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Horse Articles :: What Should You Know Before Buying a Horse?
What Should You Know Before Buying a Horse
Buying a horse is a huge investment in both time and money,
and there are some things you'll want to know before you start
searching for horses for sale. Buying a horse can be compared
to buying a used car.
Unscrupulous horse traders will alter the appearance or behavior
of their horses for sale to fool you. Even among the honest
horse traders, most wouldn't purposely mislead you, but they
may not tell you the whole story about their horses for sale
unless you ask. Ask the seller some questions that relate
to what you are looking for in a horse. Some of the following
questions may help you decide if the horse you're looking
at is right for you.
Why are you selling this horse and how long have you personally
owned this horse?
Does the horse have any medical problems? Has the horse ever
How are the horse's teeth? Have you ever had the horse's teeth
Has the horse ever foundered?
What type of worming program are you using?
What type of riding do you do? (Trail, English, Western, Three
day Eventing, Barrel racing, etc.)
What do you feed the horse?
How is the horse kept? i.e. in a pasture, in a stall, in a
small paddock, alone or with others.
Has the horse ever hurt anyone?
What type of training has the horse had? Does the horse have
a trainer? Can I call the trainer?
How is the horse with the farrier? Can I contact the farrier?
How is the horse with the veterinarian? Can I contact the
Does the horse load into a trailer easily? How about unloading?
How is the horse with water? i.e. bathing, walking through
Ask the horse owner to show you what his horses for sale can
do. Have the owner pick up the horse's feet. Watch to see
if the owner can touch the horse anywhere on it's body, inside
the ears, above the tail, on the flanks, legs, and belly.
Watch the interaction between the horse and the owner to see
how the horse behaves. Remember that if something bad is going
to happen it's better to have it happen to the guy who's trying
to sell you the animal!
Watch the horse move at liberty. Look for anything that is
a sign that the horse may have medical problems, lameness,
or a bad attitude. Watch the head when the horse walks, excessive
bobbing of the head might signal a problem. Pinned ears or
a swishing tail all of the time in horses for sale can indicate
As a rule, don't get on any horse first - have the owner ride
the horse first. If the owner won't get on, there had better
be a good reason. Ask the owner to bring the horse into a
walk, trot, canter, change leads, etc so you can see all the
paces. Watch for lameness, length of stride, range of motion,
problems with the right and left lead, etc. If the horse doesn't
look safe, don't ride him.
There are many other things to consider when buying a horse,
such as whether you prefer a Mare or a Gelding (we never recommend
buying a Stallion unless you plan on using him for breeding
purposes, and have appropriate facilities to accommodate a
potentially aggressive and dangerous horse).
You will also want to consider the ages, level of training,
and constitutions of any horses for sale before making a purchase,
and how these characteristics relate to your purpose for buying
a horse in the first place. Be careful not to get carried
away with a horse just because it's beautiful, and buy a horse
that won't meet your needs. Remember, the most important thing
is how a horse behaves and performs not how it looks in the
Good luck as you search for horses for sale, if you find the
right match, you will have made a very good investment to
bring you satisfaction for many years.
About the Author
Shopping for horses
for sale can be confusing if you don't know what to look
for. Asking these questions will help you make a good investment.
The author Art Gib is a freelance writer.