Introducing the Novice to the Equine Industry
The best way to get acclimated to the horse world is to learn from experienced people who have been involved with the equine industry for years. Seek a reputable farm or riding stable were you can take lessons. These horses are usually wonderful, seasoned teachers who are well tempered for beginning riders.
Find an instructor who is willing to work with you and help you reach your goals.
Make sure that the instructor has worked with beginners before. A good instructor will teach not only how to handling your horse, but about caring for your horses and important safety precautions. Once you are more comfortable and have taken a few lessons, ask your instructor if you can spend some extra time at the barn. Many times, they are more than happy to oblige and appreciate an extra hand with chores. This is a great way to learn more about horses and to meet other people in the barn. Observing lessons and watching other riders' techniques is a wonderful way to learn. Watching what others do well can give you a goal to reach and also make you more aware of what you are doing during your lessons.
After taking lessons for a year or so, you may consider buying a horse.
Speak with your instructor about your decision. Your instructor can help you locate a horse that is suitable to your level and your discipline. Take your instructor with you to look at prospective horses. Be patient with the process and look at many horses. Find one that best suits your needs and your price range. Don't forget to have a vet-check done on the prospective horse to make sure that it is in good health before making a final decision.
Another option is leasing a horse.
This is one of my favorite options because it gives you the feeling of owning your own horse without the initial purchase price. It also teaches you the responsibility of owning a horse and the expenses involved. This is great for the novice who isn't quite sure about owning a horse yet. If you decide that you don't want to ride or be involved with horses anymore, you don't have to worry about trying to resell the horse. Leasing is wonderful for children who are just becoming involved with horses, too. It lets them see how much work and responsibility is involved, and it gives parents the opportunity to see if the child will stick with it. All leases are different, but most require that you pay board, farrier and veterinary expenses. Make sure you sign a contract. Most leases are for a specific length of time, however, different clauses can be added depending on the owner. For example, some owners will allow you to end the lease with no questions asked if things don't work out in the first 30 days or so. There are also half-leases, which allow you to share the horse with the owner or another person. You are usually delegated certain days of the week that you are allowed to work with and ride the horse. Overall, it is a good option for those who are just not sure yet.
Eventually, if you do buy a horse and you're like most horse people, you'll dream of having a place to keep your horse at home.
It is always nice to be able to walk out of your backdoor and be able to ride or work with your horse whenever you want. Consider the horse's safety before bringing it home. Whether you are building a new barn or refurbishing an old one, make sure the stalls and fencing are as safe as possible.
There are many stall options available from designer stalls to kit systems.
Your budget, barn set up and horses will determine what will work best for your situation. For stall flooring, I recommend using stall mats because they save on bedding costs and provide a cushioned surface for your horse to stand on.
For fencing, Flex-Fence is a safer option for horses of all ages and breeds.
It is a durable, low-maintenance fence with a high break-strength. There are also great options in mesh fencing, electric fencing, coated wire fencing and PVC fencing available. If using PVC fencing with horses, electric is highly recommended. Combination fences are also a nice option if you are fencing on a budget. Flex-Fence and coated wire are one of the most popular combinations because together, they provide strength and durability at an economical price.
Horses are truly magnificent and wonderful creatures. I believe that perseverance and hard work pay off when working with horses. The more effort and time that you put in, the more rewards you will receive. Maybe your only goal is to trail ride, or maybe you have dreams of becoming a member of the Olympic Equestrian team whatever your goal, stick with it! Your hard work will pay off in the end.
Debbie has over 45 years experience with horses and equine-related businesses. She has owned, trained, boarded horses and run stables at various times in her career. She is a certified fence installer, has given balanced riding lessons, and has shown horses in Western, Western Pleasure, Trail, English, Hunter/Jumper, Fox Hunting, Hunter Trials, Dressage and driving classes. Debbie has been involved in foaling, and just about every aspect of horse ownership possible, and she welcomes your questions and comments. If you are interested in using any articles by Debbie, please send her an email.
RAMM Fence Systems, Inc. makes every effort to provide reliable and useful information on horse health, care and products. The statements made on this website are based on years of experience with horses, however, they are based on generalized situations and should not replace diagnosis or treatment by a veterinarian or consultation by a professional. RAMM Fence Systems, Inc. does not assume any legal responsibility. Readers should always consult qualified health care providers for specific diagnosis and treatment.