5 Things to Know Before Buying Your First Horse

5 Things to Know Before Buying Your First Horse

Buying your first horse is an exciting—and daunting—process. For many, it’s the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. For others, it’s an unexpected opportunity. Before galloping headlong into horse ownership, know what you’re getting into. These are the 5 things to know before buying your first horse.

  1. farrierPlan financially. Horses aren’t a one-time purchase to scrimp and save for. They’re a lifelong investment. Regular horse expenses include food and supplies, boarding, and vet and farrier bills. If you plan on training your horse to compete, you may get a monetary return on the investment. But before buying a horse, make sure you can afford everything ownership entails, even if your mount never takes home a prize.
  2. Ask a professional. Most first time horse owners don’t know what to look for when it comes to the age, breed, history, and health of a horse. Before committing to a purchase, ask a professional to help you find the right horse.
  3. Be smart. Think with your head, not your heart. Ask yourself what has drawn you to each particular horse. If you’re a regular polo player and the horse is an experienced polo pony, you’re probably in the clear. But if you like the horse because of its coloring, temperament, or because you bonded with it emotionally, ask for a second opinion.
  4. Schedule an exam. You wouldn’t buy a used car without getting the all-clear from a mechanic, or purchase a home without a house inspection. Don’t take risks with your horse! Vets are used to giving pre-purchase exams; they’ll be able to tell you if the horse has any health or fitness issues before you sign the papers.
  5. Know what you’re getting into. Owning a horse isn’t just a financial commitment. Horse ownership takes time and dedication. Before making the final decision, make sure you can give your new horse what it needs.

Chukkar Farm is a polo club and boarding barn in Alpharetta. Call to learn more about our services.

Fundraisers Are Better at Chukkar Farm!

Fundraisers Are Better at Chukkar Farm!

With the rolling pastures, wooded hills, and crystalline rivers and lakes, there’s no better location for your next fundraiser than Chukkar Farm. We’re a polo club and event facility in Alpharetta characterized by rustic charm and the elegance of the old South. We’ve hosted some spectacular events, from weddings and photoshoots to concerts and charity polo matches. Chukkar Farm is dedicated to making each event memorable. That means doing everything we can to make your next fundraiser a rousing success!

How to Make Your Fundraiser Stand Out

  1. Focus your cause. Whether you’re raising money for a family in need, a community organization, or a national charity, grabbing people’s attention is the key to a successful fundraiser. Choose a focus for your fundraiser and make it attainable. For example, a tagline like “Polo Sunday keeps the doctor away” tells your supporters why you’re raising money and how they can help you meet your goal.
  2. woman using smartphoneRally the troops. No fundraiser is successful without boots on the ground. Gather a team of volunteers who will chat up your event to friends, post about your fundraiser on social media, and generally spread the word. The more friends they have on social media, the more potential donors they’ll reach!
  3. Make donating easy. There’s nothing more frustrating than deciding to give, only to waste your time figuring out the system. Whether you’re earning funds through ticket sales, a charity auction, or online donations, you’ll earn more if you simplify the process of giving.

Contact Chukkar Farm in Alpharetta for your next fundraiser event. It’s time to make history!

What Type of Horse Boarding Is Right for You?

What Type of Horse Boarding Is Right for You?

Whether you own a polo pony, a dressage horse, or an endurance horse, you want to make sure your horse is boarded in a good barn. Most horse owners don’t have the space or resources to board their own horses, so they board at a local barn. But if you’ve never boarded a horse before, you might not know what to look for in a barn. Brush up on the different styles of horse boarding to decide what’s right for you.

Pasture Board

Pasture boarding is a great way to save money on horse boarding. The facility provides your horse with feed, water, shelter, and room to roam. Pasture boarded horses are kept outdoors with grass to eat, water to drink, and a run-in shelter in case of bad weather. The barn owner will keep an eye on your horse to make sure he’s safe and healthy.


When you self-board a horse, you’re given a stall in the facilities. The rest is up to you. You’re responsible for feeding your horse, mucking the stall, turn-out, and scheduling appointments with the vet or farrier. Self-boarding gives your horse the benefits of barn boarding, but takes more time for the owner than other types of boarding.


