When the time has come for you to buy a horse you want to make sure you want to know exactly what horse fits your needs. Whether that is a rescue horse to love or a fancy show horse to win ribbons and trophies with you will be with your horse for the rest of their life so you want to make sure you know what you are doing. Here are some key things to remember when picking out your very own four legged friend.
Age is very important when picking out your horse. It is great to buy a yearling or foal but also takes a lot of time. You have to train the foal, make it halter and saddle broke, and much more. If you want to raise a horse then going with a foal would be a great idea! However if you want to ride it or show it then getting a foal would not be the best idea. For younger children or inexperienced riders I'd say a horse ages 11+ would do the trick. It is harder to ride a younger, flashy horse than it is to ride a well behaved 14 year old. If you have been riding a long time then buying a 6 year old would be more practical than a beginner buying a 6 year old. But if you are a beginner and you really want to buy a younger horse wait until you are more experienced. There is nothing worst then buying a young horse but not being able to ride it.
Tennessee Walking horse, Arabian, American Quarter horse, American Paint horse, Morgan horse, and Thoroughbreds are all good horses for beginners. The Shetland pony is also a good option for children. Akhal-Teke horses are best for advanced riders as they can be very energetic and difficult to manage.
The temperament of a horse is very important. It determines the behavior of the horse, whether it is flashy or playful. For beginners look for a temperament of at least 8/10, you don't want a horse you can't ride. For more advanced riders look for a temperament of at least 6/10. Even that would be a more difficult horse but if you want a challenge, go for it.
If you plan on showing your horse you'll want to buy a well behaved horse with a nice build and is good around other horses. You can get special horses for dressage or horses that are good with jumping.
Style of riding
One important thing about buying a horse is what style they specialize in. If the horse is very good at jumping but you are a western rider then buying the horse would not showcase its skills. The style of riding can also effect the breed of horse. Quarter horses are almost never used in dressage while they are the most popular for barrel racing. Make sure you are buying a horse that meets your style needs.
Buying a rescue horse is a great thing to do, although it can get pretty pricey due to lots of medical bills. Rescue horses are amazing horses although some cant ride or show anymore due to injuries. It is important to consider what your horse may and may not be able to do. If you are a big time jumper then buying a rescue horse may not give you the same experience as if you were to buy a healthy horse. Make sure you are ready to take on a rescue horse and know what they can and cant do. Rescue horses can be so much fun but if you don't have the proper experience then they can be difficult to manage due to lots and lots of checkups.
Pet or show?
One important thing to consider is if you want your horse as a pet or if you want to show them. If you want them as a pet your horse can play around all day and basically do anything they want. You can still ride them but you won't have to discipline them as much. Also think about if you want to ride your horse of if you don't. If you don't want to ride him/her you will have to get a horse walker or some sort of exercise. If you plan on showing your horse then your horse may not have as much freedom as a pet horse however they can still have a great life. You will have to ride your horse a lot more and really focus on its health so it is in top shape.
This is super important when buying a horse. Depending on the breed you may need a larger space for your horse to live. Small ponies don't need a big pasture but large horses need a lot of space to roam around. Make sure you have enough space so your horse can walk, trot, and canter.
There are so many things to consider when buying a horse. Talk to your coach when you think the time is right. You both can pick out a horse that is great for you and fits your needs. And even if you don't have a horse now you can still have fun with a lesson horse. Horseback riding is great because even if you don't have a horse you can still show and do a lot of things. I hope this post helps you when the time comes. xx The Desert Rider