Different people will give you varied advice when buying a horse, so to cut through the confusion here is a list of things that you should definitely do when looking at horses for sale:
- 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 carefully about buying a horse that has ‘potential’, but no track record to speak of, particularly if it is not young — 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 the horse’s passport.
- Do trust your gut — if something doesn’t feel quite right, you’re best to go with your instincts.
- Do have your own pre-purchase vetting done — don’t feel pressured to agree to anything just because the seller says the horse may be sold in the waiting time.
- 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.
Next step: Things to NOT do when buying a horse
Ultimate guide to buying a horse
Make sure you set aside plenty of time enjoy the journey of finding your perfect equine partner, as it could easily last a few months, but it will be worth it in the end.