Think You're Ready to Purchase a Horse?
 By Spyricale   •   5th Jan 2012   •   4,487 views   •   23 comments
Ready to Purchase a HorsePurchasing something as great as a horse can prove as a very exciting experience for anybody. Whether you are going to board it or plan to keep it at home, everything about the lifestyle of owning a horse will take you on roller coaster of joy, pain, love, sorrow, despair, and even sometimes, the most tragic of experiences that litters one with permanent scars. These pieces of informative discussion will dive deep into the depths of the situations of preparing for owning a horse, taking the necessary precautions when purchasing your horse, and the things you'll need to properly and responsibly care for a horse.


Yes, we will be discussing finances. Now, you may be too young to be involved with the bills, the income, the taxes, etc., but you still need to make sure that both you and your family will be providing enough money for the horse you plan to purchase. Many irresponsible people buy horses cheaply, or for free, but the important thing that you have to remember is that the price of purchasing a horse is only the beginning of the long process.

The spending does not end here.

Let's count down from the most basic of necessities and needs that is mandatory for owning a horse responsibly. Feed, water, supplements, farrier work, vet work, environment, and tack. This is the very first thing you need to talk over with your parents before ever beginning to search the ads for horses. Are you yourself willing to get a job to pay for some of the expenses? Are your parents also ready for the daily, monthly, and yearly costs, let alone a possible emergency vet bill? Is your family ready to pay for and properly build a safe enclosure and shelter for your horse? It's one thing to say that you are, but another to actually do it when the time arrives. All of these prices for so many things are different depending on country, region, state, etc. You also must always consider the fact that, at any time, your horse can end up in a fatal state of injury, at which point the vet should be called out to either treat or euthanize your horse. Every good horse owner will make sure that a hefty chunk of money is set aside somewhere in case of emergencies regarding your horse's health and welfare. It is up to you to research and look into it with your family, and to make your decision based on whether or not you are truthfully financially stable enough to own a horse.


Discuss with your family if whether you will be keeping it at home or boarding at a stable. Depending on this decision, even if you do not keep your horse at home with you, you still will be charged the monthly fees of either full, part, or self-care board. If boarding, you need to make sure to search, with your family, for a reputable, legitimate boarding stable that is both safe and reliable before ever leaving your horse in their care. If you have decided to possess the luxury of having your equine companion at home, you may be one of those who think stringing up some loose barbed wire and nailing together a few boards is quite sufficient enough.

It isn't.

And those who think it is are not doing their horses any kind of favor by forcing them to survive in such dangerous conditions. You must provide proper shelter, an enclosure, and/or a stall. There are countless different types of fencing out there, from the most expensive to the cheaper sorts. Electric with capped T-posts is one of the most popular, but weather ailments always seem to break it down, causing loose horses, electrocution, and many other different problems you will want to avoid. Wooden fencing is great when properly set up, but you have to consider the amount of maintenance it takes to keep it in good condition. Rain causes rot, your horse may chew and/or crib on the wood, causing splinters, cracks, breaks, and the like. Although expensive, from my experience, a great type of enclosure that lasts years is a panel fencing with thick, wood posts. It is safe, strong, efficient, and will never become affected by any type of weather that decides to come your way. Although the horse still may chew the wooden posts, these can be replaced, and the chewing habit snuffed with the proper diet and feeding regimen.

Whatever type of fencing you choose to enclose your horse in, make sure to keep a great distance between your horse and barbed wire, uncapped T-posts, smooth wire, stock fencing, chain link, chicken wire, etc. Any type of fencing with the word "wire" included in its name is a strong indication for you to run the other way. Also, avoid any type of fencing with gaps that are too small for a horse to safely pull a hoof or limb out if they manage to push it through. It needs to be large enough so that, if they do end up in that situation, they can easily pull themselves back out. Make sure the fencing is at least five feet high, as you want to certainly avoid a loose horse that decided to jump a low fence. The ideal span of an area for an enclosure can vary from the type of lifestyle you live and the acreage of your property, to the time you have to spend with your horse to give it the proper amount of exercise it needs if it will be kept in a smaller enclosure. But remember, make it no smaller than a hundred by a hundred feet. At this point, you can make it as large as you want, or down to the smaller size. You want to make sure your horse has enough room to move around, and even play. Cramped, tiny spaces make for horses with endless energy, small attention spans, misbehavior, and possible accidents. Give your horse the proper amount of room to move freely. The amount of space where you won't have to worry if you have missed a few days of exercise due to unforeseen circumstances.

