. Make sure you and the horse are a good fit and that you feel completely comfortable and safe on the horse. As a beginner, you want a horse that's going to be gentle, patient, and obedient. Along with the horse riding well, you will also want to watch and make sure it is OK with everything else, including coming out of the stall, getting saddled, and so on. Have the experienced horse person that has accompanied you also ride the horse and look it over to make sure they feel it is sound.
Learn all about the horses history
You want to know where the horse originally came from, why they are selling it, how old it is, if it has ever had any injuries or illnesses and that there are registration papers that will be given to you at the time of the sale. You should even call the seller's farrier and vet. This way, you can make sure that the horse has been well cared for and that the seller is telling the truth about its history.
Have the horse seen at the nearest equine hospital to you
Once you have purchased the horse, you will want to have it seen at your nearest equine hospital. This way, they can look it over as well, and they can familiarize themselves with the horse. This can make it easier to have the horse treated in the future, since it will already have been seen there.