Quick Tips from AAEP

10 Tips for Preventing Colic

10 Tips for Reducing Your Horse's West Nile Risk

10 Tips for Choosing the Best Hay for Your Horse

10 Tips for Weight Reduction in the Overweight Horse

10 Tips for Caring for the Older Horse

Health Articles from AAEP


AAEP Vaccine Guidelines

Understanding Your Horse Insurance Responsibilities

Reduce Your Horse's Risk of Gastric Ulcers

Recognizing the Signs of EPM

Protect Your Horse from EIA

Learn to Recognize Your Horse's Dental Problems

Learn to Recognize the Signs of Laminitis

Don't Skip the Purchase Exam


Pre Purchase Considerations for Owning a Horse

There are some considerations before the purchase of a horse that should be carefully reviewed and understood. Many of these considerations can be found in
the Equine Code of Practice. The Equine Code of Practice is a nationally developed guideline for the care and handling of all equines in Canada. It helps to provide owners with an understanding of sound management and welfare practices so that owners have the knowledge and skills to properly care for a horse. The Code of Practice clearly states ‘Owners must have the resources for and knowledge of the basics of care as stated in this Code and ensure such care is provided.’
It is important to note that while the ownership of a horse can be a wonderful experience, there are responsibilities associated with this ownership. Horses can live for 30 years or longer which means a significant time commitment is required. As well it must be noted that the initial cost of purchasing a horse is always less than the ongoing care required which means a significant amount of money will be needed to properly care for your horse. The following are considerations from the Equine Code of Practice that should be reviewed prior to the purchase of any horse:

What are the costs? As stated earlier, the initial cost of the horse will be significantly less than the total cost of caring for a horse.

What type of horse is appropriate? Age, breed, sex, temperament, level of training, discipline, skill level of the potential owner should all be considered to ensure the right horse is being purchased.
How much time is needed? Consider the significant time commitment that will go into owning a horse. Your time will include grooming, feeding, exercising, mucking stalls, stable maintenance as well as veterinary and farrier visits.
How and where will the horse be kept? Consider suitable off-site properties as accommodations for the horse prior to purchasing. For some, home property accommodations are suitable.
What skills and knowledge are required? People who are to be responsible for any horse must have the proper knowledge of feed and water requirements, stable maintenance, signs of illness and common injuries, humane handling and the ability to know when to seek advice from another knowledgeable horse person. A person responsible for a horse should also be able to determine a time when an ownership should end.