Horse ownership is no joke. The beautiful animals need proper care, exercise and attention. In addition to access to land and stables, horses also require a lot of financial commitment. Before you even think of buying a horse, there are plenty of things you need to consider.
Homestead Gardens' Davidsonville location is home to an abundance of nutritional resources, accessories and grooming necessities to help you care for your horse. But before you check them out, here is a helpful outline of the things you need to know before starting the horse-buying process:
- Take riding lessons: Many people considering buying a horse have taken riding lessons at some point in their lives, and taking riding lessons again will help refresh the basics of control and your foundation of horsemanship. Riding lessons can also help you learn how to safely groom and handle a horse in the stables. Finally, riding lessons can help you decide what type of riding style you prefer, which in turn will lead you to the appropriate breed.
- Decide where you can keep the horse: Horses need a lot of space to exercise and live. Many barns offer housing options and will take care of the horse while you're away. Those who own a sizeable plot of land may consider building a barn on their own property.
- Choose the breed: Choosing the breed is one of the most fun parts about buying a horse. You get to look at pictures of the elegant animals and learn more about how their unique traits and characteristics will mesh with your personality; you'll need to know whether you're looking for breeding mares so you can raise foals, or whether you are interested in endurance training or pleasure riding. For example, thoroughbreds, warm bloods, quarter horses and appaloosas are often used for endurance training or as breeding horses, while Missouri foxtrotters, Tennessee walkers and Paso Finos are often used for pleasure riding as they are more gaited breeds.
What to know when buying a horse
- Understand the commitment: Make a list of everything you'll need, including housing space, schooling, feed, riding equipment, grooming supplies and, most importantly, time.
- Take along a person who is knowledgeable about horses: When you're shopping for horses, make sure to go with someone you trust who has experience in purchasing, owning or training horses. They might ask questions you'd never think about and point you in the right direction if something seems awry.
- Have the horse checked by a vet: Don't trust the current owner's vet. Hire a trusted equine vet and have them take a look at the horse. They'll run a series of tests to inspect the horse's fitness and health based on what you plan to do with the animal.
Horses are one of the world's most beautiful and powerful animals, and creating a lifelong relationship with such an extraordinary creature is a truly special thing. Homestead Gardens is here to help you along the way with a wide variety of feed, nutritional resources, riding equipment and grooming essentials for all of your horse-related needs.