Buying a horse is a huge thing; the money, the time and the risk are all yours when you put your heart into a new horse

Buying a horse is a huge thing; the money, the time and the risk are all yours when you put your heart into a new horse.  So to start with you need to look carefully at the most important part of the process – you!  So here is where you start.

Be Honest

Firstly, have a good hard look at your ability and confidence.  Go to 5 different people who know you well and are very familiar with you as a rider and ask them what sort of horse they would choose for you.  How would they rate your ability and confidence level?  You must search for a horse that will be suitable for where your weakness lies.  For example if you are very confident but as relatively inexperienced you need to find a horse most suited to your experience level.  If you buy a horse suitable for your very confident nature and ‘over horse’ yourself then you will lose your confidence when things go shaky as well.  This also goes for the opposite case where you are very experienced but very nervous.  You must seek a horse to suit your nervous state rather than a horse to suit your experience.  The ensures the process of getting a new horse is successful from the get go.

Next take an honest look at your budget.  Are you looking for a Grand Prix horse for under $5000?  If so, you’re dreaming.  You will waste alot of time and money looking at horses which will ultimately not meet your super high expectations.  This also leads to a colossal waste of time for the seller as well.  A good rule of thumb is if you have looked at 10 different horses and not found one suitable then you need to consider that either your budget or expectations need revision.  Do your research before you start your hunt.  Find out how much horses of the quality of what you want are being sold for.   Then you can set out knowing exactly what you want and more importantly what you need and can afford.

If it looks too cheap – be very wary.  The saying ‘if it’s too good to be true – it is’ is very fitting when buying a horse.  Many people get stung falling into scams thinking they are getting the buy of the century when really they are getting ripped off!

View Wisely

When you go to see a horse you are interested in – have a really clear idea what you want to do with that horse and ensure the person is set up for you to view that horse doing whatever it is you need.   So if you are into dressage, ensure you get to see the horse in an arena, if it’s jumping, go jump it. It is your responsibility to see the horse fully, to ensure you are happy with it and that it will suit your needs as a buyer.  It is not the responsibility of the seller to ensure that the horse is right for you, it is yours – you must remember this!

Second Opinion

It is always a good idea to get a second opinion.  See if you can get a friend or instructor to go with you to see the horse.  It is difficult not to go in with rose coloured glasses when you are so keen for this to be the horse of your dreams.

Don’t Rush In

Ensure you know everything you need to know prior to buying the horse.  If you have any doubt then wait,  explore your options and make sure looks and feels right before committing to buy.  It is better to miss out on the right horse than to act hastily and find yourself owning a horse that is not what you think it is.

Get a vet to check your horse out before you commit.

Pen to Paper

Get a contract which clearly states what you intend to use the horse for.  Ensure the seller is aware of anything out of the ordinary about you and the home you are offering the horse.  Make sure you each have a copy of the contract, it has each or your addresses on it and full contact details and the price.

Good Luck!

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