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Buying a horse: things to do

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Different people will give you varied advice when it comes to buying a horse, so to cut through the confusion here is a list of things that you should definitely do:

  • Do ask if the horse is on any medication or supplements and if he is, find out why and how long he’s been on it.
  • Do think properly about buying a horse that has ‘potential‘ — it’s a risk and while it may work in your favour, you need to prepare for it not working out as you had hoped.
  • Do view the horse two or three times before agreeing to purchase.
  • Do try to ride the horse in different environments when viewing and at different times of the day.
  • Do ask as many questions as you want — it’s a big decision and no question is too small or irrelevant.
  • Try to contact previous owners and see if their story matches up with the details the current owner has told you. To find previous owner’s details look at his passport.
  • Do trust your gut — if something doesn’t feel quite right or you don’t trust someone from the start, more often than not, you’re best to go with your instincts.
  • Do have a pre-purchase vetting — don’t feel pressured to agree to anything if the seller says the horse may be sold in the waiting time, a vetting is essential.
  • Do look out for dealers posing as private sellers. Buying from a private seller gives you fewer rights, so unscrupulous dealers may pretend to be private sellers. Telltale signs include if they don’t know in depth details about the horse, his background and what he has achieved.

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Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk