Your First Horse

Congratulations! You've decided to adopt your first horse. Here are the things you should consider before bringing home your new addition:

Where will you keep your horse?

Proper housing is crucial to setting yourself up for success with your new horse. Whether boarding or keeping your horse at home, you need to provide your horse with a place to escape the elements. A horse shed or similar will suffice if you don't have access to a barn and stalls. Be sure you have safe and sturdy horse fencing.

Do you have the right equipment?

Caring for a horse requires having proper equipment on hand. Review these to ensure you have the right tools and materials to help keep your horse safe and comfortable.

What are your riding or horse handling abilities?

Are you a beginning rider who wants to learn to trail ride or are you an experienced horse trainer who can handle a bit more spirit? What are your riding goals? How often will you ride, and will you have support from an instructor or trainer? Set realistic expectations for yourself and your new horse and communicate these clearly with equine adoption organizations. These agencies will help match you with the right horse for your goals and abilities and help guide you to successful horse ownership.

Do you have a stable of professionals?

Research or work with the adopting agency to find health professionals you'll rely on for routine equine care. Build a relationship with a farrier for your horse's hoof care and a veterinarian for overall health and dental care. It can also be helpful to have a relationship with a riding instructor or trainer who can help build on existing skills or develop new ones.