Buying a new horse is never an easy task, in part because there are always many options to choose from. You may have narrowed things down a lot, but there will always be more horses on the market than you can see.
Strategy is important whether you buy horses for competition or for pleasure. You will have different criteria if you are looking for a child, not an adult, just as the experience and ability of a rider will make a huge difference. So what is right horse buying strategy?
1- Never buy the first horse you see
I know everything about love at first sight. This happened to me when I was in high school and the horse’s name was Bella. She was the most beautiful I have ever seen: perfect combination, wide-set eyes, gentle forehead. Riding it was like sitting on a cloud, and I knew I had to have it.
Bella worked well, but that’s not always the case. If you are looking to buy horses, make sure you see as many of them as possible. You can always go back and see if this first horse is still available, and most horses don’t leave the market so quickly anyway.
I always tell my clients to look at ten or more horses before making a decision. This will give you an idea of what the market has to offer and delay making a decision until you have thought about it. You may find that the horse you really want has some obscure problem that you don’t want to deal with.
2- Shop on site
If you are buying horses that currently live on the other side of the world, you will have a lot to travel in the future. It is never worth buying horses discreetly, and most of us don’t have time to ride from city to city in search of the perfect animal.
If you don’t have specific criteria for an Olympic-grade horse, you can find a suitable animal practically in your backyard. Depending on where you live, you can easily limit your search to a radius of 100 miles.
You will also find that buying horses locally reduces the likelihood of fraud. People are much more careful to rip off customers who live right around the corner.
3- Order a drug test
You may be the most honest person in the world, but not everyone is so scrupulous. Some breeders pump their horses with medications before the show to keep them calm and accommodating. This means a serious shock when you take your horse home and find yourself in the mud. Perform a drug test and have your horse examined by a qualified veterinarian before writing the check.
4- Take the horse home
Buying horses, as mentioned above, can be frustrating. If you really want to protect yourself, insist on a trial run of the horse before your purchase takes hold. Pay for the horse and take it home for a week with the option to sell it back if it doesn’t work. This gives you the opportunity to try it out on your home lawn without any pressure.
This is especially useful when purchasing school horses for a lesson program. Since school horses must have a very specific set of traits, a trial run reduces the chances of buying a substandard one. Just make sure you clearly state in your paperwork that you have the option to receive full compensation if the horse is not what you thought.
5- Grow slowly
If you are in the equestrian business, you will buy horses right and left. Just don’t get too far ahead. Equestrian equipment is your greatest asset as an equestrian business owner. Whether you breed horses or teach lessons, most of your income is in the hands of these animals. Making quick purchases right away is a mistake.
The same is true if you are a serious competitor hoping to build a stable for high quality horses. Your biggest asset in the show ring is the variety of your animals. Buying several horses at once does not give you the opportunity to study the character of each horse before choosing the next one.
6- Order X-ray
Depending on where you live, a typical veterinary checkup when buying a horse may not include a thorough x-ray. For example, an x-ray of a horse’s scaphoid will show if the horse has experienced significant scaphoid changes that could lead to future lameness.
In addition to X-rays and the aforementioned drug test, your veterinarian should check:
- General well-being
- Medical history
- Teeth and gums
- Coat, mane and tail
- Dietary health
When buying horses, the veterinarian’s recommendation is only a starting point. You may realize that you can live with your horse’s bad dietary habits or scaphoid changes, but at least you are aware of them. And discoveries in the field of health can be a bargaining chip when buying a horse.
7- Ride a horse
You might think that this is a given, but I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that someone is buying horses, in fact horseback riding them in the first place. This is a huge mistake, not only because you don’t know what you are getting.
All horses move differently and respond to different commands. You will not know if a horse is compatible with your training, experience and ability unless you sit on its back. Horseback riding should be a priority before buying, no matter what the owner says.
8- Ride a horse in your discipline
Let’s say you are a three-day party. Before buying horses, you need to try them in dressage, stadium jumping. and cross country before writing this check. If you don’t try a horse in your particular discipline, you might be making a mistake. He may be good at dressage, but he refuses every jump you point him to.
9- Buy from someone you trust
Why should you resort to buying horses online? Or through classifieds in Canada? You don’t realize how many people you know until you start going over their names – your friend knows someone who knows someone who owns a barn and has hundreds of horses for sale.
It is so simple. You might want to consider buying horses from a farm where you take riding lessons or from someone your trainer has done business with in the past. Buying from someone you know (or someone you met through your personal vine) is the safest way to buy horses.
10- Bring a coach
If you are not a professional rider yourself, you shouldn’t even think about buying horses without a trainer. He will take care of your interests and be able to detect obscure details that you would never notice. No matter how independent you are, a coach is needed in this process.
People will always make mistakes when buying horses, but you can eliminate most of them by making a plan before you start looking. Write down your criteria and decide what exactly you want before you start calling numbers from classified ads.#Buying #horses #rules