List of things that student needs to learn how to do before buying horse: (Pony club has a much better and more complete list)
- Put together and take apart different kinds of bridles
- Understand different types of bits and their uses
- Roughly evaluate saddle fit
- Lunge a horse
- Understand feeding principals and evaluate various types of feed by reading feed label.
- Braid for shows
- Basic horse first aid & recognizing/identifying illness and injury
- Polo wrap and use standing bandages effectively and safely
Are you planning on purchasing a trailer? If not, do you have someone you can borrow one from? You will need to at least have emergency access to a trailer in situations when training/barn manager is not available.
- Are you prepared to pay up to $110 every 6-weeks for shoes? At a bare minimum horse will need feet trimmed every 6-8 weeks at $40/trim.
- Who is going to hold horse for the farrier? Are you willing to rearrange your schedule to meet when one is already coming to the barn or would you rather schedule on your own?
Farm calls in this area are extremely expensive and hard to get in Arkansas (see trailering above).
- Do you have an emergency fund set aside for vet care if the horse needs it?
- Will you purchase insurance?
- If your horse colics and needs surgery or has a debilitating lameness are you willing to have these procedures or are you willing to put the horse down?
- If not, are you willing to pay retirement board on the horse for the rest of its life?
- At a minimum horse will need coggins test one time/year, worming every 3 months, vaccinations 1-2x year (Horses showing in USEF/USEA rated shows have to have documented fluRhino vaccination every 6 months).
If your horse develops a behavioral problem are you willing to invest in extra training for in the form of lessons or clinics? Are you willing to have someone put training rides on the horse or send the horse off to an outside trainer?
What happens when student goes off to college, becomes ill, or has to move?
If student is under the age of 18 does he/she want to take a horse to college? If horse is left behind, who will pay board?
If you have to sell the horse, are you willing to “take a loss” on initial purchase price? If not, are you willing to make investments into the horses training/show record to increase its value?
Are you willing to lease the horse out of farm? If so, what happens if leaser stops leasing the horse or it has an injury?
Budgeting: What are you willing to spend on the following?
- Purchase Price of Horse (cheapest part)
- Supplements/medication (monthly)
- Training/Lessons/Clinics (monthly)
- Showing (monthly/bi-monthly)
- Board (monthly) Board at my farm is $300/month and includes up to 7 lbs of grain/day
- Farrier/Vet/Maintenance (monthly)
Write down goals:
- 6 Month
- 1 Year
- By start of college/graduation/other life benchmark
- 5-10 years