Horse Selection – Things to Consider
Horse selection is difficult and can take time as there are many different sizes, breeds, colors, and temperaments.
Horse selection is a big deal, no doubt. This is because you don’t only need money but also time and long term dedication. Because of this, you should consider a few things before you choose in order to make the best decision. So, what should you keep in mind to ensure you adopt the animal that’s just perfect for your needs?
Essential steps for proper horse selection
Before making a horse selection – are you sure you want a horse?
To begin with, and although it might seem like common sense, you must be truly sure that you want a horse. This is because these animals live to be about 25-30 years old and require long term commitment. You must dedicate time to them to keep them in good shape. For instance, take them for rides to keep them active and also to bond with them.
Know how to respond to the following:
- Is your horse for sport and competition or for recreation? Keep in mind that the type of horse you get will depend on this.
- Can you devote time to this animal?
- Do you have enough money to cover the cost of classes, food and supplements, vet consultations and medications, and the cost of accessories (harnesses, saddles, etc)?
- Have you enough space to keep them?
- Is there a veterinarian and teacher you can turn to help you select a horse?
A minimum degree of preparation
You must master basic driving techniques when buying a horse, be it in the field or on the track. And you must also know how to groom the animal and how to attach any equipment to them. You must be familiar with everything related to horse ownership.
It’s important to have a qualified opinion both before you make a horse selection (to know what breed is the most appropriate for you) and when you actually make the selection. Look for a trustworthy person who can help you, be it a teacher, a horse expert, or a veterinarian.
What kind of horse?
- Breed: Learn the characteristics of various breeds before making up your mind. Learn also about their different temperaments. The best horse for beginners should be a versatile breed, one that doesn’t limit the possibilities of them advancing in various disciplines. A sports horse could be appropriate. Cross-country animals are ideal if you’re looking for one you can ride.
- Gender: Mares or neutered males are calmer than unneutered males. Also, they’re ideal for riding, walking, and for activities that don’t require excessive wear.
- Age: Think about your needs. If this is your first experience then get a tamed horse of about 8 years of age. Stay away from colts as these require breaking and need someone with experience. If you want a competition horse, then keep in mind that these are considered fully ready for it at the age of 5.
Horse selection process
Once you know the basics, it’s time to get advice on the buying and selling process. Also, find out where you can buy animals.
Consult an expert for this. You may already have contacts or information about who sells and where. Generally, you can find them in equestrian centers, breeders (be sure to verify their reputation), fairs, and individuals. In these last two cases, have a professional come along so they can advise you.
Horse selection – what to look for
After you select the animals that meet your requirements, approach them and watch how they behave in different situations. Take into account:
- Their physical appearance to make sure they’re healthy. For example, look at their legs, eyes, snout, and ears. Ask their current owner plenty of questions, and double-check any concerns with a trusted veterinarian.
- Pay attention to their character and temperament. It’s always better to get a calm and intelligent animal.
- Don’t get a horse if they’re overly nervous in “normal” situations and act strangely; they’ll be hard to break.
- Make sure all their papers are authentic and up to date.
- Be wary of excessively cheap offers.
Test the animal before deciding
Arrange a time to take out and test the animal in their new environment. You’ll have to pay a fee to do so.
Have a veterinarian do a complete checkup once you select a horse and prior to concluding the purchase.