Guest Author - Kim Wende
Most horses that are cheap are usually not trained and if they do have some training more than likely they will have some type of health or behavior problems. Horse ownership is not something to be taken lightly.
Buying a cheap horse or getting one for free is the easy part, but that is just the beginning. Horses can live for a really long time and cost you thousands of dollars over the years. You need to take into consideration the ongoing costs and responsibilities of owning a horse.
After you get the horse, you will have ongoing costs of hay, grain, vitamins, and worming along with farrier care every six to eight weeks. The other thing that horses need is dental work which should be done yearly at the least.
If you don't have a place to keep your horse you will have to board them and that can be very expensive. If keeping your horse at home you will need adequate shelter because if left outside they could develop rain rot from damp conditions or high humidity.
Vet bills are another thing to take into consideration as the horse could develop a major illness or have an accident. Vet bills can cost you several hundred to thousands of dollars.
Another thing to take into consideration is are you going to have the time to commit to the horse? Horses require a lot of time for feeding, grooming, exercising and cleaning the stall and this does not include training or riding them. What about the tack needed for riding? If you get proper fitting tack this can cost you more than the purchase price of your cheap or free horse.
If the horse is not trained and you are an inexperienced owner you will need to find a professional trainer to get your horse going in the right direction. Don't try to train one yourself if you do not have the experience as training can be very dangerous. Most behavior problems are caused by inexperienced owners.
I've seen it time and time again where people get a cheap or free horse and think they can train it themselves. When the horse develops behavior problems such as biting, bucking, kicking, or bolting because of lack of knowledge from the previous or current owner, then they will do one of the following. The current owner will either send the horse to a trainer, leave them in the pasture, but most often they sell them.
Keep in mind that where knowledge ends abuse usually begins.
If they decide to send the horse to a trainer they don't want to invest much into training because after all this was a cheap or free horse and they want the behavior problem fixed in 30 days or less.
So many times people think that buying a cheap horse is better than investing thousands of dollars for one that is trained, safe and well-mannered. Before you make the decision, to get one for free or buy a cheap horse from an action or get one from a rescue consider leasing. Leasing can save you a lot of time and money. Take lessons too as this will be a great investment and you will thank yourself for doing so.