If you can’t afford to buy a horse, part-boarding is a good option. When you part-board a horse, you pay a portion of its boarding fees in exchange for using the horse. What’s included in part-boarding depends entirely on the terms laid out between you and the owner in the contract.

Full Board

Full board is a good option for horse owners without a lot of free time. Boarding includes the necessities, plus a stall with full turn-out. Some full board contracts also include training, equipment, use, specialized feed, and vet or farrier appointments, while others include these on a pay-as-needed basis. Full board allows horse owners to provide their horses with good care without visiting daily. The flip side? It’s more expensive than other boarding options.

Chukkar Farm offers unique, high quality horse boarding in Alpharetta.

Ride Off into the Sunset with an Equestrian Wedding

Ride Off into the Sunset with an Equestrian Wedding

Your wedding brings the most important people together and share in your joy, toast to your love, and cement a lifelong place in your wedding photo album. But not every cherished member of your life is a person. Your horse has been there through it all, giving you a sense of freedom, joy, and companionship. Why leave him in his stall? A Chukkar Farms equestrian wedding lets you give your beloved horse a place of honor on your special day.

4 Ways to Incorporate Horses into Your Wedding

  1. Get hitched on horseback. Julia Roberts might have given horseback nuptials a bad rap in “Runaway Bride,” but as long as you choose a well-trained horse and keep your feet nice and warm, his hooves will stay firmly planted while you exchange vows.
  2. bride on horsebackBrides and their bridles. Capture that perfect wedding photo with the help of your horse. Arrange your train, grab your bouquet and your bridle, and prepare for the perfect bridal photo to grace your mantle.
  3. Bust open the barn. Brides love barn weddings for their rustic charm. Instead of keeping the guests relegated to the dance floor, why not decorate the horse stalls, braid flowers into the horses’ manes, and let guests wander through? Just make sure all guests know how to behave around the horses. Nobody wants nipped fingers on the night of your nuptials.
  4. Ride off into the sunset. Capture that fairytale moment. Saddle up with your new spouse and ride off into the sunset.

Your dream of an equestrian wedding is within reach. Call Chukkar Farms to tour our rustic Alpharetta wedding venue.

Bride on Horseback

The Definitive Guide to Polo Match Etiquette

The Definitive Guide to Polo Match Etiquette

Polo is an ancient sport with a long and illustrious history. And that doesn’t just go for the horses and players. We’ve had centuries to hone the art of watching polo. Do you know the proper etiquette for polo spectators?

Polo Match Etiquette

With the chic attire, the buzz from the crowd, and the thrill of watching 1,000+ pound horses moving gracefully under the hand of their riders, attending a polo match is often just as much fun as playing polo. Once you’ve mastered the rules of the game, you may think it’s simply a matter of catching the action. But there’s a certain etiquette to attending a polo match that you should know.

  1. queen elizabeth ii - polo matchSpectate safely. You wouldn’t think you’d be prone to distractions when there are eight massive horses thundering around the field, but you’d be surprised. Don’t get so distracted discussing the finer points of the game that you put yourself in harm’s way. Keep an eye out for stray balls, mallets, and horses.
  2. Learn the lingo. You’ve mastered the basic terms of polo, now it’s time to show off your knowledge. A few well-placed words can make you look like a polo pro, whether this is your first match or your 50th. Want to impress a first time guest? Share the knowledge that Chukkar Farms is named after the segments of a polo match, which are called chukkars.
  3. Dress to impress. A wide-brimmed hat will keep you cool under the hot Alpharetta sun, while a simple, sophisticated ensemble gives polo matches a classic, relaxed feel. Ladies, leave the heels at home! You don’t want to wobble around the sidelines while your stilettos sink into the soft earth, and heels put a damper on the traditional “stomping of the divots.”
  4. Be on your best behavior. Polo etiquette for the audience falls more in line with a golf match than a football game. Celebrate good plays, but take care not to startle the horses. Enjoy the game standing on the sidelines or spread out a picnic blanket and enjoy a relaxed afternoon as you take in the action.

The start of polo season will be here before you know it. Visit Chukkar Farms to watch polo matches in Alpharetta.

