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What You Need to Know Before Buying a Horse - The Full Guide


If you're considering buying a horse, there are many aspects you need to take into account. A horse is not just a pet, it's a living creature with its own needs and demands, requiring a significant investment of time, money, and commitment. In this article, we will delve into crucial factors such as selecting the right horse, the costs associated with horse ownership, and the vital role that the stable and space available play. With proper planning and preparation, you can ensure that your future horse leads a healthy and happy life. Join us as we explore the world of horses and understand what it truly means to be a horse owner.

white horse in the wild, gras and trees and a big rock

Where Should You Keep a Horse?

One of the first things to consider before buying a horse is where the horse will be kept. Choosing the right place is crucial for your horse's well-being and can significantly impact its health and performance.

What factors should be considered when choosing a stable?

Choosing a stable for your horse is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. There are various factors to consider, including:


The stable should be in a quiet, safe environment that is stress-free for the horse. It should also be easily accessible and have ample space for movement and play.


A good stable should have all the necessary facilities, including a suitable pasture, well-ventilated and clean stalls, adequate water and food stations, and opportunities for training and leisure activities for the horse.

Stable management

Good stable management is crucial. The staff should be experienced, friendly, and dedicated to the welfare of the horses.


The cost of a stable slot can vary greatly depending on location, facilities, and services. It's important to set a budget and find stables that fall within this budget.

How much does a stable slot cost?

The cost of a stable slot can vary greatly depending on location, facilities, and services. On average, you can expect monthly costs between €200 and €800. These costs may include feed, care, and basic medical care, depending on the stable's service offering. It's important to consider these costs before buying a horse as they can make up a significant part of the monthly budget.

What facilities should a stable have?

A good stable should have a range of facilities to ensure the well-being and health of your horse. These include:

Well-ventilated and clean stalls

The stalls should be spacious, have good ventilation, and be cleaned regularly to prevent disease.

Access to pasture

Horses need daily time in the pasture to move freely and graze.

Food and water stations

There should be plenty of places where the horse can consume clean water and high-quality food.

Exercise facilities

A stable should have facilities for movement and training, such as a riding hall or a riding area.

Safe fencing

The stable and pasture should be securely fenced to protect the horse from dangers.

How much space does a horse need?

The space needs of a horse depend on its size, breed, and activity level. In general, a horse needs enough space to be able to lie down comfortably. It's also important that the horse has enough space to eat and drink.

How much space does a horse need in the stable?

The size of the stable is crucial to the well-being of your horse. As a rule, a horse should be accommodated in a box that measures at least 3x3 meters. Larger horses naturally require more space. It's important for the horse to have enough space to lie down, turn around, and stand comfortably. There should also be enough room for food and water.

How much space does a horse need in the pasture?

The pasture is an important place for a horse to graze, play, and move. Ideally, each horse should have at least 0.5 to 1 hectare of grazing land. However, the required pasture area depends on various factors such as the quality of the soil, the amount of available grass, and the season. It's important to remember that sufficient pasture not only provides for the horse's physical, but also its mental well-being.

How can you make optimal use of the space in the stable?

The optimal use of the stable space depends on the design and layout of the stable. Some tips for optimal use of the stable space include:

Efficient arrangement

The arrangement of stalls, food and water stations, tack room, and other facilities should be sensible and efficient. This makes it easier to care for and manage the stable.

Good ventilation

Ensure good ventilation in all areas of the stable to promote the health and well-being of the horses. Provision of leisure opportunities: Ensure there are ample opportunities for play and leisure to keep the horse engaged and stimulated.

Regular cleaning and maintenance

A clean and well-maintained stable contributes to the health and happiness of the horses.

What does a horse need for food and water?

The species-appropriate feeding and water supply of a horse is central to its health and well-being. Horses are natural grazers and spend a large part of their day consuming food.

What kind of food does a horse need?

The basis of a horse's diet should consist of roughage, i.e., hay or silage. Additionally, concentrates such as oats, barley, or special horse muesli can be fed as needed. A balanced mineral feed is also essential to meet the need for vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables in moderation can provide variety and serve as treats.

