Horses and Their Care

If you have horses or maybe you are thinking of buying a horse they can be a wonderful companion but they are expensive. I have had horses most of my life and have participated in horse shows, rodeos, trail rides and just for pleasure. Horses can bring you many hours of pleasure but there is work and cost involved. If you are cost efficient you can own a horse and enjoy them without going broke. Right now it is a buyer’s market. People are trying to cut down on their horse herds so if you can afford to buy, now is the time.

My first suggestion if you are in the market for a good everyday pleasure horse is to check at local universities that have horse programs. Our local university has a sale every year and they will have riding stock that has been handled and ridden by students. These horses have been handled and started and sometimes are the class horses that are burned out from being ridden in a circle every day and need a fresh start. My husband and I picked up a very good gaited mare from such a sale one year, only paying $700 and she has been our best riding horse. If you know of a sale in your area coming up then go out to the university and visit. Tell them you are looking for a good horse. If they don’t have any horses for sale you might find a good lead from the class instructor or students on where you can find one.

My second suggestion would be to check your local riding and boarding stables or check ads on line. However, be careful of buying a horse, sight unseen on line. If you can, go and see the horse in person. Ask that it be ridden (with a saddle) for you. Study its ground manners, can the owner pick up it’s feet, saddle it, bridle it, and ride it around without problems. Unless you are a good cowboy, don’t buy a horse that has been in a pasture for several years, hasn’t been ridden and expect a good trail horse the next day. These horses will need work and/or maybe a trainer which will cost you more money. Ask questions….don’t be embassed that maybe your questions sound dumb. It’s like buying a new car you’re not sure what all the buttons and gadgets do, so ask!! Be safe….not sorry. When and if you decide that this is the horse for you, then pay a little extra and get a vet check. Yes, that is an additional cost but it can save you money if this horse has problems that will cost you vet bills later down the road….

Does it matter if your new horse has registration papers or not? It depends on what you are planning to do with them. My best riding mare doesn’t have papers. I am not showing her and don’t plan on breeding her so I don’t really care. I have had horses with papers and good blood lines and when you are showing them then it’s important. If you just want a good riding horse, then it’s not the papers that will carry you down the road.

Stay tuned…more to come on horses and their care.

Good Tip When You Need A Neighbor to Feed for You:

So you have to leave town for a few days and need someone to feed your horse for you? This responsibility worries some people especially if they are not familiar with horses. When I go out of town for a few days I usually pre-measure my horses’s feed in plastic tubs. I buy those cheap plastic rope tubs from the local Wal-Mart and pre-measure the hay for each horse. Then all the neighbor has to do is come over and dump the hay in the feeder. This is also nice on me for the mornings when it is cold.