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omg omg i'm getting a horse!

9 replies

hazeldog · 02/09/2012 11:15

After many years of fantasising we are finally taking the plunge. I used to ride but my back is too bad now so were buying a driving cob.
Question is we know what obvious stuff we will need ie electric fence, harness , grooming kit but I'm sure there are things that we haven't thought of. What are your top tips for first time horse owners?

OP posts:
brighthair · 02/09/2012 11:18

Worming,shoes (unless barefoot), insurance, find a good vet
First aid kit
Lots of hoof picks as they always disappear

NellyJob · 02/09/2012 11:26

just as brighthair said, worming and insurance. Ask if he/she has been wormed, with what, and when. If that info is not available, worm on the second day with a powder wormer u add to the feed, don't get the syringe until he knows you a bit.
Also don't be fooled into buying loads of expensive equipment, it's amazing what you can pick up cheaply if you wait a bit.
First aid kit.

AllPastYears · 02/09/2012 11:44

Tranquillisers - for yourself Grin.

Booboostoo · 02/09/2012 16:42

Where will you be keeping the horse?

If it's at a livery yard then you do not need things like electric fending. If it's on part livery you don't need mucking out stuff, but on DIY you need the basics for mucking out (wheelbarrow, fork, scoop, brush, etc.) and looking after the horse like feed buckets, water buckets, hay nets.

For the horse you need: head collar/lead, grooming kit (soft brush, hard brush, mane/tail brush, hoof pick), tack (bridle, saddle if anyone rides him, numnah, lunging/long reining equipment as it may not be possible to keep him fit just driving, harness, cart), rugs if necessary, boots if necessary, travelling boots if necessary, first aid kit. Some small things like tack cleaner, fly spray, etc. but the rest you can pick up as and when you need them.

Other people on your yard can recommend a vet, a dentist and a farrier. You may want to do a worm test before you worm, but if you are on a yard they will have a worming schedule you need to fit into.

Is this your first horse? If you are not very experienced in buying horses it is always a good idea to take an experienced person (ideally your instructor) with you when viewing, and it's always a good idea to get the horse 5 stage vetted. If you are not prepared to cover possibly very expensive vet's fees take our insurance, but everyone should have Public Liability insurance no matter what.

hazeldog · 02/09/2012 23:30

It will be kept on our own field so will need fencing in. We have a lot of friends who live on the road in horse drawn wagons so the horse we are buying is known to people and we know its sound and bomb proof.
Its a different culture towards horses than livery yards and instructors but we do have a wealth of peoples experience and advice to draw on and im fairly clued up having been around working horses for years. I'm really just asking about the little bits and top tips i might not have thought of or needed as I've never actually owned my own horse.
I plan to hack out as often as I can to keep it fit and it will be doing proper work with a dray but lunging sounds like a good plan If we can't get out for whatever reason.

OP posts:
Booboostoo · 03/09/2012 12:58

Oh I see! Word of mouth is the best way to get a good horse! Presumably you have tried yourself though haven't you?

For keeping the horse at home you need:

  • plenty of electric fencing as you need to make 2-3 different paddocks to preserve the grass. You need at least two batteries so that you have one working while the other charges.
  • you need to consider shelter for the horse on wet/windy days but if you are lucky your field has natural features like trees and hedges.
  • ideally you need a hard standing, covered area for grooming, tacking up, farrier visits.
  • water supply to the field and in an ideal world electric supply.
  • the field should be free of plants poisonous to horses and by spring you need to be friendly with a local farmer who will be able to help you with fertilising, weed-killing, harrowing etc. (depending on the condition and the size of the field you may be able to get these jobs done yourself by hand).
  • you need a plan for muck heap position and removal.
  • many horses are not happy being kept alone. What conditions is the horse coming from, e.g. kept alone or kept in a large herd? If he is already used to being alone he may be OK. If there are other horses within touch/sight he may be OK, but beware that he may not.
  • you also need a contingency plan for when you are on holiday, when you are sick, etc.

Good luck!
hazeldog · 03/09/2012 16:09

Thanks that's really useful stuff. I'm planning to get a Shetland as a companion horse and pet for my son. There are horses in the next field so horse #1 shpuldnt be too lonely while we find one. We have a little bit of ragwort to pull up but otherwise the field is sheltered and ideal. The mare we are buying has a great reputatin amongst our friends and is a 9 years old and been working all her life so she should be able to teach us the ropes! Picking her up on Monday hopefully so will be buying the fencing etc this week. We are lucky to have several potential horse sitters so we can go away. Do you have any tips for towing horse trailers and what to do when we get her home? Should we stay with her overnight or leave her be to explore her new surroundings?

OP posts:
Booboostoo · 03/09/2012 18:45

She sounds lovely! Very sensible age and I think she's going to love her new companion when you get him! I have a Fallabela x for my lot and he was the best money I ever spent on a horse!

I have a horsebox so don't know much about trailers, sorry! Is she used to loading? If not, allow for plenty of time and take it slowly with her. Is it a long trip? If she is used to loading and it's less than a couple of hours drive it should not affect her at all.

I would try to pick her up in the morning so you can have the whole day to deal with any problems. If you can get some sedaline off the vet, it does help take the edge off some horses and helps them settle without running around like maniacs. Does the field have good grass in it? If yes, most horses will put their heads down and graze after the first canter/buck. Ask the old owners if she is used to electric fencing and make sure the battery is fully charged. If you live on sight I would leave her to it and just keep an eye on her from the house - some horses play up more to an audience. If you don't live on site, I would try to stay around (perhaps go to the car, or make yourself busy) for most of the day. I wouldn't stay with her overnight that sounds a bit miserable for you and if she is that wound up it may be best to consider stabling her rather than trying to keep her calm through the night.

giraffesCantGetIntoOlympicPark · 03/09/2012 22:30

ooh how exciting!

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