Whether you are buying your first horse, or adding to your equine team, there are many things you need to take into consideration. Read our tips for buying a horse here and make the process a little easier…
Are you ready? Owning a horse is amazing, yet daunting and if this is your first time then you need to ensure you are ready. The initial investment is obviously a key consideration, however the duties after your purchase are far more important. Have you got time to spend the time necessary to care for and enjoy your horse? Can you afford not only the monthly outgoings such as insurance, feed and bedding, but also the unplanned expenses such as veterinary visits? Do you know where you will keep your new horse? Once you have made sure that you can cope with the commitments of owning a horse then the next step is to start looking!
What do you want to do with your new horse? Think about the activities you want to enjoy with your horse and make sure you look for an equine that meets these criteria. It is a good idea to make a list of the things that you definitely do and don’t want, and also the things you are willing to compromise on. For example, if you want to predominantly hack your horse out then you absolutely must find a horse that is good in traffic and likes hacking – your compromise may be that they may not have the biggest jump, or flashiest movement. Equally, if you want to compete your horse then you need to look at its ability, trainability and experience.
The right attitude. One of the most important things when you look at buying a new horse is temperament. Having a good temperament can make a huge difference when it comes to enjoyment and also training your new horse. You also need to feel a connection with the horse and ask yourself this… ‘would I jump out of bed in the morning to ride that horse?’ if the answer is no then maybe it is not the right horse for you!
Do appearances matter? While we don’t think that judging a horse on looks or colour alone is important, do bear in mind confirmation and the way the horse is put together. Things like hoof shape and quality, skeletal confirmation and also muscle tone should be considered and if you are unsure what makes a ‘well put together’ horse then always take someone more experienced to any viewings.
Trial time. When trying a horse always ask to see it in the stable and out so you can see whether their behaviour alters in any way. Ask to see the horse being groomed and tacked up and then watch someone else ride it before hand. If and when you feel confident to ride yourself don’t rush things and only do as much or as little as you feel happy to do. Don’t feel uncomfortable to be honest if you have already made up your mind that it isn’t the horse for you before riding it, sellers will appreciate you not wasting their time.
This is a really exciting time for you, but don’t be tempted to rush the process. For some people they find the perfect horse straight away – other times it may take months or even years. Read classified adverts, put out word locally that you are looking and trust your gut instinct.