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I bought a horse... now what?

Horses provide many benefits for their owners; mentally, socially, and physically. Perhaps you’ve been a lifelong lover of horses or have simply enjoyed the casual trail rides you’ve been on over the years. Whatever has brought you to the point of thinking seriously about owning a horse, there are many things to consider before you jump in.


Where will you keep your horse?
Do you live somewhere, such as an acreage or farm, that provides the space needed for a horse? Or do you have access to another location or stable where you can board your horse? Wherever you decide, you’ll want to ensure the location provides adequate shelter and space to keep your horse healthy &
safe. If you are boarding your horse, you also want to be aware of what’s included with your fees and what you are still responsible for.


Feeding
Horses are large animals which means they also have a large appetite! You’ll need to think about what your horse needs. Even if grass is readily available, it’s often not enough which means bringing in hay. You’ll need to find a place that can supply the hay you’ll require along with how you’ll get that hay to
your horse’s location. If your supplier doesn’t bring it to you, do you have the ability to transport it or will you need to hire someone to haul it for you. An adequate & constant supply of freshwater is also necessary for the health & well-being of a horse. Don’t forget carrots, treats are important too!


Care
This includes general horse care, such as grooming, as well as regular veterinary care. Much like other animals, a horse requires daily care and attention. This includes exercise, which can be something as simple as a walk around the pasture on lead or going for a long ride in the hills. Regular visits to the vet are also important in maintaining an optimal level of health for your horse.


Commitment
Owning a horse involves a large investment of time, energy, and money. Can your schedule accommodate the time needed to build a relationship and provide the care & attention needed for your horse to thrive? Do you have the energy to exercise your horse on a regular basis? Do you have
someone to help you when needed in any of these areas? Is owning a horse within your budget? There are a lot of costs that come with owning a horse, especially if you need to board your horse at another location and if your horse requires any special food or medication. Tack and equipment can also get costly quite quickly.

Owning a horse is big step so you need to be fully aware of what you’re getting into before you do. If you aren’t ready, there are other ways of enjoying horses without the full commitment of ownership. Riding lessons, trail rides, and volunteering at local horse facilities can all be great ways of enjoying your
love of horses! Once you do decide you’re prepared and ready for equine ownership though, you’ll soon learn it’s a rewarding experience that provides many benefits socially, mentally, and physically!

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