How much food does a horse need?

The amount of food depends on various factors such as the horse's weight, size, age, breed, health, and activity. As a general rule, a horse should consume about 1.5% to 2.5% of its body weight in dry food daily. This means that a 500kg horse would require approximately 7.5 to 12.5kg of dry food. However, the exact amount should always be individually tailored and regularly reviewed.

How often should a horse be fed?

A horse should ideally be fed several times a day, as its digestive system is designed for continuous food intake. It's recommended to divide the food into at least three to four meals spread throughout the day, with roughage always being the main component of feeding.

How much water should a horse drink?

Water is vital for horses and must always be available. The precise amount depends on factors such as the weather, physical exertion, and food intake. On average, a horse drinks about 20 to 50 litres of water per day, but in hot weather or high physical stress, this need may significantly increase. Therefore, it is crucial that the horse has access to fresh and clean water at all times.

The right nutrition and water supply are crucial factors for a horse's health and well-being. By providing a balanced and appropriate diet and constant availability of water, you can contribute to keeping your horse healthy and performing well.

How do you care for a horse?

Caring for a horse requires time, patience, and a regular routine. This includes cleaning the coat and hooves, checking the teeth and skin, and taking care of the mane and tail hair.

How often should a horse be groomed?

Ideally, a horse should be groomed daily. This not only helps to keep the coat clean and shiny, but also helps to detect minor injuries, skin problems or parasitic infestations early on. Additionally, it strengthens the bond between human and horse and can help the horse relax.

How do you care for a horse's hooves?

Hoof care is a central part of horse care. The hooves should be checked daily for foreign objects and injuries, and cleaned if necessary. Regular checks by a farrier are also essential to prevent hoof diseases and keep the hooves in good condition.

How do you care for a horse's teeth?

Dental care is particularly important for horses, as they process their food by chewing, which puts a lot of strain on the teeth. A horse's teeth should be checked at least once a year by a vet or a specialised equine dentist. Additionally, you should look out for signs such as excessive salivation, abnormal chewing behaviour, or weight loss, which can indicate dental problems.

How do you care for a horse's skin?

Skin care plays a crucial role in a horse's well-being. Regular grooming helps to remove dirt and dead skin cells and promotes blood circulation in the skin. In the summer, an insect repellent may be useful to protect the horse from insect bites. In addition, the skin should be regularly checked for injuries, rashes, or parasitic infestations, and a vet should be consulted if necessary.

Regular and careful care of a horse is an important aspect of horse keeping. Not only does it contribute to the horse's health, but it also strengthens the bond between human and horse and enhances the horse's well-being.

How do you train a horse?

Training a horse is a complex and sensitive task. It requires patience, empathy, and a good understanding of the horse's needs and abilities. The foundation of successful training is a trusting relationship between human and horse.

How do you start training a horse?

The training of a horse should start gradually and with simpler exercises. Firstly, it's necessary to get the horse used to basic commands and teach it to trust the human. It's important to end each training session on a positive note and reward the horse for good behaviour.

What exercises are suitable for beginners?

For beginners, simple exercises such as leading by hand, mounting and dismounting, or walking and trotting are suitable. These exercises help the horse get used to the rider and riding and promote trust between human and horse.

What exercises are suitable for advanced riders?

For advanced horses and riders, more complex exercises such as lateral movements, collection, or jumps may be appropriate. These exercises require a high level of concentration and coordination from both horse and rider and should only be carried out under the supervision of an experienced trainer.

How do you train a horse for different tasks?

Depending on the tasks a horse should fulfil, the training can be designed differently. For dressage horses, elegance and precision are in the foreground, while show jumpers need strength and speed above all. Leisure horses, on the other hand, should primarily be calm and reliable. It's important to adapt the training to the individual abilities and needs of the horse and not to overburden it.

Training a horse requires time, patience, and a good understanding of the horse. With the right approach and a trusting relationship between human and horse, however, training can become a rewarding experience for both parties.

