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Purchasing and Owning a Horse 101

Topics: Matching horse and rider, sales contracts, pre-purchase exams, shopping for a horse, facility management

Course Contact: Dr. Christine Skelly

For questions regarding this course, please contact Dr. Christine Skelly at

Course Overview

Owning a horse can be a rewarding experience. Success depends on matching the right horse to owner, based on the prospective owner’s goals and equestrian ability. Once the match is made, both the fun and work begins!  Horse ownership is a big responsibility, not just in relation to the size of the animal, but also in the amount of time and financial investment that is required in the day to day upkeep of an equine companion. A horse requires daily management including feeding and exercising the horse as well as maintaining the horse's housing. In addition, routine health care including annual vaccinations, parasite control, dental care, and hoof care must be regularly attended to. After all of the necessary daily work and health care is accomplished, the owner can enjoy building a partnership with their equine companion through riding, driving or ground work. Course topics include:

  • Matching horse and rider

  • Shopping for a horse

  • Behavioral problems to avoid

  • Sales contracts

  • Pre-Purchase exams

  • Facility management

  • Basic equine nutrition

  • Basic equine health

  • Equipment selection 

This course was developed with content from our Horse Selection and Evaluation premier course.

Course Format




Anchor 1

Registration Instructions

To register for this course you will need to create an account, sign in with your email/password, and complete the registration process. To watch a video tutorial, demonstrating an overview of the registration process, click on the following link: Online Course Registration Video Tutorial. Step-by-step instructions are below.


  1. Create your MSU Guest Account and PasswordCreate Your Account

  2. Login to the registration system with your Guest Account (your email) and Password: Purchasing and Owning a Horse 101.

  3. Follow the instructions to register for the course. Upon registration, you will receive a receipt and instructions for accessing the course.

Technical Assistance  

If you have any technical problems, please contact the Michigan State University IT Service Desk from 7am-12am Monday through Friday and 10am-12am on Saturday/Sunday, any day that the University is open.  

  • Phone: (517) 432-6200 

  • Phone (toll free): 1 (844) 678-6200 

  • Chat 

  • Email Web Form 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is my username/NETID? 
Your username (or NET ID) is the email address you used to create your account during registration (you use the same email address/password for registering and for taking the course). 


What URL do I go to for logging into the course? 
Go to: You will see the Michigan State University at the top of the page. Login with the email address and password you set during the registration process. 


I received a “not authenticated” response when trying to login – what do I do? 
A “not authenticated” message is typically an issue with a password not being entered correctly. 


I forgot my password – where can I reset it? 
If you need to reset your password at any time go to and select the option for "Need help Signing in." 

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