October 25th, 2009
take care of horses? I’m going to be (ahem) 37 and I’ve always wanted a horse. Now I’m looking to buy some land and really change my lifestyle. I’ve always known it’s a lot of work, but I’m learning now that there’s way more to it than people let on… Any opinions would be helpful.
I thought you were going to say you were like 70!
First, 37 is definitely not too old to learn to ride a horse or to buy a horse.
Keep in mind the costs and supplies involved: vet (you can give your own vaccinations, but can’t draw Coggins if you’re going to travel with your horse), farrier, feed (sweet feed and hay), brushes, curry combs, halters, lead ropes, bridles, rerins, bits, saddles, pads, girths, muck buckets, pitchforks, feed scoop, shovel, spreader, tractor, water buckets, ground feeders, salt and mineral blocks, topical ointments (furazone, hoof treatment, blood stop, etc), vet wrap, animalintex, roll cotton, thermometer, stethoscope, water trough, needles and syringes, wash sponges, squeegies, shampoo, conditioner, mane detangler, etc. You’ll also want to clean your tack and keep water buckets and ground feeders clean. If keeping your horse in a barn, you’ll want to disinfect the barn once a month to kill germs that cause colds and such (I use a bleach/water solution and a pump sprayer). You may want to use cross ties for saddling or for the farrier, although it isn’t necessary.
When purchasing a horse, learn what to look for…ignore the color! Check the feet. If they are sound, move up to the ankle and up the leg to the shoulder, etc. Check the teeth to help determine the horse’s age. If can take a little practice but there are some website that can help with that.
Decide what type of riding you want to do and select a horse that is appropriate. For example, if you want to run barrels, cut or rein…a quarter horse would be the most suitable. If you want to trail ride and cover as much ground as possible but still be comfortable, try a gaited horse like a Tennessee Walker, a Rocky Mountain, or a KY Mountain saddle horse. That’s what I have. If you are interested in dressage, show jumping or cross country…try a thoroughbred or thoroughbred X, a holsteiner or Trakener (sp?). For endurance racing try an Arabian.
Be sure you can ride the horse several times before you purchase it. If you are not permitted to ride the horse in a wide open area (large field or trail system) you might want to look elsewhere. Pop in unannounced to see the horse. Sometimes a hard to catch horse will be put up ahead of tiem, so you can’t see how hard it is to catch.
If you’d like more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope this helps!