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Postby GoldenDachsund » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:12 pm

Hey Oodles and Catta,

I thought I would post on an existing thread to engage with some horse people. My wife has been kinda of hinting under her breath that she wants to get a horse. We have the land and I am considering pulling the trigger, but I have no idea as to which breed, if I should get the horse trained etc.

I want to horse to be a surprise, so asking questions is kind of out of the question. What on earth should I do?
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Buying a Horse

Postby 2tottons » Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:48 pm

Hi GoldenDachsund:

May I ask a few questions?

First, what sort of riding does your wife want to do?

Does she have any health issues, like back problems?

Has she ridden before?

Where do you live (rural or in an area where traffic can be busy at times).

Do you have room to keep your horse at your residence or will it be boarded?

If your wife wants to trail ride, then many breeds will fit the bill. You don't want a very young horse, nor one that is senior; a teenager, if you will (8 yrs to 12 yrs).

If your wife wants to participate in events such as field trails, then you want a gaited breed, such as a Tennessee Walker or Missouri Fox Trotter. It is difficult for a non-gaited breed to maintain the gait of a Walker or Fox Trotter and you will find in events like Field Trials, gaited breeds are ridden. (http://www.gaitedhorses.net/Articles/FT ... rial.shtml)

If your wife has any back problems, the gaited breeds again are an excellent choice, offering a smoother ride than your non-gaited breeds. You would have to ride one from each class to understand this. :D

If your wife may be riding where cars, trucks, motorcycles could pass by, you want to be sure the horse does not spook easily.

I strongly suggest training, not just for the horse, but for your wife as well. If she hasn't ridden before, or it has been years since she rode, training is in order and the best for horse and rider alike.

As a personal preference, I prefer geldings over mares (you do not want a stallion). Mares can be termpermental when they are in their heat cycle. A gelding is the same, every day.

If you don't have knowledge on horses and the "lingo" when buying, riding, etc, take someone with you that does. I am sorry to tell you that I have not met a person yet that was selling a horse, that wasn't a bit dishonest when describing the horse. Trust me, if the horse was a wonderful as they are going to tell you it is, they wouldn't be selling him.

If you have any questions you'd like to ask, feel free. I'll try to answer as best I can or direct you to someone that can.

Good luck. Horse ownership can be rewarding!
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Re: A great site

Postby lindzrae » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:16 am

hi! 2tottons is right. you need to put alot of thought and consideration into what you are going to be doing with this horse. I highly recommend that if you have never been around horses to find someone who has and to get with a reputable trainer ASAP. you also need to establish how much you want to spend on a horse and stick to that. This is a buyer's market right now, but be wary of any horses that are "on sale". I myself have ridden a variety of breeds over the years but would have to say that one of the best is the American Quarter Horse or the Paint Horse. They are like the Lab of the horse world. I would not recommend a Thoroughbred or an Arabian for a first time horse as they can be sensitive and have a hotter temperament than other breeds.

another thing- you must understand the cost of horse ownership up front. All too often people over look this vital part of horse ownership. Here is a list of some things you will need to purchase initially

1- a trailer. Some brands are better than others. price can vary greatly. you must make sure that the trailer has a good floor!
2- Tack- saddle- anywhere from $500-$5000(and that's a rather limited range. it all depends on what kind of riding you will do). a bridle- anywhere from $50-$150(again depending on type of riding and quality of leather.) Bits- I have found that this is not an area to scrimp on. A good bit can make all the difference in the world when communicating with your horse.- Saddle blankets- a good western saddle blanket will run you $75-$200 for one. Girth- very important to get the right length. they vary in price depending on material. These are just the basic tack that you need in order to ride.
3- feed and hay- Right now hay is at one of the highest prices I have seen in the last few years in Texas. I buy Alfalfa hay which is very high in protein and it can cost up to $17 a bale for good quality hay. you can expect to go through about a bale every few days if you get a sqaure bale. a round bale made out of coastal will last you about 2-3 weeks with one horse, but many horses tend to put on significant weight with these if they are not ridden regularly. Grain is also important. It can range from $9 a bag to $22 a bag. how much you go through is dependent on how much you feed and whether you feed it 1 or 2 times daily. Many horses also need a joint supplement, depending on the amount of work they do, what discipline, or their age. I use a supplement that costs around $275 every 58 days per horse. Again, there are many supplements out there with varying costs.
Blankets- Even if you keep your horse outside during the winter, I recommend having a good quality turnout blanket for extreme winter weather. expect to pay between $75-$400.
4- Shoeing- if the horse you buy has been shod the majority of their life, i think it is important to continue this because their feet are used to having some protection. you can expect to pay $35 or more for a basic trim, to $60-$100 for a trim that includes new shoes. Shoe prices depend on the style of shoe.
5- Miscellaneous- grooming paraphanelia, protective boots, flyspray, worming, yearly vaccinations, halters, lead ropes, reins, breast collars, helmets, buckets, cleaning supplies....the list goes on and on. This are many other things that are needed for certain disciplines, which is why it's important to decide what you want to do before beginning your search.

There are three very important things you need in order to own a healthy horse.
1) a reputable trainer. If your wife has never ridden, then she MUST have someone teach her. It's extremely dangerous for both human and equine to put a beginner rider on a horse and expect them to know how to handle a horse.
2) a good Vet- a good vet is essential to keeping a horse healthy. It's in you and the horse's best interest to have a quality vet that can be there in the event of sickness or injury, and to help keep your horse on a vaccination and worming schedule. Experience and time will allow you to do a few things yourself, but having a professional that is familiar with you and your animal is invaluable.
3) Farrier- A farrier can cripple a horse for a year in one shoeing. They are instrumental in making sure your horse has healthy feet, which keeps them sound and happy, and keeps you in the saddle!

Owning a horse can be a very rewarding experience, I just believe that people need to look past the romanticism of owning a horse and look at the reality of it.

I hope that if you have any more questions you will post them and I will try to help you. Please note, that I listed everything that I could think of off the top of my head, but I'm sure I'm forgetting one or two things!
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