Hot To Trot – 6 Essential Tips For Buying A Horse

Whether you’re an old hand with horses or just starting out on learning to ride, buying a horse is a big step. It’s easy to fall in love at first sight with a horse that looks perfect for you, but a hasty purchase may soon be regretted. Armed with common sense, prior planning and a little knowledge, buying a horse doesn’t have to be difficult. Check out or six essential tips for buying a horse and you’ll be happily galloping off into the sunset on your new horse in no time at all.

Know exactly what you’re getting into

If you’re buying a horse for the first time, it’s wise to be aware of the huge commitments you’re about to make both financially and in terms of care and time. Your horse may be with you for up to thirty years, during which time you’ll have to look after feeding, stabling, equipment, veterinary fees, insurance and getting your horse shod. Once you’re happy with the scale of commitment you’re looking at, you can start looking for your ideal horse.

Be honest about the horse that’s best for you

It’s easy to give way to your heart and buy a horse without considering whether it’s really suited to your needs and abilities. Before you jump in and start looking, realistically assess your riding abilities, budget and the amount of time you can dedicate to riding and exercising your horse. Think about the temperament you’d like your horse to have. When you have an idea of the qualities you’re looking for, don’t be swayed into making compromises; buying a horse that is ultimately unsuitable is liable to lead to heartache.

Always view the horse before buying

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But there are people who will buy a horse on the strength of an internet description, and there are unscrupulous details. Always visit prospective purchase in person, and make sure you find out from the vendor how long they’ve had the horse, why they are selling it, whether it has any health issues, how it handles etc. If you’re new to the world of horses, be sure to bring along someone with experience when you’re looking at a horse to buy.

Thoroughly put a horse through its paces

It’s a good idea to get the vendor to ride the horse first a) for your own safety and b) so that you can get an idea of how it handles. If you’re satisfied that it’s safe, ride the horse yourself. Treat it exactly as you would if you owned it: if you feel in any way that the horse is unsound or not right for you, don’t be persuaded into a purchase. If you’re happy with the way it rides, ask to see it stabled, groomed and rugged so that you can see how it behaves in these conditions.

Don’t skimp on a vet’s inspection

If the cost of an independent veterinary inspection of the horse you’re thinking of buying seems like an unnecessary expense, it’s worth weighing up against the potential long-term cost of treating a health problem that wasn’t discovered before you bought your horse.

Check out the chip..

..and the passport. Make sure the silhouette in the passport and the identity on the chip match the horse you’re intending to buy. Whilst identity fraud isn’t usually a problem if you’re buying from a reputable seller, you can’t be too careful: don’t buy a horse for which there is no accompanying passport.

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