Buy A Horse

How to Buy a Horse

If you are in the market to buy a horse you should know that it is not always easy to find a horse.  Many first time buyers or new riders think it is a easy as just picking out a horse and writing a check.  But, for those of you experienced with purchasing a horse for sale, you know that it can be a very long process to find the right horse for you.  So, don’t get frustrated, just know that when you do find the right horse, you will create a great team that will make all the of the time and energy it took to find the right horse worth it.

When purchasing a horse it is very important that you are very cautious in your dealing with sellers.  While the majority of people out there are just like you, honest and forthcoming, there are many that are not.  Just remember, horse trading may just be the second oldest profession.

Some things to consider when looking for a horse:

  1. What are you looking to do with your new horse?  All around riding, hunter, jumper, dressage, trail.  Once you know this, you will make your life a lot easier.
  2. How much are you willing to spend?  This number will greatly influence the type of horse you are able to purchase.  If you have a limited budget, you may be looking for a slightly older horse or a green horse that is in need a training.
  3. Are you planning on showing or competing with your new horse?  If so, you will most likely want to look for a horse that has some form of previous show history.
  4. Are you looking for a registered horse?  A registered horse typically has a recorded bloodline that will allow you know the horses heritage.  Registration is typically more useful when looking at a young or unknown horse that does not have a show record.  As you can follow the bloodline to see what the horse’s ancestors have been able to accomplish.  But, just know just because one horse can do something well does not mean its offspring will.  However, if you are looking at an accomplished or older horse, a registration or brand becomes much less important as you may view the horses show records to see what they have been capable of.
  5. Records, Records, Records.  Always ask if the seller is willing to provide full and complete vet records.  At a minimum there should be vaccination records, although some barns do them in-house.  If the horse has shown before be user to get the USEF number and the show name.  Using this information it is often useful to match the horse’s vet records and show records to each other to see if the horse may have a problem after each show.

When looking a horse, it is important to know that all horses have their own problems.  But, it is important to know what they are and if you are willing to deal with them.  For example, if a horse does not load in a trailer well and you plan to show the horse extensively this can be a deal breaker.