Horses come in a wide range of breeds and colours that vary in size. The weight of an adult horse varies between approximately 830-2200 lb (380-1000 kg), with a typical height range of 55-71 in (140-180-cm).
As horses are herd animals they can be difficult to manage when they are isolated. They are highly intelligent creatures, performing well in tasks requiring problem solving, speed of learning and memory, and can be trained to perform a multitude of tasks. Horses are described as 'warm blooded' or 'cold blooded' in temperament - warm blooded horses are more energetic and strong (typically race horses), while a cold blooded horse will generally be quieter and calmer.
Horses are considered among the most long-lived pets as their average lifespan is 25-30 years.
The first thing to consider when selecting a horse is deciding whether you want a young horse or an adult horse. Young horses require more care and attention so if you don’t have much time for your horse an adult will be more suitable.
When selecting a horse research the breed thoroughly. Books and websites provide information on the grooming and feeding requirements of different breeds. These factors will influence which breed is best for you.
If you don't have much prior knowledge about horses or the specific breed, bring an expert with you to view the horse or ask advice from an experienced vet or horse training school.
Be sure to ask questions about the horse you are looking at - e.g. How old is it? Do the breeders have registration papers? Take the number of the vet the seller uses and ask them directly if the horse is physically fit or suffering from any diseases. Make sure your choose a vet with the right qualifications and experience to take care of your horse once you purchase it.
When you decide to buy a horse, it is essential that you also purchase horse insurance at the same time. It may be worth taking the horse for a trial period; if you decide to do this make sure you agree with the breeder/seller that they will want the animal returned to them in the same condition as it leaves the yard.
Horses are long lived animals, so take care when choosing a horse and be sure you are ready for such a responsibility.