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Flights of Fancy

Horses For Beginners - Your First Horse

Friday, September 10, 2010

If you are interested in learning more about horses for beginners or are looking for your first horse, then this article is for you. This article discusses the types of things you should look for when looking for a beginner's horse.

Photo Credit: PRA

Time dedication
Horses require a lot of maintenance. If you think you can just turn your horse out to grass in a field and not worry about it, you are wrong. Horses need to have their feet trimmed and may need shoeing depending on the amount of work they do. Like people, they need to have exercise, or they can get out of shape and fat. Some horses can eat so much that that they founder, which means their feet hurt so much they can't walk. Horses that have a tendency to gain weight should wear a grazing muzzle when turned out to grass, to prevent overeating. Ponies are especially prone to founder. Horses need to be checked every day to make sure they are not sick or injured. If you board your horse at a boarding facility, your horse is usually checked every day, which helps if you can't check on him every day.

Your Ability
The horse's amount of training and your ability are a big consideration when looking for a horse for beginners. If you have no riding experience, it is best to get a well-trained quiet horse. These horses are sometimes called schoolmasters. It means they know their job. They are good horses for beginners to learn on, especially if you find one that is very forgiving. This means they don't get upset when beginners do things wrong.

Your Finances
There are a wide range of prices related to horses. Fancy, flashy show horses can cost thousands of dollars, whereas horses that are less fancy can be more moderately priced. The amount of training a horse has can also affect its price. For example, if a horse is young and has a little bit of training, it will not cost a lot. Unfortunately, horses with little training are not good beginners horses. A horse that is between 6 - 8 years old and has good training is usually more expensive. These horses are in their prime. A horse that is over the age of 10 or 12 years old usually is well trained, but health and the condition of the horse's joints is a consideration. Older horses are usually great beginner horses, but they may have more associated vet expenses due to their age.

Choosing Your Horse
It is advantageous to have someone experienced go with you when you are choosing your first horse. It is best if you have a trainer, who will not only give you lessons after you buy the horse, but help you choose a horse that will be suited to you.

Buying vs. Leasing
You don't always have to buy a horse. You also have the option of leasing one. There are a lot of different lease arrangements available including half leases and free leases. Free leases basically mean that you don't have to pay the owner to use the horse. In this arrangement you are responsible for the horse's care and living arrangements. Half leases mean that you may use the horse a few days a week, while the owner or someone else uses the horse the other part of the week. If you do have a lease horse, make sure you have a written agreement, so you know who is responsible for all of the expenses related to the horse, like vet bills.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when getting your first horse. Before you jump into a purchase or a lease arrangement, make sure you do a lot of research first, so you get a horse that is well suited to your individual needs.

About the Author
Written by Eileen Childs
For more helpful horse related information, including horse grooming equipment, visit

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