Just as with any large purchase, the most important thing you can do when you’re looking at buying a horse is to get as much information as possible.
If this is your first horse and you are not especially experienced, you need to understand laws relating to horses and how they must be kept. Take the time to familiarise yourself with horse management techniques – it could be a great idea to volunteer at a local stable to see what it is like to live and worth with horses.
Now is also the right time to ask yourself, where is your horse going to live? If you are planning to have your horse live on land that you own, this can be a cheap option, but it is not necessarily a convenient one. You’ll be taking care of your horse full time which will make it difficult to take any extended time away without organising care. This option cannot be recommended to anyone who is new to horse ownership.
Instead you can consider local stables who will look after your horse for a fee. Make sure you visit the facilities beforehand to make sure you are happy for your animal to live here all year round.
Make sure you can afford it
Owning a horse is expensive. Beyond the initial cost of buying the horse, you also need to consider the lifelong cost of feed, bedding and grooming as well as standard vet check-ups, emergency care and any other medical costs. If you are likely to be riding your horse regularly, you also need to think about the costs associated with this, including the saddle, equipment and any replacements you need to make in future.
Search for the right horse
Some people already have a horse they are thinking of buying, but this is not the typical situation. For most first-time horse buyers it will be important to look around extensively and get plenty of advice. Talk to friends who are horse owners about their experiences. The most important thing you can gather here is local knowledge – if you can find a local breeder with a good reputation, this can really help you on your search.
Always remember to make use of animal shelters and search over the internet to find the right horse for you. And it goes without saying that you should prioritise health and discipline over the appearance of the horse.
Assess the horse
Once you have found a horse that you are potentially interested in, you need to go through all the details. Naturally you need to look into the medical history and breeding of the horse, but there are a number of other factors to consider.
How does the horse currently live? If you are thinking of moving your horse to a local stable you need to understand whether it is used to this kind of environment. Remember you may be moving the horse away from animals it socialises with. It’s also pertinent to establish whether it has any bad habits.
Visit the horse
Don’t ever commit to buying a horse before you have seen it in person. Arrive early to watch the horse being caught and handled to see how it reacts. This can also be an ideal time to ride the horse, however you should ask the owner to ride first to ensure the horse is not dangerous or does not ride well. If the owner will not ride the horse, then you should not either and it will be worth considering a different horse.
Even if everything goes well, it’s a great idea to visit a second time with an expert or a friend who has experience with horses. At the very least it is the opportunity for a second opinion.
Negotiating the purchase
Always remember that no matter how far you are into the process of buying the horse that you should not buy if you are not happy with the terms or the price. It may be difficult to tell an owner that you are not going to buy at a certain price especially if your heart is set on the horse – but you need to consider this as the same as any other purchase.
You should also be aware that when you buy will usually have a big effect on the price. At the end of the competition season and during the winter prices tend to be much lower.
This article was provided by independent content writer, Sara Bryant on behalf of Dollar Bedding horse bedding supplier.