By Lindsey Forkun, www.LFEquestrian.com
- There is a lot to choosing a horse. Sometimes we can get caught up in the exciting, but we should ask some important questions if we want to find a horse that is a good fit for us.
Make sure you know what you want to do with your horse (see my horse earlier post ‘Why do you want to rescue or adopt a horse’). Then make sure you are ready to start searching for your perfect match.
It is a good idea to go take some lessons and try different horses. Get a feel for what type of personality you want in a horse, how much training you want your horse to have, and what you are comfortable handling. The more horses you try, the more experience you have, and the easier it will be to know when you find something you really like.
Next have an idea of what you are going to do with the horse – where you are going to keep the horse, what environment the horse will live in, what type of care you can give to your horse, and decide what things are ‘must haves’, and ‘must nots’.
If you want to rescue a horse just for a pet or companion horse, then you likely won’t care if the horse has a lameness issue, or breathing issue – unless the horse requires medication, in which case you need to consider the costs and if this is something you are prepared to do.
When you start trying horses, be sure to ask the right questions, including:
- Any past health concerns or injuries?
- Any issues with their hooves like abscess, cracking, navicular, lameness, etc?
- Any issues with their legs like swelling, lameness, etc?
- Any history of breathing problems like heaves, roars, etc?
- Any allergies?
- Any issues keeping weight on the horse?
- Any history of founder?
- Any history of colic?
- Is the horse de-wormed and up to date with all vaccinations/health care?
- Any problems eating or drinking?
- Anything that would prevent the horse from being used for what you want to do (horses doing a lot of heavy trail riding, jumping, dressage, etc need to be in very good soundness)?
- What type of life is the horse used to? – living with other horses, in a stall, with a mixed herd, etc
This should help you make an informed decision if the horse is a right fit for you. Sometimes you might not get all the answers – but decide what is important to you to know, and what will ‘make or break’ the perfect horse for you.
Lindsey Forkun is dedicated to promoting positive partnerships through humane natural horsemanship for all equine disciplines. Free online advice, articles, and videos. Offering natural horsemanship products and services, learn more at www.LFEquestrian.com