Lots of people have dreams of owning a horse. However, once you’re confronted with the option of actually getting one, you may all of a sudden become a kid in a candy store; there are so many types of horses to choose from! How do you choose the right one for you?
Consider the following before choosing a horse. - Do you have enough money and time for a horse? Horses are a serious investment. Do you have the time to care for your horse? Do you have a place for your horse to stay (such as a barn) or a place where you can board the horse? Why do you want a horse (such as competition or pleasure)? Is that a good reason? Are you ready to take on such a commitment? Horses can live for a long time--more than 20 years! Do you have the necessary supplies? You'll need lots of stuff to care for and ride your horse, including tack, grooming supplies, and feed. Do you have contacts? Every horse needs a good farrier and vet, and, in some cases, a skilled trainer. Having these phone numbers ahead of time can save your horse's life in an emergency.
Keep an open mind about the color of a horse versus its behavior. You may come across a horse that is both a breed and color you love, but if the horse is not well behaved, you might regret the choice. If you take home a horse with an excellent temperament, you will likely not regret your choice even if it is not exactly your favorite color or breed.
Meet the horse you're considering buying and spend time with him at his current home. See him in as many environments as possible, like his stall, the arena, and outside, and do everything with him you'd normally do at home, like tacking him up, bathing him, and, of course, riding him. Look at his physical appearance. Make sure he is healthy and in good shape. Pay special attention to his legs and his face, especially his eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. If something looks wrong, ask the owner about it. If he doesn't know, ask someone else to look at it. Make sure he stays calm at all times. If he's nervous at home, where everything is familiar, consider if the extra fear he'll likely experience in a strange environment will be too much for you to handle. Get to know his personality. Having a smart, kind horse will be much more fun than having a beautiful but spooky or mean horse. Watch out for vices. Is he girthy? Does he crib? Does he kick at other horses? Carefully consider if you can handle every single one of his bad habits before you put your money - and your safety - on the line.