FINDING THE RIGHT HORSE
Questions to ask yourself first before you start looking:
- What will you ask of the horse ie will it be a happy hacker, childs pony or competition horse?
- How will it be kept ie Stabled and use of a paddock or totally live in a paddock?
- What skills do you as the prospective owner/keeper have?
- Will it be a youngster or an educated horse?
- Have you found somewhere to keep the horse if not at home?
When deciding on the type of horse I have more often than not come across people that have unfortunately fallen in love with the wrong horse which has ended up that both the owner and the horse suffer. If you are a beginner/novice rider, there is absolutely nothing wrong in that but please do not fall in love with a competition horse. To explain; I try and liken it to learning to drive a car, start with a reliable Ford Fiesta the Ferarri can come later!
Regarding the type of horse, for instance hardy types like the Dartmoor, New Forest ponies and Cobs normally cope well with living out at pasture but more fine bred horses and ponies may need stabling and an additional feeding regime which you need to take into account.
It takes much further skill when owning a youngster than an established horse, you may feel that it will be lovely to learn together, yes this can be successful but it can also be a serious failure. It can take just a day for your little one to go from a cuddly pony to a monster and too often than not the human blames the pony but I’m afraid it is normally the opposite. They need handling with confidence and boundaries set from the start just like a toddler does, so if you have the option of a youngster or an older horse please make the right decision for you.
YOUR HORSES HOME
It is crucial that you have a place for your horse to live before you go ahead with the purchase or loan. If you are going to keep your horse at a livery yard it can be harder to find somewhere at winter time as this is when livery yards are most popular as owners who previously only kept their horse in a paddock now need shelter for them.
BRINGING YOUR HORSE HOME
It is a very exciting time when you have your new horse home but do bear in mind it can be quite unsettling for the horse, give it time to get used to its surroundings and be aware that its behaviour can change, therefore the horse you thought you saw when you first went to see it at its old home maybe totally different in your new home.
Again I try and explain to people imagine how you feel when you start a new school or start a new job it can be quite daunting but at least you know why you are there, your new horse doesn’t, give it time to settle and over the following days, weeks, months and years enjoy building your new relationship and most importantly Have Fun!
Written by: Sam Jamieson © 2015