Where do I start? One single piece of advice or should I just write a book?
No book writing today, I'm going to give you my most important piece of advice - Pay for EXPERT advice. There will be plenty of people offering you advice, all with the best of intentions but please, for the sake of your horse, please get expert help.
The first question I ask is 'did you have him/her vetted?' I know it's expensive, and many people don't unless they need to for insurance. If they haven't I like to suggest they get a vet to give it a once over, no written report, but they may spot something you need to be aware of to help provide appropriate care. Make sure your horse is registered with a vet from day 1, there really is no way of knowing when you may need to call them.
Next you need an expert who can guide you with day to day care. How much are you going to feed, and what are you going to feed. Which type of bedding is best for you.
Do you have tack that fits? A saddle should be fitted, preferably by a master saddler.
How much does your horse need exercising? Are you going to have lessons?
Another Expert you need to get on your team is a farrier. Your horses feet need maintenance whether shod or not. There are good Foot trimmers out there but personally I like to have a fully qualified farrier dealing with my horses feet.
Then we get into the realms of Equine therapists, physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, there are all sorts on offer and many do a great job though they should only be consulted with veterinary referral.
Yes I do like to have my horse checked over, a massage is often beneficial, for the rider as well as the horse.
It is a really exciting day when you bring your new horse home, or to a livery yard. If you are new to horse ownership find good people to help you and be prepared for a serious drop in your bank account and a shortage of spare time.
You have made a huge commitment, but as far as I am concerned it is one of the most rewarding things you can do, unless you have children. Unlike children, your horse will never grow up and move out. You will always have someone waiting for you to provide breakfast.