Before buying a new horse, consider whether getting a horse on loan, part loan, or just riding/exercising someone else’s horse would be a more appropriate option for you. Owning a horse is a full time commitment, and you need to be sure you have the time, money and experience to care of one.
1. Make a list of the key things you want from your new horse such as your price range, needs and abilities, and things you wish to avoid (certain health issues and bad behaviours). This will make searching through adverts quicker and easier.
2. Once you’ve found a horse you’re interested in, write a list of questions you’d like to ask the seller.
3. It’s a good idea to take an experienced person with you when you go to view a horse.
4. When viewing a horse, watch how he behaves in the stable, when tied up, and being groomed, tacked up, rugged and turned out. Ask the seller if you can have a go too, so you know exactly what you’ll be dealing with. Don’t be afraid to question any behaviour you see as a potential problem.
5. Ask the seller to ride the horse before you do. If they seem reluctant, it could indicate a problem. When it comes to your turn, wear a body protector and riding hat.
6. Don’t presume everything on the horses advert to be true. Ask to see the horse loaded, have a go yourself, and see his reaction to clippers. Make sure you ride the horse in traffic. If possible, ask to come back and see him being shod.
7. Always get the horse vetted! It may seem like an added expense on top of everything else, but it could save you years of vet’s bills because of an underlying health problem.
8. Ask if you can have the horse on trial or loan with view to buy. This will give you the opportunity to get to know the horse and make the final decision as to weather the horse is for you. It will also indicate the seller has nothing to hide in terms of the horses behaviour.
Good luck in your search!