Invest in lessons before buying a horse
Many people have dreamed for years of having their own horse, and when financial circumstances allow it is all too tempting for horse lovers to run right out and buy the horse of their dreams. This is certainly understandable, but in the long run it is a good idea to prepare carefully for such a big commitment.
Owning a horse is not like owning a dog, cat or other pet. Horses require some very specialized care, including regular trimming of their hooves, dental care and of course top notch veterinary care. Taking the time to learn as much as you can about how to handle, care for and ride these unique animals will help you get the most from the ownership experience and allow you to become a more well rounded horseperson.
A good place to start this preparation is at your local riding academy or training stable. These facilities generally have one or more riding instructors on hand to help beginners learn what they need to know to ride and handle a horse safely. Safety is a prime concern when it comes to working with horses, and a qualified riding instructor can teach you a great deal about how to stay safe when working around horses.
Taking riding lessons can also teach you a lot about the proper way to ride, and learning proper riding techniques will make both you and your horse a lot happier. Bad riding can leave even the most patient horse frustrated and cause bad habits to develop. When you take the time to develop your seat, hands and legs you will become a more competent rider, one who is able to get the most out of any horse.
A qualified riding instructor can also help you find the right horse when the time comes. Finding a good horse for a beginning rider is always a difficult process, and it is important to have some professional help and another set of eyes when evaluating potential mounts. When it comes to buying a horse it is important to get it right the first time. Making a mistake can be both costly and time consuming, and it is important to choose your first horse carefully. Finding a new home for a horse can be more difficult than you might think, especially when the economy is bad. It is far better to solicit the advice of a professional and buy the right horse the first time around.
Once you have some riding lessons under your belt and have developed a strong seat and good hands you will be a more competent and capable rider for the horse you do buy. And since you have learned how to work safely around horses and what to watch out for you will be able to enjoy many years of safe riding with your dream horse.
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