If your horse has a stall, and you have hooked the enclosure onto it, then that's an efficient, perfect shelter. Buy horse-savvy bedding at your local feed store to use in the stall. (Never, ever use black walnut shavings unless you want a dead horse.) Make sure to give your paddock and stall many visits before putting the horse in it to make sure there are no toxic plants growing, no sharp, poking edges, nails, pieces of glass, metal scraps, etc. You want everything as safe and as clean as possible. Including the stall. A metal detector is a great investment to use for searching for hidden metal items that you would have otherwise missed. You can provide yourself with a book about plants that are toxic to horses for your area so that you have the knowledge to identify and safely remove them. Poisonous trees that must be removed include oak, all species of cherry, red maple, horse chestnut, black walnut, black locust, and peach and plum trees. It would be wise to remove all poisonous trees from the property, as the leaves can inevitably blow into your horse's pen, even if you think you have the trees located in an area well away from your horse.

Schedule and time

You have to also consider, as your family must as well, what your time frame and scheduling is going to be regarding your horse and other possible activities. What about school? Sports? Hanging out with friends? Homework? You must adjust your time accordingly if you ever plan to ride or spend as much time with your horse as possible. What will happen if you have to leave for school in the morning and no one is around to feed your horse? You don't have to handle your horse every day, but as much as possible. Many people have to give up their horses or sell them because they were purchased on a whim. When you take on a horse, you take on a commitment, and it is very important that you dedicate yourself to that commitment as much as possible. Remember, it is your horse. Not your brother's, your parents', your neighbor's.


If you suddenly discover that you are overly busy and have barely enough time for any of your own non-horsey activities, it is best to reject the idea of owning a horse until later. Leasing or working at a local stable in exchange for riding lessons would be a much better idea until your life has improved.

Book a vet or farrier

Many people think reading a couple of books on horse care is adequate enough to be qualified to own a horse, but in my opinion, you should have at least two or more years' hands-on experience with horses before ever looking into purchasing one. New owners make mistakes all of the time, usually at the horse's expense. Call a good local vet and/or farrier if you have any questions regarding your horse, and research as much as possible. If you have someone in your family or an instructor that is more experienced and can offer advice to you whenever you need it, I advise you to take as much information as you can, ask questions, and allow everything to soak into your brain. You are doing your horse a big favor by becoming more knowledgeable, so do not be afraid or shy to ask questions about anything that might be confusing to you. Use common sense when you are given advice, look it up on the Internet to confirm it, and ask yourself if you are comfortable with the given advice or not. Many supposedly experienced horse people give dangerous and even sometimes lethal advice that, unfortunately, new owners tend to blindly follow until the end.

Basic items

A water trough, feeder, grooming kit, shovel, apple picker, wheelbarrow, bedding, hose/faucet, a halter and lead line, and a vet's first aid kit are all necessary things you'll need to prepare and/or purchase before you bring in your horse. Assuming that the fencing and shelter has already been made. A feeder can either be set high on a fence or placed on the ground, although when mounted on a fence, your horse eventually develops under muscling on its neck that results in an upside down or "ewe" neck. You can look into other pieces of tack and more sophisticated things later on in your ownership. These basic ones are all going to be used in your journey to becoming a successful, confident horse owner.

