Horse ownership is a huge responsibility. That’s why first-time horse owners need to do their homework before making this huge leap. You should get prepared for the time and financial commitment. Follow these five steps and you’ll be heading in the right direction!

1) Take some riding lessons! This is your opportunity to locate a good instructor and a potential boarding barn. Find a stable that teaches riders to groom, tack up, and basic horsemanship skills.

2) Locate a boarding barn, farrier, and veterinarian before buying the horse. A vet will even be helpful in performing a pre-purchase exam. Try visiting a few different stables and locate one that fits your needs. Secure arrangements so that you have a stall or field waiting for your new horse.

3) Take a knowledgeable rider or trainer with you when trying out a horse. Be excited, but don’t let your guard down. Visit more than one horse before making your choice.

4) Buy the right equipment. First-time horse owners will need these basic items.

  • Basics: Saddle, saddle pad, bridle, bit, helmet, halter, and lead rope.
  • Grooming: Curry comb, stiff brush, soft brush, mane comb, hoof pick, and tote.
  • First-Aid: Wound cleaner, healing ointment, towels, vet wrap, thermometer, and scissors.

5) Get involved in the horse world. Once you have your first horse, it’s important to keep learning. This can happen from spending time with your horse, barn friends, clinics, expos, shows, and lessons. Be an active member at your barn and ask questions.

Horse ownership can bring a lot of joy to people. It’s an opportunity to connect and love a pet of your own. In order to keep things positive, do your research and plan ahead throughout the entire process. Good luck on your horse journey!