If you’re thinking of buying your first horse, read this first!
Horses are a major investment & need A LOT of care!
Are you REALLY ready for one?
Check out our guide to things to consider BEFORE searching for the horse of your dreams!
4 THINGS TO Think About BEFORE BUYING YOUR FIRST HORSE
When it comes to the United States horse population, the most comprehensive number comes from the 2017 Economic Impact Study of the U.S. Horse Industry.
This study is conducted by the American Horse Council Foundation (AHCF), the only national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C.
The study counts 1,013,746 horse owners that own or lease farms housing 7,246,835 horses in the United States.
Are you thinking of adding to this statistic? Well, there are a few things you need to think about before buying your first horse.
#1 Do you have enough time to devote to a horse?
It is a fact that horse ownership is pretty time-consuming. In fact, caring for a horse is a full-time, long-term commitment.
Horses need care 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. And it doesn’t matter if the sun is shining or if it’s pouring rain.
Most experts agree that the bare minimum amount of time that you can plan on devoting to caring for your horse is approximately 8-10 hours per week.
However, the average amount of time to plan on is about 14-17 hours a week. Do you have this kind of time?
Can you get your horse’s daily chores done and still get to work or school on time?
As a horse owner, you’ll have daily horse care tasks such as brushing a horse and daily barn chores, as well as weekly, monthly and annual horse care tasks.
You can read more about these tasks over at Horse Rookie.
#2 what is the right size of horse for you?
A horse’s height is measured in ‘hands.’ One hand is equal to 4 inches.
Horses are measured from the ground to the highest point of the withers. The withers is the ridge that is located between the horse’s shoulder blades.
The average height and weight of a horse will depend on their age and breed.
However, as a general rule of thumb, horses will average between 14.2 and 19.2 ‘hands’ tall, with an average weight of anywhere between 900 and 2,200 pounds.
As for ponies, they measure an average of 9.2 to 14.2 ‘hands’ tall and they will weigh between 400 and 900 pounds.
As a general rule, the size of the horse you will need will depend on your height and weight.
#3 what age of horse should you purchase?
Horses live for quite a long time. In fact, as long as they are properly cared for, horses can live an average of 25-30 years.
Horses will usually reach adulthood at the age of 4 years old.
At this time, female horses are called mares, and males are known as stallions if they aren’t castrated and are known as geldings if they are castrated.
When horses reach the age of 15, they are considered senior horses. As a first-time owner, the best option is a horse that is between the ages of 10 and 15.
These horses are likely to have predictable behavior, as well as more experience and training.
A young horse is often less steady and has less experience, handling and training.
#4 what do you feed a horse to keep it healthy?
Horses are herbivores, meaning they get their energy from eating plant material.
The basic food requirements for horses are fresh grass, hay, grains (commonly, oats), fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as some salts and minerals.
Horses need to eat about 20% of their weight in hay or grass each day.
As for fresh fruits and vegetables, apples and carrots are the favorite treats of most horses, but they also enjoy bananas, celery, grapes, and snow peas.
Water is important for horses in order to avoid colic and dehydration.
So, they need unlimited access to fresh, clean water.
Also check: 8 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Buying Their First Horse
How did you handle and take care of your first horse? Share some tips below!