Are you thinking about buying a horse? If you’re considering buying a horse, there are many factors you should consider before you even start to look. The Vet Shed looks at some important points…
Many of us have entertained the fantasy of having our own horses as kids, but buying a horse actually requires a lot of sacrifices and responsibilities most people fail to consider.
As a novice rider especially, there are undoubtedly a number of factors you simply would not think of. So, you must take care to do your research and understand the full ramifications of equestrian ownership.
What You Need to Consider
Before you even start looking for a horse, you must be honest with yourself about your ability and how much time you can invest in the animal. While owning a horse can be incredibly rewarding, they are a huge financial and time commitment. Unless you are boarding your horse off your property, where someone else takes care of their daily needs, you will be in charge of all their care requirements. This also means finding others to care for your horse when you are out of town.
You must also be prepared to regularly ride them. It’s unfair to keep your horse cooped up in a pen and only take them for rides a couple of times each year. Like humans, it’s important horses also keep in shape.
A horse is not self-sustaining, so understand that you will be providing majority of the feed and care. The initial cost of a horse is not cheap in itself, but it doesn’t come close to what you will be spending long term.
Even if you intend to care for your horse mostly on your own, you will still need to employ others to care for them from time to time. This includes paying someone to look after your horse in your absence, and vet trips. Horses require regular veterinarian visits, so you must also consider that when budgeting for the financial costs of owning a horse.
3. Care Requirements
Whether you will be keeping your horse at grass 24/7 or in a hired stable space, you will need to ensure they have adequate food and living space. In addition, your horse will require regular grooming, maintenance of the hooves, worming, and potentially extra feeding each day. This all factors in to your expenses, but also your time. Horses require plenty of care that, even with extra help, will see you having to take time out of your days to regularly spend time with your new pet.
4. Rules and Regulations
It is important that you consider all legal requirements you will need to meet as a horse owner before you even start looking at horses, as these regulations will have to be factored in to your preparations for owning a horse.
In Queensland, you can keep a domestic horse without a permit, granted the minimum requirements are met, but if you intend for your horse to have a racing career you will need to apply for a permit. Some of the minimum requirements for domestic horses include:
- They will be kept on premises more than 800 square metres in area
- They will be kept in an enclosure that will adequately prevent them from wandering
- They will not cause a nuisance of any kind to people in the surrounding properties
- Their food will be stored in vermin proof containers
There are additional requirement we have not listed here, so please look to your local council website for more information.
5. Professional Advice
This is vital for anyone new to horses. Being a novice, it’s important you look to trustworthy professionals for help in finding the right horse. This includes horse owners or trainers who can advise you on which horse is best to purchase, riding instructors to help you hone your skills, and vets.
Horse vets are accustomed to performing pre-purchase exams, and will be able to tell you if the horse you’re looking at has any health concerns that would cost you in the long-term.
Ultimately, once you have decided on a horse, it’s important you feel confident in your choice, as this decision (however rewarding) may be one you have to live with for 20-30 years.
About the author
The Vet Shed is an online store that provides genuine quality pet care and health products for all pets, big and small. The team consists of experienced Veterinarians and Vet Nurses, who have been assisting their customers with professional advice on pet products and pet care since 2003.