So, you have decided to buy a horse. Congratulations! This is an exciting time for you! Here are some steps to find the perfect horse:
1. Make Sure You Are Ready:
Ask yourself: do you have what it takes to take care of a horse? Do you have the time, money, and motivation to care for such a large animal? Are you well versed in horse knowledge and terminology? If you can say yes to these questions, then you are ready!
2. Decide on Your Budget:
Whether your budget is $500 or $5,000, your budget is an important detail. It is the first step to filtering down your potential horses.
3. Decide What You Want:
Mare or gelding? Does color matter? Do you want them trained in a certain discipline? How many hands is too big or too small? What age do you want your new best friend to be? Do you want a sweetie pie or a horse with some attitude? What breed do you want? These are all important questions that are up to you now!
4. Start Looking at Horses for Sale in Your Area and Decide How Far You Want to Travel:
Many don’t fancy a five-hour drive to pick-up a horse, so look in your area first and decide in advance how far out you want to look.
5. Start Looking at 'For Sale' Ads:
Find for sale ads online/in tack stores and put out an ‘In Search Of’ ad. Pick your favorite ads and contact the seller. Do not be afraid to ask questions! Ask them:
-About their health/any previous issues with it
-Ask about their history?
-ask if they are registered?
-How are they trained?
-What they have done with them in the past?
-Why they are selling?
-Have they had their vaccinations and have they been dewormed?
-What is their diet like?
If you like their answers to all your questions, then it is time to set up an appointment to look at the horse.
7. Looking at the Horse:
First off, be on time to the appointment. Many sellers want to know their horse is going to a respectable owner and this makes a good first impression. You should introduce yourself and be polite as possible. Being easy to work with makes every deal go smoother. If you get to the appointment and feel unsafe or uncomfortable leave immediately. Hopefully that doesn’t happen and you are able to continue. When you see the horse, feel them over. Make sure nothing is swollen or out of place.
After that, ask if you can see them lunge the horse to make sure they are sound and enjoy the way they move. After a short lunging, ask if you can groom and saddle the horse. If they behave to your standards. Ask them if they are can demonstrate how they ride the horse. If everything looks safe and acceptable, ask to get on and ride the horse yourself. If everything is just how you want it, you have found your horse! However, do not buy the first horse you see just out of excitement. Look at some others and make sure they are really the one. It’s okay to be picky! Don’t get bullied into buying or riding anything.
8. Look for Red Flags:
-If the horse looks abused, or starved. (Please contact the authorities if you see this)
-If the horse looks sweaty and exhausted when you get there.
-If the horse is dehydrated, drugged, or sickly
-If the living conditions are not up to par
9. Get a Vet Check:
Think over your decision and make sure it’s the right one. After that, set another appointment with the seller to look at the horse one more time and bring your vet along. Your vet can give you a clean bill of health.
10. Give the Seller a Down Payment:
If you have found ‘the one’ and they are perfectly healthy, put a down payment on the horse by writing a check. Checks are traceable and therefore the best version of exchange.
11. Arrange Transportation:
If you have your own horse trailer, great! You can go pick them up. Otherwise, you will have to rent a trailer, ask a friend to trailer, or pay a transporter. Make plans and okay them with the seller.
12. Make Sure Their New Home is Ready:
Your new furry friend will be more comfortable if you have their stall ready. Put down some pine shavings, fill their water, and toss some feed in their bucket.
13. It’s Time to Pick Up Your Horse!
Head on over and pick up your new buddy! Pay them the rest of the cost and load up.