Not too long ago I received an email from a horse enthusiast asking for help with what to know and learn about purchasing, caring for and learning to ride.
I’ve had my share of rough and brilliant rides and sweet and ornery horses. I have spent a good amount of time in of my life working with horses and have found a love to rehabilitate those who need help, both horse and owner. I was delighted to be the one this person contacted for help.
Here is what I shared:
“This sounds like quite a project. I am not surprised that you have experienced big differences between various horses. Not all horses have the same abilities. They like humans come in all shapes and sizes. Some are great for distance, some for quick maneuvers like cow work, some for jumping and more.
As prey animals they have a lot of natural self-preservation instincts, which often clash with our own self-preservation human instincts. It is important to commit to learning all you can about horses so that you will be a good and adequate owner of horses.
I specialize in this field and can give you the lessons you need.
Figure out what your own personal goals are and the kind of riding you intend to do and then proceed to find out what breeds best fit your needs. I can help you with that once you decide your own goals.
Here are some ideas to set those goals.
Ask yourself; Where do I want to ride? What size horse do I want? What temperament do I want? What speeds do I want to go? Where will my horse live? How much time can I give to a horse? What is my budget for this project; horses, feed, lessons, time, etc.
Once you know your goals and what breeds best suit your needs, the hunt is on. The next thing to consider when purchasing a horse from a seller is to find out what the horse’s job has been, what their experience with people has been. There are horses for sale and there are horses that can be rescued.
All horses can handle new training as long as they are not mentally and physically spent by their previous handling. It is far easier to say no to a horse before you own them than to jump in too quickly and learn later that it was not a good choice for you. It could take a very long time to find what you want but it is well worth the effort to take your time and be thorough.
Once you have found horses that match your needs the best you still have work in front of you. The horses have to get used to their new environment and their new horse buddies in the short term. To develop that long term bond will take much more time and effort. Even with a concerted effort it is generally 4 months before you will feel that bond.
In the process you learn how they think and operate and what their needs are. I specialize in this area and can help you build that trust that builds that bond. All the time and effort is well worth it. In the end the reward you get from these incredible animals is hands down magnificent.
I say to all of you reading this, when thinking about owning horses, there is a lot to do and work towards to be able to give the best life possible. Horses can live up to about 36 years, so it is a long-term commitment. I am always happy to talk with anyone who is interested in taking on the project of becoming a new horse owner.