Tips on Buying a Horse

Tips on Buying a Horse

Article by Nanette Yocum

How to Choose the Right Horse

Buying a Horse can be confusing, especially if this is your first horse. I have been a trainer for over 35 years and I’ve helped a lot of people find their first horse. It will either be the best thing you’ve done or it can be a headache. I hope to give you enough tips to make this the Best thing you’ve ever done!

Where to Begin

Having a horse is a pleasure, but one of the first things you need to decide is, “What do I want to do with my horse?” Because, this will determine what to look for. Do you want to trailride, show, hunter-jumper, gaited… And with so many different breeds, which one would be right for you.

One of the first things you need to decide is what discipline would you like to do (trailride, show- and do you want a versatile horse that can go English, Western???) or have you been taking lessons (which I highly recommend) and there’s the horse of your dreams at the stable? If you already have a horse or breed in mind, that’s great, but now let’s start seeing if this is the right horse for you.

First things First

So, you’ve made the decision to buy a horse. Before you pay, do you have a place to board or keep your horse? Have you checked out the facilities? Are they clean, how do the other horses look? If you’re keeping your horse in a stall, do they clean it, feed the horse, does the horse get turned out daily or is that your responsibility? And you’ll also need to find a vet and a farrier. Part of your monthly budget, not only do you need to think about the cost of boarding your horse, or if you have the property and will be keeping it at home, you’ll still need to trim or shoe your horse, every 8 weeks. The vet, you shouldn’t need out regularly, except for worming and shots. Some like to worm every 3 months, I worm every 4months, and give shots twice a year. Now, also depending on where you live, there will be different shots for some of the different diseases that can be carried, so you’d want to check with your vet.


If you’re buying the feed, check with your local feed store and depending on what you’ll be doing with your horse, they should be able to hook you up with the proper feed and nutrition for your horse. I feed a sweet feed for my horses that are not doing a whole lot, as this is low in protein (10%), and I feed an alfalfa/grass mix hay. Now my show horses get a 14% feed, since they are on a rigorous work schedule, and my older horses get Equine Senior, which is made specifically for the older horse.

Buying Supplies

When buying supplies, you can probably get everything you need from your local feed store, but this can also get very expensive, so I like to go online to get my brushes and other supplies, even with shipping (and a lot of times shipping is free), it is much more cost effective.


When picking out a horse, you should also look at the horses conformation. For the breed you’re buying you should make sure, the horse is put together right. Crooked legs or legs that are too straight might cause problems. There are books that can show you what the proper legs should look like.and the way the horse is put together will also give the horse a smoother gait or rough gait. The angle of the shoulder and the way the neck comes out of the shoulder are another factor.

You Think You’ve found your Horse

After searching and looking at different horses, you’ll start to see the differences in the way the horses are put together. Now, make no mistake, ALL horses are beautiful, it’s just the way GOD has made them. But by now, you’re realizing that some differences might not make the best horse for you. The one thing I always suggest, even to my clients, is ALWAYS, have the horse Vet checked. And don’t take the word from the owner that the hosre is up to date on all it’s shots and worming. Even if I have a client or someone come to my ranch to buy one of my horses, I will always have them havee the horse checked by a vet ( I usually will suggest one of our other vets, just so it’s a vet that doesn’t know my horses) And has the horse had any colic, or injuries, feet problems. Record keeping for all horses is a must and something you’ll want to do with your new mount.

My life as a Trainer, Judge, and 4H Leader for the last 38 years has given me a lot of experience. And being able to help my clients, students and 4H kids has been very rewarding and something that will last a life time.

Horse for Sale: How to Buy a Horse or Sell the One You Have

Horse for Sale: How to Buy a Horse or Sell the One You Have

Directed to both buyers and sellers, because eventually most horse owners are both, this guide explains how to evaluate the prospective purchase, details marketing strategies for the seller, and explains the legal issues that both must know.

List Price: $ 29.95

Price: $ 3.99

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