Easy steps for buying a horse

Upkeep and replacement costs and new equipment may be $100 to $500 a year. Personal items must also be considered.

Consider facilities and services needed
An adequate stable is probably the most important item and may be the most expensive. Zoning laws in some suburban areas may restrict keeping a horse or building a stable.

Check out where a horse may be riddenbridle paths, trails, show rings and training facilities. Exercise areas are essential. If the horse must be hauled to an exercise area, a trailer or other vehicle is needed.

What age horse is best?
A horse's condition and training are more important than its age. Prime age for a horse is about seven to nine years, but this is not necessarily the ideal age. Horses frequently are active into their late 20s if they get proper care.

A buyer can often buy a top-quality older horse at the same price or less than would be paid for a younger horse of lesser quality. Although most older horses can not perform as actively as they did when younger, they may have many years of useful service left.

Be ready to decide whether you prefer a younger horse or if an older one would do as well. This decision can't be made until you evaluate each individual horse.

The age of the horse you buy depends on what you can afford and what horses you find available. Your experience is also important. If you are an inexperienced rider, you should not purchase an untrained young horse unless both you and the horse will receive training from a competent professional.

Learn as much as you can about horses
Prospective horse owners should learn all they can about horses before buying. Keep an open mind while learning. Material is available at libraries, bookstores and county extension centers.

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