10 Polo Terms to Know

10 Polo Terms to Know

Polo is a sport with a long and illustrious history. In fact, there’s evidence that polo may have originated in Persia as long ago as the 6th century B.C.! With such a storied past, it’s no wonder that polo is a popular sport across countless countries. Want to become part of the rich tradition of playing polo? Chukkar Farms offers polo lessons, polo matches, and space to horse around (excuse our pun) during polo season. But before you get started, check out these terms to know.

10 Polo Terms to Know

  1. polo gamePolo pony. A well-trained polo pony makes it easy for players of all experience levels to get into the game. Most polo ponies are thoroughbred, although some may be quarter horses or have other breeding.
  2. Clipped mane. Clipping the horse’s mane prevents it from getting tangled as the player maneuvers the reins.
  3. Braided tail. Braiding the horse’s tail prevents it from getting caught in the mallet.
  4. Polo martingale. A leather bridle of unique design, a polo martingale prevents the horse’s head from jerking up and hitting the rider.
  5. Breast plate. You may feel like you’re riding your horse into battle, but this breastplate is designed to keep the saddle from slipping.
  6. Bell boots. Encircles the horse’s ankle to prevent the horse’s hooves from over reaching.
  7. Polo wraps. Bandages wrapped around the horse’s legs to prevent scrapes and bruises and provide added support.
  8. Polo boots. Your horse wears boots, and so should you. Polo boots protect the player’s legs from injuries due to stray balls and mallet strikes.
  9. Knee pads. Like polo boots, knee pads protect the player’s legs from injury.
  10. Mallet. A long, thin striking stick reminiscent of a croquet mallet, a polo mallet is what players use to strike the ball.
Does Your Horse Have Spring Allergies?

Does Your Horse Have Spring Allergies?

Owning a horse can be one of the greatest pleasures in life. What many people don’t realize is the amount of training and upkeep that goes into taking care of these magnificent creatures. Outside of regular daily horse care and feeding, grooming and exercise, you need to be on the lookout for health issues. With spring just around the corner, it’s a good idea to watch your horse for signs of spring allergies.

Spring Allergy Symptoms

horse in fieldWhat are the symptoms of horse allergies?

  • Runny eyes
  • Nasal drainage
  • Head shaking
  • Coughing
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Inflamed Skin
  • Bald patches

Possible Allergens for Horses

Just like people, horses can be allergic to common allergens, such as grass, tree pollen, and weeds. They may also suffer allergic reactions from:

  • Mold and dust from their bedding, animal dander, or hay
  • Cleaners and other volatile chemicals that might be sprayed in and around the barn
  • Contact dermatitis from tack, boots, and other equipment
  • Insect bites, including mosquitoes, flies, or midges

Reducing Allergy Risks

You should always consult with your veterinarian if your horse has allergy symptoms. He or she will often recommend creams and shampoos that will reduce itching and help soothe the skin to promote healing.

There are things you can do to reduce your horse’s exposure to allergens:

  • Keep your horse in its stable when pollen counts are expected to be high
  • Keep pastures mowed to control weeds and cut down on grass pollen
  • Use a bedding that is less irritating
  • Soak hay with water to reduce dust
  • Store hay and bedding in another building if possible to reduce exposure to mold and dust
  • Scatter hay when feeding instead of leaving it in a pile
  • Keep stables well ventilated
  • Use fly sheets or screens to prevent insects in your barn
5 Things to Know Before Boarding Your Horse

5 Things to Know Before Boarding Your Horse

Horses are every inch loving and beautiful creatures. They are also graceful, spirited, and unique in their own kind of way. Whether you’re a casual rider, a show horse trainer, or a polo person, it’s very easy to love horses. But just because you’ve saved up to buy a horse doesn’t mean you can afford the land to board it. If you don’t have a barn in your backyard, you’ll want to find one nearby that will care for your horse, keep him well fed, and give him room to stretch his legs. Before choosing where to board your horse, you’ll want to keep these things in mind.

