Today we’re talking about the biggest mistakes people make when buying their first horse.
These majestic creatures are a huge investment and come with a lot of responsibility.
So, buying one isn’t something to just take lightly.
Knowing the mistakes others made will help you avoid making the same ones yourself, so let’s get started!
Biggest Mistakes People Make When Buying Their First Horse
Many people wonder how many horses are in the United States.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot of real, accurate answers out there. With that said, the most comprehensive totals come from the Economic Impact Study of the United States Horse Industry.
This study is published by the American Horse Council Foundation, a non-profit that lobbies before Congress on behalf of all horse-related interests.
According to the study, in the United States, there are approximately 1.1 million horse owners that own approximately 7.2 million horses.
If you are looking to add to that number, there are a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid and things to consider when buying your first horse.
1. Buying An Untrained Horse
Untrained horses are often attractive to first-time buyers because of their cheap price tag.
New horse owners think they can buy an untrained horse and then either train the horse themselves or hire a professional horse trainer.
The fact is that training a horse can take 3 months or longer.
Buying a trained horse will help to ensure a safer, more enjoyable experience as a first-time horse owner.
2. Not Considering An Older Horse
An older horse is actually perfect for first-time horse owners since they have likely had lots of training already.
Don’t shy away from a horse that is in their late teens or early twenties.
As long as a horse stays healthy and fit, they can live up to the age of 33.
It’s not uncommon for a horse to live beyond 40 years of age.
There have been horses recorded living to the age of 49 (Orchid), 56 (Sugar Puff) and even 62 (Old Billy).
3. Buying A Horse At An Auction
Buying a good horse at an auction takes years of experience.
So, if you’re new to the world of horses, steer clear of auctions.
To someone who is inexperienced at horse auctions, horses at these auctions may seem docile and calm.
However, the truth is that these horses may seem docile because they are paralyzed with fear and they may seem calm because they are drugged.
4. Purchasing A Horse On A Whim
Impulse buying should be saved for the pair of shoes you love at your local shopping mall, not for buying a horse.
Never buy a horse on first sight. Try the horse out a couple of times.
Ask lots of questions about the horse. Go home and think about the horse for a couple of days.
Look at a few other horses that you’re interested in and make comparisons.
Doing these things will help to ensure that you are choosing the right horse for you.
5. Purchasing More Horse Than You Can Handle
If you are new to horse riding or have only been riding for a short period of time, there are some horses that won’t be suitable for you.
This includes breeds like the American Warmblood and the Haflinger, which are known for their speed and agility.
First-time owners and riders do well with breeds like the American Paint Horse, the American Quarter Horse, the Appaloosa and the Morgan Horse.
6. Not Considering the Expense Of Horse Care
You’re probably well aware that there are long-term costs associated with horse ownership, after the initial purchase cost.
According to a horse ownership survey- Equine Facts: Guide to First-Time Horse Ownership– the average annual cost of owning a horse is $3,876 per horse.
The median cost is $2,419.
Horse ownership costs to consider include farrier, feeding, bedding, equipment and veterinary care.
7. Underestimating the Time Commitment Of A Horse
If your horse owner friends don’t seem to have much time for socializing, there’s a good reason why. Horses are time-consuming animals.
Most horse owners spend an average of 2-4 hours a day caring for their horse.
This includes feeding and watering, cleaning the barn and stalls, restocking supplies, farrier & veterinarian appointments, and exercise & riding time.
8. Not Investing In Horseback Riding Lessons
No one can just jump on a horse and expect to ride efficiently and safely.
It takes practice and skill. Before buying your first horse, invest in some horseback riding lessons.
These lessons will teach you the basics of riding and caring for a horse.
You’ll learn things like how to put tack on a horse, how to mount a horse, how to ride a horse at a walk pace, how to trot with a horse, as well as how to clean and groom a horse.
Like I said, horses are incredible investments that come with an enormous amount of responsibility.
Make sure you’re ready for one and don’t make these mistakes.
It’s not fair to the animal or to yourself if you realize you bit off more than you can chew.
Can you think of any other mistakes people buy when buying their first horse? Share below.