Tips on Buying a Horse.


A rough guide.

Here are a few tips on buying a horse, buying your first horse it is far too easy to let your heart rule your head when you go to buy it. You may have recently started riding and decided to take the plunge and buy your own. But don’t forget if you have been taking lessons in an established school your instructor will almost certainly have chosen a horse for you to use based on your limited experience.


It all looks so easy when you are watching an experienced rider go through his or her paces, and it is all too easy to forget that there are years of dedication and practice gone into the performance. Horse and rider have probably been teamed up for years.


Buying an Untrained Horse

Never buy an untrained horse, for a novice rider this really is be a big NO NO.. Because unbroken or untrained horses are often cheaper, or for whatever other reason, maybe just liked it’s looks, novice riders will choose one. What seemed cheap on the day probably will not be so cheap in the long run. You will not be able to break and school the animal yourself through lack of experience, so will have to pay an expert for their services.


This can and most likely will take months. It can be dangerous if not done correctly. You will then more than likely end up with a young and inexperienced horse along with a novice rider, not a good combination. You would be far better advised to consider an older and probably quieter horse, you will end up far safer and happier with a horse you can enjoy the moment you have got it home.


Older Horses

An older horse as with an older dog, is often the wisest choice. They are settled in their ways and will be a far safer choice. Given the average life span of a horse buy a horse in it’s mid teens and you can reasonably expect 10 to 15 years from it and horses can be ridden well into their older years, as long as you allow for it’s age and don’t try to push too hard as they get older. In fact a quiet ride out(gentle hack) could benefit both of you.


Buying From An Auction

Do You Plan On Buying From An Auction ? FORGET IT. If you are not well experienced with horses don’t even think of it. You need a well trained eye to buy well at auction. Even really experienced dealers who make their living from it get fooled sometimes. Leave it to the experts.


Buying On Impulse

Buying on impulse is not a great idea, DONT do it. Don’t buy at first sight. Try the horse and then try it again, always ask lots of questions. Go home and think it over for a few days. Go see other horses besides the one you think is the one for you ,make comparisons and don’t be afraid to go back again. It is a big decision and you need to be absolutely certain you make the right one.


Ask For A Trial

Can I take it on trial? If the seller says no then they usually have a reason not to allow it and you are probably better off to walk away. If the horse is as good as they claim they will be only too keen to prove it and make the sale.

Buying “Too Much Horse”

Do you have visions of jumping at Hickstead or winning the Puissance.

Never buy too much horse for yourself. There is nothing wrong with a dream but how long have you been riding,6 months or a year maybe? This is really is the wrong horse for you, maybe later on, but not at your present level of competance. Give it a few years, then just maybe.



Last But Not Least

Last but not least, owning a horse is a big responsibility. They never stop eating and drinking and need constant care,no weekends off just because you want to do something else that week. The expenses don’t stop because you want to spend the money elsewhere, or you’ve been of work sick, your horse is still there and still needs to be fed .


Be sure about the time and money you can honestly afford to spend on a horse, when things go wrong the costs can escalate rapidly, so horse ownership is not to be taken lightly. You may love horses, but you will not be doing any horse a favour taking on what you can not honestly afford. It may sound harsh but it is a sad fact, and you would be doing it a bigger favour by leaving it where it is.


If you still want to get your own horse and have done your homework on the costs, stables and grazing, farriers bills, veterinary fees etc and allowed a bit for the unexpected (there is always the unexpected,guarenteed) then go ahead.


Make sure you get some sound advice from a reliable source and whatever else you do get your vet to give your chosen horse a health check before parting with your hard earned cash.


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My wife and I kept horses for over 30 years and I still do not consider myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I still have one here with me and enjoy her company. With my limited knowledge I still need to ask other peoples advise from time to time and am not afraid to admit it.


Any new owners out there please treat this article as the rough guide it is intended to be, which if nothing else  will hopefully point you in the right direction with a degree of safety.


If you do decide to buy your own horse please seek expert advise from someone with far more knowledge and expertise than me. There are plenty of places you can got to from your riding school to some of the big tack suppliers that offer help on health and other related matters.




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