5 Things to Know Before Boarding Your Horse

  1. horse haltersBarns have personalities. They could be laid back, stylish and professional, or cater to a particular specialty. You’ll want to find a barn with an atmosphere that matches your personality and that of your horse.
  2. Some barns have a focus. They may cater to horses of specific breeds or disciplines.
  3. They feed differently. Research the barn to see if they have free access to hay bales and grass, or if they have a more structured feeding program.
  4. The cost isn’t everything. Some barns may include add-on services like changing blankets or holding horses for the farrier, while others include it in the cost of board.
  5. Their barn, their rules. Make sure you know what the rules are (and whether you can live with them).

Chukkar Farms is a polo club in Alpharetta with plenty of land to roam. Want a unique horse boarding opportunity for your horses? Chukkar has it all!

Your February To-Do List for a Fall Wedding

Calling all brides! Does the thought of celebrating Valentine’s Day with a new ring sparkling on your finger leave you all fluttery inside? Leave the elaborate V-Day date to your fiancé. Your mission, if you choose to accept it: channel the power of love into fall wedding planning!

5 Essential February Tasks for a Fall Wedding

  1. wedding couple with horseGet engaged! If you’re not already The Future Mrs., your boyfriend may be planning to pop the question this Valentine’s Day. After all, nothing says romance like February 14th! Time for a manicure . . .
  2. Insure your ring. You may love your ring so much it’s basically glued to your finger, but a little insurance goes a long way. You never know when you’ll show off that bling, only to find a setting has come loose. Be smart and protect that work of art!
  3. Choose a venue. There’s one crucial choice a couple needs to make before finding a caterer, shopping for wedding dresses, or even choosing a color scheme for the wedding: the venue. Your venue will set the tone (and the date!) for your big day. Book wedding venue tours early on to guarantee a great spot.
  4. Pick a dress. Most wedding dress shops need 6-8 months to stitch your wedding dress, plan for fittings, and make any necessary alterations. Wedding dress shopping is one of the first things you should do after choosing your venue. The good news? Dress shopping means lots of love, lots of laughs, and that powerful “Say Yes” moment.
  5. Plan your honeymoon. Plan your honeymoon suite, all-inclusive resort, or backpacking adventure well in advance to make sure you get the best location (and the best price). Book flights early and renew your passports now if you plan to travel internationally.

February is National Wedding Month, which makes it the perfect time to plan a fall wedding. Let Chukkar Farms help make your wedding everything you dreamed it would be.

Start Your Life Together without These Wedding Trends

Start Your Life Together without These Wedding Trends

laughing bride and groomWedding trends come and go, but photos are forever. How can you ensure your wedding pictures are as timeless as your love? Be bold, be yourself, and be real about which wedding design trends are on the way out.

4 Wedding Trends to Leave Behind

  1. The bride pays. We love tradition. Family traditions, Southern traditions, and personal traditions you share as a couple all deserve a place of prominence at your wedding. One tradition that’s outlived its use? The bride (and her family) footing the bill. In an age of working women and the occasional house-husband, it’s time to leave this antiquated tradition behind and start your partnership before the I Do’s.
  2. Clashing themes. Pinterest can be a lifesaver when it comes to planning and organizing your wedding. But there are times when it’s all too much. After all, you love rustic weddings, but movie-star elegance has its appeal too. Neutrals look beautiful against a classic backdrop, but bold colors are making a comeback . . . Pick your wedding theme, plan it around your venue, and stick to the plan, or your wedding will be a hot mess of competing styles and colors.
  3. Food trucks. We know, it’s a cute trend. Food trucks make wedding catering fun, casual, and wonderfully inexpensive. But before you book a food truck for your wedding, ask yourself whether you really want brightly colored vehicles in the background of your wedding photos. Wedding trend analysts predict that 2017 catering will move back into the realm of elegant, plated dishes. If you love family-style dining, limit it to one area of the dining area, like hors d’oeuvres or desserts.
  4. Pleasing other people. Wedding trends come and go, but your love is forever. In the end, it doesn’t matter what designers, friends, or even your parents say. Choose something that will make you happy!

We’d love to help you plan an Alpharetta wedding. Call Chukkar Farms for wedding planning tips, scheduling guides, and a tour of our facilities.