Beginnings of Ownership

  So you've become a dedicated rider and have now decided to own a horse. Congratulations! You're about to enter a world of excitement and responsibility. It's quite an accomplishment to be a serious enough rider to be able to own a horse in the equine world.

  There are some things, though, that you should be aware of before you make that initial big purchase... 

  If you have read April's  Beginnings post, then you will know that I do think that leasing is a great step to take before owning your own horse. It lets you get your feet wet so that you'll have a better idea of what you are getting yourself into before you buy.

  Next, comes the fun part: horse shopping! I won't go into too much detail on things to do and look for when searching for the right horse as I have already written a post on this. So, check it out here to have a better idea about that whole process.

  The biggest advice I can give is to be as prepared as possible. If you're buying a horse with a contract that says he is sound, make sure that he is before you sign any papers and take him off the property. You don't want to be stuck with a horse that wasn't what you expected because you weren't prepared.

  Another aspect having to do with being prepared is finances. I think some people are still surprised to know that buying the horse is usually the cheapest part of horse ownership. There are vet bills, farrier bills, boarding fees, gas, competitions fees, insurance, food costs... the list goes on and on. My advice for preparing for this is to know what you can afford before you buy. When you are saving up, try opening another savings account where you'll keep your "saving for a horse" money. At the beginning or at the end of every month, transfer money into that account with the amount that will correspond to all of those additional fees (boarding, feed, etc.). Are you able to survive well enough with what is left from your paycheck? Horses are not cheap animals and they are also sensitive. It's quite possible you'll need to call your vet or farrier to come help your horse unexpectedly. You need to be prepared for that. You hear so many stories of people having to sell their beloved horses not because they want to, but because they can't afford them. Don't let that be you by being prepared.

  It comes as no surprise that when you buy a horse, he becomes your responsibility. Depending on where you keep your horse, the boarding services may help you out with that. They might feed, muck out and turn out your horse on a daily basis. Some will also schedule your routine vet and farrier appointments for you. There are also barns that will go above and beyond for you by brushing, tacking up and exercising your horse when you can't. Of course, the more they do, the more you pay so this also relates back to being prepared.

  Horse ownership isn't for everyone, but it is rewarding just as much as it is challenging. You're able to develop a stronger connection than anyone could with a riding school's lesson pony that you'll visit once or twice a week. With your own horse, you become a team. You learn each other's strengths and weaknesses and you work together. It's truly a unique experience.

  So, I wish you all the best of luck on the horse ownership road whether you are looking to buy, already own or are dreaming to own one day. Thank you for reading Pure Horse Sense and have a great weekend!

  Until next time, happy riding!

Beginnings of Leasing

  When you get to a certain level of riding, being able to ride your own horse will help you progress more easily. The reason for this is because you will be able to get to know your horse well enough so that you can focus more on the things you need to improve on.

  Looking for your own horse to buy can be a little intimidating. It's a big expense. If you aren't sure you are ready for all of that responsibility and you don't know how serious you want to make your riding, leasing a horse is a good way of getting your feet wet in horse ownership.

  Most people who decide that they want to lease their horse out to other riders are people who love their horse and don't want to sell him, but they can't afford to keep him or they don't have the time to ride. As a rider who isn't sure if horse ownership is right for them, this is a great option for both parties.

  The difficulty with finding a match is that you aren't just looking for the right horse, you're also looking for the right person to work with. When you decide to go out and visit a horse of interest, remember to also get to know the owner. Just like in a job interview, you should make sure that both the horse and the owner are a good match for you and you can be sure that the owner is trying to find out if you are a good match for them.

  Right before you sign the papers to agree to a lease, make sure that you understand all that is involved. You don't want to be stuck in a contract that you do not agree with. Are they asking you to ride their horse 6 days a week when you can only ride 4? Do they want you to compete at a show every weekend? How are the vet, farrier and board fees being paid? Is the leasing fee affordable to you? These are all things you need to consider before signing. If the owner is not willing to compromise or you feel like something about the whole thing isn't quite right, you still have the chance to walk away.

  Once you have signed the lease, remember to keep in contact with the owner and keep building a relationship with them. If you walk up to the horse one morning and discover that he is hurt, let the owner know as soon as possible so that there will not be any issues with communication.

  Throughout the lease, you will be able to see if you would enjoy owning your own horse. If you enjoyed leasing, you might want to renew your contract or look for a new horse. Sometimes there are opportunities to buy the horse after you have leased it. This may not always be the case, but if the owner really can't afford to keep owning the horse and they know that you can, they may be more at ease to sell the horse to you because they already know that you'll treat him well.

  Now you have a more indepth look into horse leasing. When it comes to the legal aspects of leasing, talk to a local professional in your area. These things differ from country to country. However, leasing is a great opportunity that most people tend to overlook. I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about buying a horse. Even if you are sure you want to own, try leasing out the horse you want to buy for a couple of months first. There are many people who go out and buy a horse without thinking about the responsibility and costs that follow the initial purchase. As a result, the horse won't be looked after properly or will be up for sale again.

