What to look for when buying a horse

January 11th, 2018

One of the most exciting things a horse lover can do is actually buying a horse! It can be one of the proudest moments a horse owner can experience with choosing the right horse for you being pivotal in how you and the horse will get along in the future. Not only is the process of choosing the right horse for you extremely lengthy, it can also be draining both financially and emotionally.

For first time buyers, it is imperative that you’re well prepared before you even start looking for your horse. Many people make the mistake of choosing a horse purely based on looks rather than focusing on what will best suit their riding skills and experience. Petcover has put together a number of helpful tips for you to use when buying a horse…

What exactly are you looking for?

Long before you set out on the journey to find your perfect horse, the best thing you can do is write down exactly what you’re looking for. Things that should be written down include size, height, breed, price range, and sex. These allow a good base for your search, however, the real questions you need to answer are:

  • Do I want a show horse or a trail riding horse etc.?
  • What goals do you have for your new horse?
  • What characteristics are a deal breaker that you can’t look past?
  • What level of experience should this horse have to suit your riding experience?

A key reminder is that there is no such thing as a perfect horse; you may have to settle for some imperfections to get a horse that suits you and your needs.

Budget

Coming up with a price range for your horse can be quite difficult as you will need to factor in a number of expenses such as pre-purchase exam; transportation; new saddlery; agistment fees, feed etc. In saying this, the cheap option may not always be the best as many cheap hoses are ‘green horses’ meaning they have little to no training and therefore can occur a number of costs in the long run with all the extra training involved.

Looks aren’t everything

Many first time buyers make the mistake of choosing looks over what will best suit them and their experience. For beginner riders, a good looking horse does not mean they will be easy to train or ride. It is a much better option to choose a horse based on their temperament and suitability rather than looks.

Choosing a horse based on their temperament is imperative as horses can be slightly tuned up or educated, yet it is next to impossible to change their attitude. The horse will have a massive impact on the way an inexperienced rider views their future as an aggressive horse can greatly affect the riders learning and possibly turn them away for good.

Look before you buy

Depending on your situation, you may not have the time or they may be too far away to fully inspect the horse you are considering to purchase. No matter what someone tells you, it is always best to look at the horse for yourself or at the very least have someone you know/trust inspect the horse for you.

The seller will more often than not tell you the best parts of the horse making it sound too good to be true, which it usually is. There is no way to truly tell if this is the horse for you other than going and seeing for yourself.

Vet check

Once you have reached the decision that this is the right horse for you, a vet check will need to be done before making the purchase. The horse may seem fit and healthy on the outside, however, a vet will determine if there are any underlying issues that may be a problem. Be sure to ask the vet if there are problems and how expensive they may be in the future, allowing you to weigh up the risk of purchasing the horse.

It is important to remember that horse ownership is not for everyone as they’re a huge emotional and financial commitment. In saying this though, purchasing a horse can be a thoroughly rewarding experience and the start of a long and beautiful relationship.

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