What will owning a horse involve?

Owning a horse is not as simple as you might think. You will have to consider the following:

Why do you want a horse?

How time consuming is it? What will it cost? Do I have enough experience?

How do i go about finding a horse that is right for me?

Before buying a horse you will need to consider the following factors:

How much money have I got to spend?

What type of horse should I buy? What height should my horse be? What sex horse should I buy? Do I want a registered horse? Now you can start searching for your perfect match! Spread the word, news travels fast, you never know, something may come up. Keep an eye out in the popular horsey magazines and on the numerous equestrian websites on the Internet.

What should I look out for when i go and see a horse for sale?

Go and see a variety of horses and get a feel of what is going to suit you best. You will need to check out the following before making any decisions:

See the horse in a stable:

Note the horses general health: Check the horses feet and legs: Examine the horses body: Examine the horse at work (someone else should ride at this stage): Ride the horse yourself: If you are still interested, go back and ride a few more times. Get a feel for the horse and be objective, no horse is perfect, you may have to compromise with a few minor faults. As long as the horse is sound and willing to perform, patience and practice will resolve any minor problems resulting in a happy combination.

What should I do next?

Once you have made the decision that you would like to buy a horse, it is advisable to find a vet that will carry out a pre-purchase examination on the horse. Not only will it give you peace of mind, but if you intend to insure your horse, the insurance company you choose will probably request to see a copy of the pre-purchase examination certificate. The examination is not cheap but it may prevent spending large amounts of money on a horse with existing or possible health problems. It also maximises the chance of the horse successfully going through re-sale vettings.
    The vet will examine the horse in 5 different stages:
  1. Preliminary examination
  2. Trotting-up
  3. Strenuous exercise
  4. Period of rest
  5. Second trot and foot examination
This examination follows strict guidelines laid down by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in conjunction with the British Veterinary Association and British Equine Veterinary Association.

All 5 stages will examine different aspects of the horse, including respiratory and musculoskeletal systems at work and at rest. The tests will determine soundness and suitability. Questions to the vendor will be posted, eg vaccination record, general behaviour and behaviour while being shod, clipped, travelling, etc. Blood samples, radiographs, endoscopy and other diagnostic tests can be carried out if you feel necessary.

You should discuss the results of the prepurchase examination with the veterinary surgeon who carried out the examination. No horse or pony is perfect and you should listen carfeully to the information that is given to you. You should question the veterinary surgeon regarding any worries you or he/she might have. Remember it is a clinical examination carried out at one particular time and not a guarantee for the rest of the horse's life.

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