  If you want to know more about finding the right horse for you, I have already talked about the things to consider whether you are buying or leasing in a previous post. If you would like to learn more about that, you can read Searching for Horses by clicking here.

 Thank you for reading Pure Horse Sense and have a wonderful weekend!

  Until next time, happy riding!

Searching for Horses

  Some people may have the pleasure of owning a horse, others may be leasing and others may be looking for a horse. This week's blog post is all about what to look for in a horse when you finally have the chance to lease or buy one. Hopefully, at the end of this post, you'll have a better understanding of what to look for so you don't end up buying or leasing the wrong horse for you.

Leasing or Buying

  Depending on what type of commitment you are looking for, you may have different options in ownership. If you would like to have complete responsibility of your horse and are planning to keep him for a long time, buying a horse may be the best option for you.

  If you are new to the horse owning world and aren't sure if it is right for you, leasing a horse for a while may be a good option. That way, if anything were to happen where you are no longer able to take care of a horse, you don't have to worry about finding him a new owner.

  If you aren't sure you'll be able to take on the full responsibility of taking care of a horse, co-leasing or co-owning a horse may also be an option. This means that you are not the only person responsible for taking care of the horse. Often you will see two people leasing or owning a horse. You may also see a person leasing or owning a horse with their riding stable. The benefit of this is that you do not have to be at the stable everyday, you can take turns.

Cost

  The cost of buying or leasing a horse can be expensive. First, you'll need to determine a budget for purchasing a horse. Next, you'll have to factor in the cost for things like boarding, feed, bedding, farrier bills and vet bills. Once you have calculated all of these things, you'll be able to decide if you're able to afford a horse. It's not a good idea to try to save money by cutting corners with horses. If you try giving him low quality feed or skip out on routinely farrier visits, it may result in bigger vet bills later on.

Temperament

  When you finally go out to see a horse, make sure to see if his temperament will fit best with yours. Is he energetic or quiet? Is he more playful or more relaxed? All horses have different personalities. If a horse doesn't have the temperament right for you, you may become annoyed with him easily which will result in both of you not being too happy.

Know Your Stuff

  Many people may try to take advantage of you when you go to buy a horse. Make sure that you know enough about horses so that you aren't fooled and bring a trusted expert along with you. Horse owners may lie about a horse's age or his soundness. They may even drug a horse so that he looks more well behaved than he usually is. Make sure to look for these things when you are checking out a horse. Getting a horse is a big expense, you don't want to make the mistake by getting the wrong horse for you and then regretting your decisions.

  Make sure to get your vet and farrier to check the horse out before you get him as well. They'll be able to tell you if the horse is sound and if there should be any concerns.

Ask Questions

  The owner of the horse knows him better than you do. Ask them plenty of questions about temperament, how he is with other horses, if he is a quick learner, if he is good with children and pets, or if he has any vices. A good horse owner will be happily to answer all of your questions and it will also reassure them that their horse will be going to a good home.

  Another thing that may be good to ask is for them to show you what they are claiming. For example, if the owner is claiming that the horse trailers without a problem, ask them to show you. The owner has the best relationship with the horse, therefore he trusts his owner more than he will you at this point, so he will be more willing to do a task right if his owner is the one asking him to do it. Also, this will show you if the horse is really as good as the owner says he is with your own eyes so that you do not get any surprises when you get home.

Take Your Time

  There's no rush when it comes to buying a horse. Make sure you take the time to look at all the different horses before you get one. You shouldn't feel pressured into buying a horse on your first visit. In fact, I recommend that you go out to visit the horse about three times before you make the final decision. I would recommend that the second or third visit is "unannounced" to the owner. Tell them that you'll be in town sometime throughout a week and that you'll stop by again at that time. That way, the owner won't have the time to prepare the horse and you'll get to see him as he really is, giving you a better understanding of what you might be getting yourself into.

  When you take your time, you'll ensure that you will find the best horse for you. It may take a few weeks or a couple of years before you find that perfect horse for you, but in the end it will all be worth it. Remember that you need to find a horse that will fit your lifestyle best. You shouldn't expect the horse to change for you as this will only cause problems later on.

  So that's it for this week's blog post. I know that there are many other things that you can look for when buying or leasing a horse. Hopefully, this blog post has at least helped you get started on what to look for in a horse and has brought up some points that you might of not of realised before.

  If you like these types of blog posts, the first post I have ever written on Pure Horse Sense is about the things you should look for when choosing a new stable. If you would like to read that one, you can find it by looking through the

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section on the left hand side of this page. Thank you for reading and I wish you all the best with your horses or with your horse searching.

  Until next time, happy riding!