What does it cost to keep a horse?

The costs of keeping a horse can vary greatly, depending on where and how the horse is kept and what demands are placed on its care and training. Here are some of the main cost points that should be considered:

What is the cost of buying a horse?

The acquisition costs for a horse can vary greatly, depending on the breed, age, training, and health of the horse. A young, untrained horse can sometimes be bought for a few hundred Euros, while a trained sports horse can cost several thousand, and in individual cases even tens of thousands of Euros.

What is the cost of keeping a horse?

The monthly costs of keeping a horse mainly include the upkeep for the stable (including feed and bedding), potential costs for pasture, the costs for regular hoof care and deworming, as well as insurance costs. The monthly costs can vary greatly depending on the region and type of keeping, but you should reckon with at least 200 to 500 Euros per month.

What is the cost of training a horse?

The costs for training a horse can also vary greatly. Depending on whether you train the horse yourself, make use of professional riding services, or need riding lessons for yourself, the costs can be between 50 and several hundred Euros per month.

What does a vet cost?

The costs for a vet can vary greatly depending on the health of the horse. Regular costs include the annual vaccination and deworming, as well as possibly dental checks. However, in the case of illness or injury, higher costs can quickly arise. A horse surgery insurance can be sensible in such cases.

What does a farrier cost?

Hoof care is an important part of horse keeping. Depending on whether the horse wears horseshoes or goes barefoot, and how often the farrier has to come, the costs can be between 20 and 100 Euros per visit.

The costs of keeping a horse can therefore quickly become high. It's important to get a precise overview of the expected costs before buying a horse and to have sufficient financial reserves for unforeseen expenses (e.g. vet costs).


Purchasing a horse is a significant commitment that requires careful planning and preparation. Selecting the appropriate stable, taking into account the costs, and ensuring adequate space for your horse are vital aspects you need to consider. With the right information and preparation, you can ensure that your horse leads a healthy and happy life.

By focusing on aspects like breed, age, and temperament during the selection process, you can find a horse that aligns well with your skill level and objectives. However, it's equally crucial to ensure the living conditions for your horse are up to standard. This includes not only the physical space provided in the stable and pasture, but also other factors such as ventilation, availability of food and water, and cleanliness of the stable.

Budgeting plays a critical role, given the variety of costs involved in keeping a horse. The associated expenses extend beyond the initial purchase, covering stable and feeding costs, as well as ongoing medical care. It's also important to note that optimising the stable space and its facilities can contribute significantly to the horse's overall wellbeing and potentially even lead to cost savings in the long run.

Finding the right stable requires careful consideration of various factors and potentially visiting several different options. An ideal stable should not only meet your horse's basic needs but also provide opportunities for exercise and stimulation, which are vital for its mental wellbeing. By giving due diligence to these factors, you can create an optimal environment that contributes to a healthy and fulfilling life for your horse.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors should be considered when choosing a horse?

When selecting a horse, several factors should be taken into account, including the breed, age, temperament, health condition, and the horse's level of training. Furthermore, you should also consider your own abilities, needs, and goals.

How much does it cost to keep a horse?

The cost of keeping a horse can vary greatly depending on location, stable costs, feeding costs, medical care, and other factors. On average, however, you should expect monthly costs between 500€ and 1000€.

How can I optimise the space in the stable for my horse?

Optimising the space in the stable for your horse can be achieved through efficient arrangement of facilities, good ventilation, providing leisure opportunities, and regular cleaning and maintenance.

How much space does a horse need?

A horse needs enough space to be able to move comfortably, lie down, eat, and drink. In the stable box, this should be at least 3x3 metres, while ideally, at least 0.5 to 1 hectare should be available in the pasture.

What equipment should a good stable have?

A good stable should have well-ventilated and clean boxes, access to pasture, sufficient food and water stations, exercise opportunities, and secure fencing.

How do I find the right stable for my horse?

To find the right stable for your horse, you should consider various factors such as location, facilities, stable management, and price. It is also advisable to visit several stables before making a final decision.

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