So you finally got your first horse. After months, possibly years of waiting, the day is finally here, and your dream has been realized. Unfortunately, it’s only after you get your horse home that you realize just how clueless you are. You’ve done your research. You’ve ridden before. You’re not going into this blind. But there are some things the internet just doesn’t tell you. So here are 5 things every new horse owner should know:
- You won’t build a relationship in a day.
Chances are you and your horse won’t be best friends the first day you bring him home. Any relationship takes time to build, but a relationship with a horse takes longer than most. So if your horse isn’t running up to you in the pasture on day one, don’t panic. These things take time.
- Have fun.
I know it’s tempting to work with your new horse in the arena every day, fixing things you don’t like and fine tuning things you do. But it’s also important to set apart some days to just have quiet time with your horse. You don’t get to know your horse as an individual by doing the same thing every time you ride. Spend some quiet time grooming him, or take a trail ride. Bake him treats. Hand graze him. Do some ground work. Doing new things keeps both you and your horse mentally engaged. It’s beneficial, and it’s also fun.
And isn’t that why we do this?
- Your horse will teach you just as much as you teach him.
The great thing about riding is that we don’t just learn our lessons in the saddle. Horses have a lot to teach us that is applicable in our everyday life. So, while you may think you’re the one teaching him, remember that your relationship is a partnership. Keep your mind open to the lessons your horse can teach you.
- If he’s not the right fit, don’t feel bad.
If you bought a horse who turns out to be completely wrong for you, don’t feel bad about rehoming him. He’ll be much happier with someone who is the right fit for him. But you do need to be responsible when finding him another owner. Be informed about what the buyer is looking for, and be upfront about what your horse is like.
- It’s not all a fairytale.
Horse ownership is stressful. If anyone tells you otherwise, they’re not doing it right. It’s not always easy. In fact, it never is. Owning a horse is a lot of work.
- But it is rewarding.
Having a horse of your own will bring you joy and satisfaction. It will grow you as a person and help you to see the world in a whole new light. Somehow, everything looks brighter when you’ve got your equine friend by your side.