Guest Post by Liz Greene.
Horses are fantastic creatures, there’s no doubt about it. The bond we create with them is so strong that horses literally never forget human friends. However, owning a horse is no easy feat. It requires copious amounts of both time and money. If you’re thinking about adding a horse to your family, here’s what you need to know.
Tack and Equipment
Your horse will need blankets, brushes, bridles, a saddle and so much more. Expect to pay at least $1000 (on the low end) for equipment.
Feed and Supplements
Expect hay, grain, and supplements to run $80-$500 a month depending on where you live and the cost of hay.
Horses need their hooves trimmed every six to eight weeks. Some horses will also require shoes. Trimming costs typically run $30-$75 per visit; shoeing costs $75-$300.
If you’re new to horse ownership, you’ll need riding lessons. Lesson prices are usually subject to where you live and the level of experience the instructor has, but expect to pay $35-$100 an hour.
A beginner rider should always choose a horse by its temperament and training, rather than by breed or color. It’s of great importance to spend time with the horse, ride it, and learn as much as you can about its manners, both on the ground and while you ride. It should be calm, willing, patient, level-headed, tolerate mistakes, and be forgiving if you don’t get it right the first time. Young horses, even well-trained ones, are more unpredictable, easier to upset, and more often than not, less experienced. Consider purchasing an older horse as they usually make a calmer mount.
Before you buy a horse you should enroll in weekly riding lessons with a reputable trainer or instructor. Spend some time mucking out stalls, brushing and cleaning horses, maintaining hooves, and learning the signs and symptoms of equine medical issues.
It’s also a good idea to consider a full or partial lease of a horse for at least six months before buying. When leasing a horse, you pay either a fixed fee or a portion of the horse’s expenses in exchange for riding time.
Deciding to buy a horse is a huge commitment — and not just when it comes to finances. You’ll need to visit your horse at least twice a day, seven days a week to clean stalls, provide fresh food, grooming, and exercise.
Liz Greene hails from the beautiful city of trees, Boise, Idaho. She’s a lover of all things geek and is happiest when cuddling with her dogs and catching up on the latest Marvel movies. You can follow her on Twitter @LizVGreene or delve deeper into her internal musings at InstantLo
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