The Challenges of First-Time Horse Ownership

We have a few first-time horse owners and leasers at the barn right now (congrats!!). I know that it can be a little overwhelming and daunting at first, so in the next few posts I will discuss some topics that will hopefully be helpful to you guys.

It's a wonderful experience to have a horse of your own, but after the initial buzz of excitement, it suddenly hits you just how much you don't know about caring for this completely dependent creature. You probably feel like you're constantly asking questions (does he need shoes? Is this little crack in her hoof a big deal? Do I need to blanket him this winter? What kinds of supplements do I need to make sure she is getting? What supplies should I have on hand in case of an emergency? Etc.), needing reminders about things, borrowing equipment and trying to decide what things to buy and what things you don't absolutely need. Well, we were all there once, and as long as you are trying to learn, trying to be a good horse mom or dad, then you're doing it right and we will always be happy to be a resource to you.

I still ask a lot of questions of my fellow horsewomen and men because I love knowing how other people I respect in the industry choose to do things, and I definitely do not believe myself to have all the answers or the best answers. But at some point, you will find your own groove and start to feel more confident and comfortable as a horse owner/leaser. You'll start to trust your own knowledge and intuition when it comes to making the right decisions for your particular horse, who you'll know like the back of your hand. You'll learn through osmosis and observation some of the time (which is one reason it's beneficial to get out there and do things in your community with other riders, like clinics and shows, where you are outside your comfort zone and surrounded by knowledgeable people who have different ways of doing things) and it will be a slow but rewarding process.

If you feel like you're in the in-over-your-head stage, don't worry, stay calm, don't be afraid to ask for help, and keep an eye out for the next few posts. Congratulations on the purchase or lease of your new partner and best friend!!