Owning a horse is a fantastic experience but not something to jump into withoutappropriate experience. Beginners are often quick to ask when it is the right time to buy their first horse, and while the answer is different for everyone, it’s generally accepted that you should always wait.

How long you should wait depends on a variety of factors, which are outlined below to give you a better understanding of how long to wait until buying a horse.

Riding Experience

The first and most obvious factor before deciding to buy a horse is your riding experience. It’s important to remember that you should have a lot of experience riding horses, as even those that have had lessons for several years are far from ready to own a horse.

In most instances, it’s recommended to have several years of riding experience, preferably from a young age, as this ensures you know exactly how to ride and handle your own horse. Riding school horses are often well trained, so many beginners think they are ready to buy a horse only to discover there is still a lot to learn.

You should be a balanced rider that is experienced enough to canter with confidence, while also knowing exactly how to react to a horse that starts to bolt. In fact, some believe you shouldn’t own a horse until you can break them to saddle and bridle, so consider all these factors when determining experience.

Stable management

Experience doesn’t just relate to riding the horse, but also stable management, as there is a lot of daily maintenance required to care for the horse.

From mucking out stalls to providing fresh and water, there is a lot of work involved with stable management, including building or sourcing a shelter for them to live.

This isn’t just time-consuming but also requires a lot of experience. Part ownership and regular lessons are a good way to learn the basics of stable management, just bear in mind that the work is not for the faint of heart.

Horse Healthcare and Grooming 

The long-term care of a horse is one of the most challenging aspects of ownership, yet sadly one of the most overlooked by beginners.

Grooming is perhaps one of the most time-consuming aspects of owning a horse, as you need to brush them daily, care for their teeth, and ensure they have food and water, all while checking for signs of illness and injury

In fact, you must be ready to dedicate a large portion of your free time to care for the horse daily, which is something that shocks a lot of beginners.

Yes, riding a horse an amazing experience, but there is so additional hard work involved after you’ve dismounted – never overlook this and only buy when you are ready and willing to care for horse long-term.


Perhaps the biggest factor that a beginner should think about is their finances. Simply put, a horse is a massive financial commitment that you must be aware of. This isn’t just the initial investment for the horse (which is very costly) but the long-term finances of ownership.

You need to have a suitable shelter for the horse and provide a constant supply of food and drink. Medicine, vaccinations, and dental care are other medical expenses to consider, while grooming supplies and new shoes will also be needed regularly.

As you can imagine, this runs up quite the bill, which is why it’s always a good idea to wait until you have the right financial situation before buying a horse.