Whether you’re looking for a horse to take you trail riding, compete in equestrian sports or simply to offer companionship, there’s a breed available to suit you. But before you can choose a pet horse that will be your perfect pet match, there are plenty of factors you need to take into consideration.
Our guide to choosing a pet horse or pony will put you well on your way to deciding which breed of horse is ideal for what you want.
5 Tips to Remember When Choosing a Pet Horse
If you’ve made the decision to get a pet horse, it’s pretty easy to get swept up in the excitement and go out and buy the first magnificent mare or glorious gelding you come across. But diving into horse ownership without first testing the depth of the water is fraught with danger, so remember these five tips to ensure that you make the right decision.
- Start with research. No matter what sort of pet you choose, you should always research what it takes to own that type of animal before you hand over any money. Horses are big animals and owning a horse is an even bigger responsibility, so you need to be certain that you have the space, time and dedication needed to care for one of these beautiful creatures. Reading up on horse ownership and the many different breeds available is the best way to form a clear idea of whether you’re cut out to own a horse, as well as which breed is right for your needs.
- Consider what you want to do. The horse you choose will be influenced by exactly what you want to do with your new pet. If you’re looking for a pet with a gentle temperament and that’ll be great for young kids, a pony might be perfect. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a horse to take trail riding and maybe take part in local equestrian competitions, the Australian Stock Horse could be a good fit. Find out what each breed is suited to before you make your final decision.
- Remember ongoing care requirements. If you plan on just sticking your pet horse in a paddock and forgetting about him, maybe you need to reconsider whether you really need a pet at all. From the right food to regular exercise, love and attention, your horse needs to be well looked after to be able to live a happy and healthy life. It’s also worth pointing out that owning a horse isn’t cheap. As well as the initial outlay to purchase an animal, there’s a whole lot of essential equipment you need to purchase and vet bills to consider — make sure you will comfortably be able to afford anything your pet may need.
- Ask for help and advice. If you’re a little daunted at the prospect of owning a horse or pony or you need help choosing a pet, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your local pony club can be a great place to get help and advice about selecting the right animal for your needs and wrapping your head around your breed’s ownership requirements. Friends and family members will also be able to provide their recommendations, while online forums and blogs can also help you connect with other horse owners to get their tips and advice.
- Buy from a reputable breeder. Last but not least, make sure you purchase your pet horse from a reputable person. A responsible breeder will be able to provide a satisfactory history of the horse and will also ask you questions about what you intend to use the animal for. If their breed of horse is not right for you, a responsible breeder will point you in the direction of a breed that may be better suited. Asking your equine vet to give the horse or pony a once-over before you purchase is also recommended.
Although you might be chomping at the bit to get out there and buy your new pet horse straight away, patience is paramount. Taking a little extra time now to ensure that you choose the horse that suits your lifestyle and riding requirements will guarantee that you and your horse can spend many happy years together.