Buying Horses – Asking The Right Questions

Buying horses is a huge commitment. There is no denying this. You want to be 100% sure of a number of things before you make the giant leap and complete the purchase.

For starters you don’t want to spend a large amount of money on something that isn’t perfect for you, and you also have the welfare of the animal to bear in mind.

Animal welfare charities around the UK are continually having to take abandoned horses into their care, and this is partly due to the fact that too many people are purchasing the animals without the finances in place to properly care for them.

What with it being a huge decision to make, you will always want to ensure that you are purchasing the perfect horse for you.

In order to help you make the correct decision, we have compiled a list of important questions that you should always ask when you are enquiring about a horse for sale.

So, read this guide and let us know in the comments section below how you got on…
Has the horse had a veterinary check?
This is the most important question of all to raise – on first inspection, a horse may seem in perfect health, but you may discover the horse is suffering from a genetic disorder or is prone to certain injuries (such as brittle bones). Buying a horse is a substantial financial commitment, and veterinary bills can stretch your financial reach each further, so it’s essential to ensure a horse has a clean bill of health before you invest.
Does the horse have any unusual behavioural traits?
If you’re planning to compete with the horse in equestrian disciplines, you will need to ensure a horse has a reliable temperament – unless you have complete confidence in your training abilities to stamp out any negative behavioural traits. An honest seller will alert you to any unusual or aggressive behaviour the horse may exhibit, but in most cases the signs of poor temperament will be immediately visible, such as a spooky reaction to contact or an inability to stand still as you forge a connection.
Does the horse have any special requirements?
By the time it comes to sell the horse, the owner will have become familiar with any distinctive requirements the horse may need on a day-to-day basis. These can include specialist supplements in the horse’s feeding programme or stable adaptations. For instance, a horse for sale could be prone to laminitis. This doesn’t mean you should instantly dismiss the prospect of buying the horse, but you should consider ways in which you can make the horse’s existence more comfortable under your ownership, such as installing stable mats into the stable.
Can I ride the horse?
A responsible seller will have no qualms about agreeing to this request – after all, the bond between horse and rider when on the saddle is one of the most defining aspects of horse ownership. Take a short time to ride with the horse in the paddock, and if space allows, try and put the horse through its paces to see how comfortable it feels shifting from a trot to a canter to a gallop. This allow you to test whether the horse is entirely comfortable with the riding process.
Is the horse suited to certain disciplines?
This question will only be relevant if you are looking to compete in a set discipline. Naturally, some horses are better suited to certain disciplines than others – for instance dressage is concerned with the flexibility and nimbleness of the horse, whilst athleticism and power will be the primary focus with racing horses.

Find out more about buying sport horses our all-rounders for sale on Horsemart.

If you have a horse and would like to look at some fantastic bargains on equine essentials then check out everything that is available on Equine Superstore.

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