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General Questions Regarding Horse Purchase — The Grow Network Community
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General Questions Regarding Horse Purchase

SharieSharie Posts: 135 ✭✭✭

I just bought some land, about 18 hectares. There's a horse that lives on it and I can buy her if I like. She's super friendly, looks very healthy, maybe even a bit chubby. She's all alone and I was wondering how healthy that can be for a horse. The owner visits now and again but in 7 years has never given her a name! She just grazes from the land. The owner said he has put a blanket on her and a rope to lead but not a proper bridle or saddle so she's never been ridden. She follows us around on walks and never gets in the way. She's always right behind us.

My daughter thinks she should have a companion. I'm a little concerned about the space as I will be planting gardens and more trees and don't want the plants to get trampled, especially if there are two of them racing around the property. I don't want to keep her fenced in as she's not used to that.

Any advice would be appreciated. I'm in Ecuador so the horse is not physically suffering for being outside. The climate is pretty much perfect year round. I don't want to rip her from her home and lifestyle if I can help it.

Comments

  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 734 admin

    @Sharie horses are not usually loners. They love company and it’s always best for them to have a friend, usually another horse. But it sounds like your horse is used to being on her own, if she’s happy and not stressed, then keep on doing what she’s used to. Sounds like the owner may have had plans and then lost interest. I believe you are doing the owner a favour and he should give the horse to you or very little money should change hands. Otherwise it’s his problem and he can move the horse. Would you normally consider having/owning a horse on your land, maybe not! I understand you don’t want to stress the horse by moving her but you do have to be practical. I think the decision to be made is, does she stay or does she go, not getting another one. Just remember horses need care, worming, hoof trimming etc. I wish you luck with your decision.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,554 admin

    @Sharie If you do decide to keep her, goats make very good company for horses. I used to visit Hastings Park from time to time and they always kept a goat or two in the stables. Helped keep those thoroughbreds calm. 18 hectares is a pretty good size for a horse to pasture on and still have lots of room for gardens, orchards, etc. An electric fence around your garden will keep her (and a goat) out of anything you don't want trampled or eaten.

    There is a lot to what @jodienancarrow has said about care and expense. Not sure what the cost of a vet is in Ecuador but it sure is a consideration here.

    Congratulations on your land purchase!

  • CorneliusCornelius Posts: 265 ✭✭✭

    @Sharie I would personally buy the horse as the current owner does not care about her at all. I think the following you around is her seeking social interaction (and is probably very lonely). I think you giving her love and attention is going to be 10 times better than what she has now. Congratulations on your land purchase and good luck!!!

  • RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 624 ✭✭✭✭

    @Sharie As she is used to being field kept, extra feed probably won't be a problem. My horse has a farrier check his feet over every 9 weeks. Just a trim is $35 (USD). Plus you will need annual shots/boosters, which run me about $85 (USD).

    Your biggest expense will be training (for horse and human) if daughter decides that she wants to ride.

    As @torey said, that's a reasonable sized property that can handle horse plus gardens.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,649 admin

    If she is a little chubby just by grazing off the land, she is doing well. A little work with her would most likely trim her down nicely. If her coat has a nice sheen, that is one good sign of health.

    I want to add that if that horse is already willing to follow you around, it is likely going to attach to its new quite quickly & be very loyal if it is getting lots of proper attention.

    You would do well to get it checked by a local, experienced horse owner who can look for any visible soundness issues...legs, back, hooves, etc. The teeth should be checked as well. A good horse person should be able to tell you a lot.

    I know that what we do would be looked down upon by many in the horse community, but the only worming we have done with our current horse is with broad-leaf plantain, we don't give any shots (she has remained very healthy in spite of not having west nile shots and whatever else), and we have never needed to trim her hooves as she trims them down natually & perfectly each summer in our pasture. Some ground is too soft to do this well (we have a lot of gravel here and she is active!), or a horse may have laminitis or some such so that hoof care is more urgent.

    We had to regularly specially trim our first horse's hooves as her hooves were severely neglected. We searched specifically for and found someone who knew this condition well & instructed us properly in care. It was a lot of work! She had stood in soft, wet manure for who knows how long before we got her...oh and a "farrier" trimmed her hooves improperly, like she was standing on "high heels". Both greatly contributed to her problems. Make sure you know how to trim properly & safely. If you get a farrier, make sure that their reputation is flawless. She could barely walk because the hooves had grown inward over the frog & she was in extreme pain, but near the end of her life (she lived to 22), she could trot & even gallop some. She was happy...a totally different horse!

    She was a stunning, extremely intelligent & loyal Arabian-Morgan. She would have lived with us in the house if we had let her. I have a huge childhood fear of horses that I never overcame, but I was told that I was her chosen person. 🥰 I tried to work with her when I could in spite of my fear. She was a beautiful soul.

    As our current horse ages and becomes less active, we may need to do more hoof maintenance.

    Careful observance can tell a person a lot before a vet is even consulted. If you plan to keep the horse, do a lot of reading so that you can do your best by her. Find a good trainer who doesn't break horses, but gentles them (it leaves spirit intact & respects the horse). Look into herbal vet care. That would, of course, be my top choice for care.

    Keep in mind that having a horse can be a lot of work and in some cases, cost a fair amount to keep, but can bring great rewards and joy. If she doesn't work out for you, you can always rehome her.

  • SharieSharie Posts: 135 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for all the advice. Her hooves look great. The property is mountainous and has lots of rocks. She both gallops and walks so I don't see that she's in any discomfort. I doubt she's ever seen a vet and I tend to handle things myself when it comes to medical issues. I've worked on some pretty fancy show horses in the past. The owner is very poor. I bought the land from a group of people who inherited it and this horse belongs to one of the previous owners. If I understood correctly, he's got a brain tumor and can probably use the money for medical help. He's asking $1000 which is very negotiable. I've been told $500-$700 is fair here for a semi-untrained horse her age. I know quite a few people with horses and they don't seem to get all the diseases they do in North America and Europe. Maybe the natural lifestyle is better for them.

    I like the goat idea as I have been considering getting some goats for one steep slope. I want to keep her and if possible have her trained to ride. I'm not a big fan of Western style riding and saddles which is pretty much all that's used here so she might end up being a large pet or I can get her trained and just get used to another saddle. Might not be too bad if she slims down a bit LOL.

    Thanks again for all the input. Much appreciated.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,649 admin

    @Sharie You could always ride bareback. 😉 That what we do here. You might have to retain yourself for that, however.

    If that's no good, have you tried an aussie style saddle?

  • RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 624 ✭✭✭✭

    @Sharie I agree with @LaurieLovesLearning about the Aussie saddle. To me, it was always a cool blend of English and Western Saddles. You can get them with horns or not.

    As it has been said, you do you. If you want an English saddle, ride in an english saddle

  • SharieSharie Posts: 135 ✭✭✭

    Thank you. I will pass this on to my daughter. Not sure what we can buy or have made here. There are some really steep areas. Not sure if bareback would be safe. Lots to consider!

  • COWLOVINGIRLCOWLOVINGIRL Posts: 612 ✭✭✭✭

    @Sharie She sounds perfect!

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