Buying a horse: final questions and payment

Welcome to part seven of H&H’s ultimate guide to buying a horse, which is packed with useful advice for both first-timers and experienced horse owners

Part six: the pre-purchase vetting

So you’ve found a horse that you love from the many horses for sale you’ve considered, he’s passed the vetting and you’re ready to hand over his purchase price. We’re here to make sure you don’t fall at the last hurdle.

Here are some important questions and considerations you shouldn’t forget:

  • If you haven’t already done so, ask to see his passport — it is illegal for a horse to be sold without one. Check the description, age and other details matches the horse in question.
  • Speak to your insurance company to find out how much the horse will cost to insure and whether they will be putting any exclusions on the policy based on the vet’s pre-purchase report.
  • When agreeing the final contract with the seller, you might like to ask for a trial period — this would allow you some time with the horse to see if you are a good pairing. However, many sellers will not allow this, so don’t be surprised if your request is turned down. Dealers typically put in place terms for any trial, so make sure you understand the ‘small print’.
  • When agreeing on a final price, it is perfectly acceptable to negotiate. Most sellers will expect this unless they state ‘no offers’ on the advert.
  • You could ask if the seller would include any of the horse’s tack and rugs in the sale — this would save you time and money once you get him home.
  • Once you’ve come to a verbal agreement on the terms of sale, ask to have it in writing.
  • Always ask for a written receipt and ask the seller to write what the horse is suitable for (e.g. a schoolmaster, a child’s first pony).
  • Once you have purchased the horse, get him insured immediately for your own peace of mind.

Next step: Taking your new horse home

Ultimate guide to buying a horse

Congratulations! You’ve bought yourself a horse. How exciting. Now you just need to take him home, get him settled into his new life and it’s time to start learning about each other.

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