How To Buy A Horse

Buying a horse is not as simple as you think it would be.  Unfortunately when it comes to horses you usually get what you pay for.  So, if you are not an experienced horseman, find someone (a friend or trainer) who is to assist you  in purchasing you horse.  You cannot have enough input when it comes to screening your prospects.

Once you find a potential candidate that you are interested in purchasing, contact the seller and ask them everything you can think of, to try to eliminate the horse from your list.  It is better to find out any issues now, before you invest too much time and money in a horse only to have to eliminate the prospect later.

You may wish to ask the following questions:

  1. Why are you selling the horse? (All horses have issues, it is only important to know what this horse’s issue are and if you can live with them).
  2. How old is the horse?  Depending on what you intend to use the horse for, age can be an important factor.  Also, if you are not a skilled horseman you may not want a younger horse.
  3. Are they willing to release the medical records to you?  All horses have seen a vet, even if for only vaccinations.  If there are no vet records, this could be a red flag.
  4. Are they willing to let you try the horse at your barn for at least 3 days?  You always want to try the candidate at your barn to see how the horse reacts to it.  It also takes the stress off of you, that the owner is watching your every move.

If you are happy with the answers you receive from the seller, then it is time to go try the horse at its home barn.  This way, you can see if you really like the horse before you spend your time and money bringing the horse to your site.  Assuming everything goes well, it is time to bring the horse to your barn for a trial.  Always, treat a horse on trial better that you would your own horse!  The horse on trial is a quest in your house and should be treated as such.

During your trial, ride the horse like you normally would, no more,  no less.  Having a horse on trial is not an invitation to ride the horse into the ground to simply see what it can do.  Be kind, just remember you could have your horse out on trial some day.  If you decide that this horse is not for you simply call the owner and let them know it is not going to work out.  There will not be any hard feelings, as everyone knows finding the right horse can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

If you do find that this right horse, schedule a vet check, actually you should schedule it before you bring the horse in.  (Most vets will let you cancel with 24 hours notice, they understand the purchasing process. )  Always get a pre-purchase exam!!  There is no such thing a free horse, it will cost you eventually. When buying a horse, you could be buying someone else’s problems, whether they realize it or not.  It is imperative that you vet any horse before you finalize your purchase.  The money you spend on a vet check can save you thousands of dollars later!