This week's guest post is by Holly Powell who writes for Edgemere, a leading online equestrian supplies retailer helping the horse riding community get the very best horse gear and equipment.
Imaged: Draft Cross, an easy going horse with good temperament.
Horse riding is one of the UK's favourite past times, and in rural areas in particular horse riding is very popular indeed. Horses make for fantastic pets, and if well looked after can live 20 or even 30 years. There are over 200 species of horse on the planet and of them, many are recommended for new riders whilst other breeds are best left for seasoned professionals. Horses can have a tendency to "flip" under pressure or stress, leading many to choose a safer breed of horse especially as a new rider.
If you are looking at which horses are best for a new rider who is perhaps a member of your family or a friend, or are a new rider and would like to discover how you can best choose your first horse, let's take a look at some advice published by experts.
Consider time dedication
Horses are a long-term commitment and should be treated as such. They require a lot of maintenance, and contrary to some belief, a domesticated horse would likely not survive living on a grassy field alone in the winter months. Amongst other things, horses need to have their feet trimmed and shoed, and regularly checked every few days for illness or any signs of possible infection. If you board your horse yourself, its stable will also need to be regularly cleaned and maintained.
Consider the riders capability
Not all riders are equal and for some people it can take years worth of experience to get the most out of a ride. The amount of training and on-horse time a rider has had will likely determine a rider’s ability to handle a horse. If a rider has had little to no experience, a quiet well-trained horse is the best bet to ensure the rider’s and the horse’s safety. For more seasoned riders, a horse with a fiery temperament can be enticing due to the nature of the challenge.
Always consider finances
Horses take a lot of maintenance, and they also cost a lot of money. It is always said that if you cannot afford to keep a horse and keep its living conditions consistent, then you should not be buying a horse in the first place. The amount of training a horse has had is the main determining factor of initial cost as well as breed / pedigree. A horse that is 6 - 8 years old will likely cost upwards of £1000 or more, however is safer than a younger horse for a new rider. As well as initial cost, you will need to also consider veterinary bills as well as food, clothing and other necessities. What's more, relocating a horse can cost a pretty penny too.
Consider the breed of horse
There are 267 breeds of horse in the world and all of them are unique in their own special way. For a new rider or beginner, "draft crosses" are usually a top beginner horse due to their quiet demeanor and soft temperament. Whatever the breed, though, training plays a key role in whether a horse will to get on with a rider.