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Horse Articles :: Tips for Buying a New Horse
Tips for Buying a New Horse
If you are considering buying a new horse, there are several
issues of concern to you. Smart buyers and riders know what
they want before speaking to horse sellers.
It is important to know everything you can about the new horse.
Learn its history, blood lines, habits, preferences, skills
and overall attitude. It is also important to find out about
its inherent traits. All horses have their own unique traits.
Know which ones are most desirable to you.
Traits to Consider
Some horses are better at certain tasks than others. When
buying a new horse, pre-determine what skills you want the
horse to possess. Some to consider are:
* English riding
* Showing and jumping
* Western riding
* Trail riding
* Team roping
* Barrel racing
Questions to Ask Before Buying a Horse
How much do you expect to pay? Look only at horses within
your price range. What gender, color, age and size are you
looking for? Weed out horses that don't fit within your requirements.
Does the horse load and unload from trailers well? Will it
tolerate shoeing and hoof trimming? Score your prospective
horses on a scale of one to five for these items. The higher
scorers will help you determine which horses are of the most
interest to you.
When buying a new horse it is important to be sure it has
been thoroughly evaluated. An initial inspection of the horse
must be performed by someone capable and experienced. If you
don't know what to look for, bring someone you trust who does.
Here are the areas you need to check:
* Eyes. Make sure the horse can see out of both eyes. Do a
flinch test by waving your hand quickly in front of each eye.
Check for any differences.
* Ears. Check for excess ear wax or over-sensitivity when
the ears are touched.
* Mouth. Check for any lesions or sores. Be sure the teeth
are normal and aligned. Watch the horse chew to check for
normal biting ability.
* Head, neck and chest. Check for symmetry and balance of
muscles. Be sure the horse moves its head, neck and chest
freely and without difficulty.
* Feet. Inspect all four feet for swelling and sensitivity
to touch. Flex and extend all joints to look for pain, resistance
or head lifting that indicates pain or discomfort.
* Rear end. Check for good tone, signs of discharge and signs
* Lameness. It is imperative that you are able to observe
the horse trotting in circles in both directions and in a
straight line. Watch closely for irregular bobbing of the
head, sloppy movements or skipping that may indicate pain
in any of the legs.
If the horse has passed your initial evaluation, it is time
to take it for a ride. Observe its stamina, nerves and whether
or not it is alert and well behaved.
If you have any doubts, either walk away or arrange an agreement
based on the findings during the veterinary examinations.
This is common practice and a legitimate horse seller will
agree to some reasonable terms.
Be sure the three required exams are performed by a veterinarian
of your choosing or one that has a neutral opinion. The required
* Health certificate, which is usually for crossing state
* Insurance exam, to satisfy mortality and other questions
related to insuring the horse.
* Pre-purchase veterinary exam, detailing the medical status
of the horse at the time of purchase.
When buying a horse, you want to find one that is healthy
and has a good attitude. The horse's experience and dependability
levels must closely match, or be above, that of the primary
rider. A willing and intelligent horse can be trained to bring
you years of pleasure and skilled work habits. Choose your
About the Author
Rachel Harding has been riding horses since she was five.
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