Black and brown horses eating hay

The Basics of Owning and Raising a Horse

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If you’re in Utah, it won’t be surprising if you are falling in love with the environment. The Beehive State has a diverse terrain, so there’s always an adventure waiting for everyone. This can include horseback riding. Before you jump on building a stable, learn the basics of owning and maintaining a horse:

1. How much does it cost to breed a mare?

If you truly love horses, then you might want to consider breeding the mare, but mind you, it can be expensive. It can run up to $20,000, and it’s not a guarantee you’ll have a useful animal later. It might not be a potential athlete, for example. To save money, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your goal? If you are thinking of racing the horse or display it in show competitions, breeding timing is everything. You don’t want to mate a mare with a stud when it’s already 15 years old and above. The chances of pregnancy significantly decline.
  • How much is your budget? You might be able to reduce the costs in certain areas. For example, you can find a stud closer to home to save on transport.
  • How committed are you? The process doesn’t end during conception. During the gestation period, the horse will require more medical attention. Their nutritional needs can also change.

2. What do you need when you want to ride a horse?

Utah has one of the most amazing outdoors, and it’s perfect not only for hiking or camping. Some trails are ideal for horseback riding. It can be one of your motivations to start a ranch or a stable.

First, you need a harness, which can help control the movement of the horse. You can design your own by buying headstalls and reins. Then the horse will need a saddle, which is usually leather.

The saddle is where you sit, and it comes in various designs and sizes. The Western seats usually are bigger and heavier. These are necessary to distribute the rider’s weight during long rides. If you’re a first-time rider, you can invest in a general-purpose saddle, which allows you to perform basic tricks.

The stirrups are also essential for a comfortable ride. Like the saddle, you can choose among many options. It depends on the length of your legs, their position when you’re riding, how you ride, and other activities you have in mind. Some are also safer than others.

3. How often should you take the horse outside?

woman and horse in a grass fieldHorses are some of the animals that need regular, even daily, exercises. They are prone to circulation problems, especially around the feet, when they remain in their stall for long periods. If you intend to spend a lot of time outdoors with them, a workout can also help increase their stamina. Exercising can also help keep you healthy and create a stronger bond with the animal. Depending on the age and health of the horse, it may need at least 15 minutes of exercise each day. The increase in intensity is gradual, which means you begin with a trot for a few minutes before doing jumps.

Horses are remarkable animals. They are multi-functional, strong, and dependable. But they also need plenty of care and love. Make sure before you own or breed one, you’re ready for the responsibility. Invest in the right tacks as well to keep you and your horse safe at all times.

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