A friend has a child who is interesting in getting a horse. They asked my advice. I gave it. I then asked for permission to fuzz the details and post the exchange in order to see what the hive mind had to say. Do you agree with my advice? Disagree? Have anything to add? Please forward to any persons or groups who might be interested in weighing in.
To Me From Relative of Child
Child is interested in buying a horse. What advice can you give them about buying a good horse. Any advice will be helpful.
To Me From Parent of Child
A bit of background. Child is 11. They are very good at taking care of chickens, guinea pigs, and dogs. However, I told them that they can look into it but I can’t help in terms of buying and carrying food and cleaning poop etc. They are smart and understand there will be work but I’m not sure how much work.
A horse at home is a big commitment. I was an adult, had been riding for 15+ years, and was still surprised at what I didn’t know. What to feed. When to feed. What’s normal. What’s not normal. What to do in an emergency. When to call the vet. And so on.
The good news is that there are tons of ways to explore intermediate steps. Take lessons at a barn that emphasizes horsemanship, i.e. not just showing up and riding. Lease a horse. Board at a barn that lets you work off some of the expenses. Become a working student. Try different disciplines. They may like to ride English but find a Western barn that has a good program. Or vice versa.
Start talking to your neighbors. Drive to a local barn & start asking questions. Horse people LOVE to give advice. Be warned, they also like to sell their horses, services, etc. People will offer solutions that fit you into their program rather than what might be right for you.
(Direct Address to Parent). You know exactly who is going to end up unloading a pickup truck full of hay, or hefting feed bags that I can barely lift.
We haven’t even touched on riding facilities or supervision at home. I have these problems to this day.
I hope I helped somewhat. You live in a horsey area. There are tons of ways to get involved with horses.
Oh, wear a helmet. Every ride, every time.
From Me To Blog Readers
Thank you for reading and for your advice.