Remember, your horse depends on you for its care. It is up to you to make sure that it receives the best, safest care possible while with you. Owning a horse isn't as easy as it seems in movies, books, or the like. Many people become burnt out on it or younger kids just aren't into it anymore when they realize how much work it takes and that it's just not all about riding and showing. That is why leasing before buying is such a great idea. When you purchase, you're agreeing to take on a commitment, and I only hope that, once you have gone through with it, you'll solidly stick to that commitment for the sake of your horse.
Horse News More In This Category:  Care and Grooming      Horse News More From This Author:  Spyricale
Love it Spy! You should write a weakly, or monthly article. Maybe some of them could be about proper tack, proper grooming, etc. I loved reading this!
  45 days ago  •  2,335 views
goood job!
  45 days ago  •  2,343 views
*presses love button* This was great! I have the electric fencing with caped T-posts and it works really well. We actually keep it off once Madeira learned because I got zapped by it once and 20,000 volts to the head does NOT feel good...
  45 days ago  •  2,589 views
All That Jazz  
Love it! Needed to be said. :)
  45 days ago  •  2,363 views
A very good article and very useful to anyone considering buying a horse, I like that you mentioned about the two years experience as well, many people don't realise the amount of work that actually goes into it. I was very lucky having my mum and grandparents who have a horsey background so I was always around them and got a pony of my own when I was about 6 or 7 (I can't quite remember :P). But I don't go out with my friends very much during the winter either because of the amount of work that it takes having 5 to ride and 10 to look after.
But I would say that for anyone who can afford post and rain fencing, electric tape/rope is a great option, horses learn to respect it and until they're particularly excited, they wont go through it.
  45 days ago  •  2,547 views
Estella Noire  
Wow, amazing article :)
  44 days ago  •  2,544 views
Great article!
I had problems with the environment part when I was buying Phoebe Dee, I wasn't experienced enough to allow her to live on our property, I had to find a boarding stables so I could get help and advice if I needed it. For first time owners, I would seriously recomend this as having other people there who know what they are doing really help with stopping you making stupid mistakes that can be disarsterous for your horse!
  44 days ago  •  2,608 views
Lovely first article, Spy ! :D
  44 days ago  •  2,631 views
That was such a wonderful article! I cannot tell you how many people in the world should be reading this right now.
  44 days ago  •  2,591 views
Cruisin Past Curfew  
Very intresting! Please write more!
  44 days ago  •  2,590 views
Totally agree with this! I got my horse 4 years ago and as a first time horse owner i never expected all the work! it's hard! I've lost three horses in 4 years, one to cushing, one to a barn fire, and one to a heart attack! it's a rough road. Im now moving my horse to a boarding situation for the first time. Also you might want to add owning your own horse on at your own house is great! EXCEPT you will miss the opportunity to learn and be around other horse people who will teach you so much. I'm very excited to be around other horse people and teens with like-minded ambitions. It's really good for you! though i built a super strong bond with my mare because it was just me and her allot.
  44 days ago  •  2,610 views
Carpe Diem  
Great article. A lot of people out there NEED to read this!
  44 days ago  •  2,594 views
Very well siad about their Environment.
  43 days ago  •  2,814 views
Starlight Farm  
Very nice article! I'm glad you touched on so many issues that people often ignore - especially the extra finances, which can add up to thousands more than that cost of the horse. I'd just like to add a few things: get your horse checked by a vet (including a drug test), most horses don't need supplements, and don't buy a cribber. Also, look for generally good conformation (less likely to have issues) especially good hooves, which can become a big maintenance issue. And of course, good ground manners and temperament are a must, especially since you actually spend about 70% of your time with your horse on the ground. As for the toxic plants, get rid of them, but you don't have to freak out about every little thing you find - horses often avoid the plants that are toxic to them, such as buttercups and black cherry trees (provided the tree trunks themselves are outside the paddock). But overall, a very good article for people thinking about buying a horse :D
  43 days ago  •  2,636 views
Run Free  
Brilliant artical Spy. This si brilliant advice for people ready to buy. I keep Angel at a family owned stud so the keep is very cheap and if anything is being changed in all the stables or the fields then everyone chips in. Unfortunatly troubles DON'T end here there is a lot of people out there that will say a horse is better than it is or 'forget' to tell you about some medical history or 'don't know the horse did such and such' also I'v heard 'Well it never bucked/reared/weaved etc. that I know of'
  43 days ago  •  2,666 views
Painted Destiny  
Great article! Can't wait for the next one you write!
  42 days ago  •  2,599 views
Double Spur Ranch  
Very great article!!!
  41 days ago  •  2,603 views
Spy, this is the most amazing article I have ever seen! I would love it if you continued on how to care for a horse, such as bathing it, grooming it, measuring feed, etc. Five gold stars! :)
  39 days ago  •  2,623 views
Deleted Accounts  
thank you thank you thank you:D this helped so much since i might be getting a horse in july!
  37 days ago  •  2,620 views
Thanks Spy!! Love love love this article! I was questioning weather i was ready for owning horse...And from what you've said and from my trainer and a few others, i think i am.. The onlything standing in my way is money and my parents.. )
But i will be able to get a job this summer! Whoohoo!! But the down side is i would have to board and i can't start driving until January of next year.:((( Which is a big part of my parents not wanting to get me a horse.. Actually i think besides the money factor it's the only thing! But i can start by getting the stuff together i will need when the time comes.. **Sigh**
Thanks again! you did agreat job! I think you should totally do a weekly thing, I would read all of them!!! :))
  36 days ago  •  2,627 views
Love it.. good job! Totally agree with everything, nice:)
  17 days ago  •  2,593 views
I completley agree Spyricale! Theres so many people out there who buy horses without really thinking about its needs and keep it in a small paddock with no safe fencing. Its ridiculus, horses need good quality everything, if you can't afford it, don't get a horse.
  15 days ago  •  2,610 views
I completley agree Spyricale! Theres so many people out there who buy horses without really thinking about its needs and keep it in a small paddock with no safe fencing. Its ridiculus, horses need good quality everything, if you can't afford it, don't get a horse.
  15 days ago  •  2,610 views
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