Buying a horse for the first time may be an experience, but don’t be fooled, it’s a huge responsibility and may cause considerable headaches if not done correctly. Buying the wrong horse may also be unsafe and can cause serious injury to you or to the hired help.
In view of this, I would like to enumerate several tips on what to look out for when buying a horse. The list is as follows:
Choosing an Untrained Horse
Professional horse enthusiasts would list this as the first tip to look out for. Untrained horses are generally cheaper and harder to sell than trained horses. The perception of beginners is that it is better to choose an untrained horse just to save money is totally wrong since this decision may have serious repercussions. The training of horses can take months and should be left to the professionals because it may cause serious injury if not done correctly. Horses, especially the young or inexperienced ones should be considered unreliable and it would be safer, and more fulfilling if you get to enjoy the horse immediately.
Older horses would make a great beginner horse. Trained and eager to please, these horses would be ready for beginners in so many beneficial ways. Aside from being safe, many healthy horses can be ridden even past their prime. Daily exercise and the right treatment, such as a leisurely stroll may be all that is needed. These horses are used to humans and may sometimes crave affection, so if a beginner, it would be best to choose an older and mature horse.
Don’t Give in to Impulse Buying
First impressions are often deceiving and may cause headaches in the future, so don’t buy a horse because he seems “right” for you. Try the horse repeatedly and ask questions pertaining to that particular horse. If you feel that upon looking at other horses, he is still better and more suited to your needs, then that horse probably is. Just look out for sudden impulses, don’t buy just because you feel the whim to purchase a horse. Be smart.
Always Ask for a Trial Period Before Buying
Don’t be embarrassed to ask the seller to grant you a trial period. In principle, most owners would want their horses to go to homes where they would be well taken care of. Most dealers would agree to your proposal, or they might help you find another horse if the horse you buy isn’t the right one. There’s no harm in trying, you might get lucky.
Is it Safe for Your Children?
Young horses would be unsafe and should not be considered right for your children to ride. A better and more viable option is to buy a well-trained horse that they can ride immediately after you bring it home A well-trained horse usually knows how to handle itself, even under duress, and this is crucial because the beginner would tend to panic and make the situation worse. Well trained horses offer the kids to have fun in a safe environment.
Buying at an Auction
Choosing to buy at a horse auction could have disastrous results. It takes an experienced horse handler to pick out a good horse at an auction environment and if you aren’t, then don’t try. Horses may sometimes appear docile because confusion could make them “freeze”. They could also be drugged to make them appear calm and friendly. When the drugs were off, the true nature of the horse appears, and you may not like what you bought.
Buying the “Wrong Horse”
Always be practical when choosing a horse. The horse should fit your capabilities and what you intend to do with it. If you have just been riding for three (3) months, it would be foolish to buy a horse that is built for racing or for jumping. Always put into consideration the safety of the person riding the horse. Horses that are bred for endurance sports may not be suitable for learning.
Buying a Horse for Breeding
This would not be a good plan since there are horses at auctions that are being sold for meat as a result of experimental breeding. Think of this fact if ever you decide to try breeding. Horses are generally bred because of some outstanding qualities they possess which can be passed to their offspring. One breed of horse which is known for its quiet temperament is the Cob. Buying a cob horse is always a good option for an inexperienced rider. Being thicker set than most horse breeds, cobs won’t win you the grand national, but they are certainly reliable. It’s always worth browsing local cobs for sale.
Choosing the Horse Because of its Color
Horses that have a particular color pattern could be nice to look at. This would not mean, however, that if they look good, then they are good. The training and temperament of the horse should be the deciding factors and not color. What good would an Appaloosa be if he were untrained and bad-tempered to boot?
Always Consider Time, Effort, and Expense When Buying a Horse
Owning a horse is a very big responsibility. You can’t tell a horse to stop eating or drinking when you want to go on a vacation. The expense of feeding and housing the horse would not go away if you decide to spend it somewhere else, or if you lost your job. Always be practical on the amount of time, effort, and money you are able to spend on your horse. Most people love horses, but not everybody can attend to the needs of them.
These tips are but reminders of the things that may happen if you choose to ignore these basic instructions. Horses are like people too, they need to be trained, just like we do, to be able to do what needs to be done. If the tips which I have enumerated are not heeded, then safety for you and anybody in contact with the horse you bought would be in jeopardy. In this context, it would definitely be wise to say “better safe than sorry”.