Shopping for your first horse can be equal parts exciting and perplexing. Unless you’re an experienced rancher or accomplished equestrian, the horse buying process is liable to strike you as confusing, if not downright overwhelming. Because of this, many first-time buyers make mistakes and are taken advantage of by unscrupulous sellers who are all-too-eager to prey on their inexperience. Fortunately, buying your first horse doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Taking the following pointers to heart will help you make an informed decision when searching for the right horse.
Don’t Buy Based on Looks
As is the case with other animals, some people buy horses based solely on looks – specifically their color. Given the size, strength and temperament of these animals, this is never a good idea. While wanting a healthy-looking horse is perfectly understandable, limiting your options to horses of a certain color is unwise. Instead, it’s in your best interest to prioritize training and temperament over aesthetics. Furthermore, after making your choice, don’t hesitate to purchase comprehensive horse insurance.
Avoid Buying on Impulse
A horse is not a small investment. In addition to the enormous prices associated with these animals, they require a considerable amount of care – which requires a considerable amount of your time and energy. That being the case, you should never purchase a horse on impulse. Any horse you invest in should be one that you’ve spent time with and feel safe around. For this reason, many reputable sellers offer trial periods with their horses.
Consider the Ongoing Costs
Horse ownership is far from inexpensive. Because of the high costs involved with feeding, grooming and sheltering these animals, many people simply can’t afford to keep them. It’s important for prospective owners to understand that purchasing a horse is only the beginning. Throughout the animal’s life, you’ll be responsible for its food, boarding and medical bills. Since horses can live for more than 30 years, owners should expect to spend a significant amount of money on their animals. Before buying a horse, you should go over your finances and confirm that you can comfortably afford to keep one.
The horse buying process can seem like an uphill battle, particularly for people who don’t have much experience with purchasing these animals. However, you can simplify this experience by arming yourself with the right knowledge. When shopping around for your first horse, remember to avoid buying based on looks, buying on impulse and failing to consider the cumulative cost of horse ownership.