Owning a horse is unlike anything else. Horse owners nurture a special connection with their horses. Buying a horse is exciting but can also be slightly scary. It’s a big commitment of your time, energy and money in hopes that you will be rewarded with the pleasure of finding your perfect equine partner.
Before you start looking, you need to develop a plan. Below are some things to consider when buying a horse:
- Riding discipline: What riding discipline are you looking to do with your horse? Do you want a competitive horse, or will it be to trail ride with your friends? What is your riding ability? Knowing what your needs and capabilities are will help you keep on track to find your perfect partner.
- Horse Breed: While some breeds are bred for a specific job, most horses are adaptable and will be capable of doing whatever you want. Some will just be better suited to some things more than others.
- Initial financial considerations: Determine a price range. Ensure you consider transportation fees if the horse is located in another state.
- Ongoing financial considerations: In addition to the initial price of your new horse, make sure you have your everyday finances budgeted to care for your horse. Things to keep in mind such as agistment, feed, tack, farrier and veterinary bills.
- Background research: Once you have found a horse that you are interested in, its important, yet often overlooked, to try and obtain a full history of the horse and his career. If the horse has changed hands a few times, the current owner may not know much, but any input you can get is valuable. Ask for a copy of his veterinary records if possible. At a minimum ask when the horse was wormed last.
- Confirmation: When you got to view the horse look for free flowing paces, watch for lameness when your inspecting. Ensure the horse is well balanced, has a good girth, strong knees, good feet and a good temperament. A veterinarian can help you assess the horse’s confirmation.
- Vet Check: Ask a veterinarian to look at any horse you are considering and confirm that its healthy and in good shape. It is important to be informed about any health or confirmation problems prior to purchase, especially those that will impact the horse’s long-term health and soundness. Your veterinarian will confirm that your horse is healthy and assist in your decision for purchase.
- Test Ride: If the horse you are considering is located locally, visit him on multiple occasions and at different times of the day. If possible, try and ride the horse yourself to get a feel for him.
Buying a horse is a lot like buying a used car. Both take a lot of research, plus some experience and smart buying strategies, to take a purchase you’ll be happy with. With creatures as beautiful and sensitive as horses are, its easy to let our hearts rule our heads. But that’s why we wrote this guide, to help horse buyers make the right choice.
Once you have purchased your horse we advise keeping them on a similar ration to what their previous owner was feeding. This can help reduce stress and the risk of your new horses going off their feed. Once your horse has settled in you can then start looking at different rations, which might be more suitable to your needs and budget. Ranvet provide a complementary diet evaluation service and can guide you through how to transition your new horses onto a new diet; simply click the link below and complete the form to help us get started on your new feeding program: