Own, Loan or Share?
Hints & Tips
The prospect of having your own horse can be a very exciting one, but thinking about how much they cost can be rather daunting. There are various options open to someone wanting to enjoy caring for and riding a horse that means they don't have to fork out for the purchase price.
Loaning is one option and is a way to have full responsibility for a horse for a specified period of time. This is a popular form of horse keeping and is an attractive alternative to finding the money to actually buy a horse. However, the costs and responsibilities are just the same whether you buy or have a horse on loan.
There are a number of equine charities that place horses on loan to approved homes. An advantage to having a horse on loan from a charity would be the support and advice available to you from the charity about the care and wellbeing of a horse.
You could also look at the option of sharing a horse with an owner. This way the daily responsibilities and riding costs will be shared between you and is another good way of finding out the commitment required in looking after a horse. You can both see to the horse, dividing the necessary time between you, ensuring that the horse has the right amount of daily care and attention.
Viewing and trying a horse
It is important to go along with a suitably experienced person when viewing and trying a horse for the first time. Having their independent advice will help when assessing the suitability of the horse. You should try handling the horse in the stable and in the field, and try carrying out all routine tasks, such as grooming and putting on the saddle and bridle, before a ridden trial.
You should view the horse on a level surface to assess its conformation, straightness and soundness. Find out from the vendor about the horse's history, experience, current level of fitness and whether there are any ailments or bad habits. Make sure you try riding the horse in various circumstances in order to assess suitability and safety.