10 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Horse

10 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Horse
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10 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Horse

10 things you need to know before you head out and buy a horse, whether it be your first, or fifth …

Have you ever dreamt of riding down an open field with the sun setting on the horizon? Every horse lover wants to find that one horse that becomes their ultimate riding companion. After all, the bond between a horse and the loving owner can be magical.

Bringing your first horse home is an exciting and happy experience. But, it doesn’t matter if this is your first purchase or your tenth, because every horse you will have is unique.

You need to be aware of a few things to make sure that your horse buying process goes smoothly. Here are ten essential points to consider to prepare and guide the purchase of your next horse.

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Why Do You Want A Horse?

Knowing your purpose is the first step to doing anything. So, ask yourself, why do you want to buy a horse? Are you looking for a horse to compete or simply for pleasure riding? Or are you looking for a top-class athlete or for any equestrian discipline, such as dressage and pony club games?

Thoroughbred is considered the fastest horse breed in the world. If you are looking for a speed horse, go for such breeds. However, if you want one to work on a farm, you must select one that can do heavy labour. So, having a defined purpose will help you find the right horse for you.

What Type Of Horse Do You Want?

There are four main types of horses, mostly based on function:

  • Draft Horses: Draft horses are mainly cold-blooded horses and have a soft and docile personality. Due to their stocky bodies and high endurance, these horses have been historically utilized for doing heavy farm work. They are great for beginner-level riders as they are often gentle and easy to manage.
  • Lightweight Horses: Lightweight horses were meant for many disciplines. They are fast and agile and practically bred for riding. They can often be hot-blooded and excitable. Lightweight horses are one of the more versatile types, as they can be useful as anything from competition to racing horses. They were meant to wear a saddle. A kind of light horse are the gaited horses, which are bred for their elegant demeanour and smooth ride.
  • Warmblood Horses: This cross between hot-blooded horses and cold-blooded horses was considered all-rounders. In the past, warmbloods were commonly used in the cavalry. They were also used as ranch horses in America, for example. Since they are lighter than draft horses, they could do a variety of tasks. When cavalry work became obsolete, they were converted into sports horses. They are also great as riding companions.
  • Ponies and Cobs: There is very little that ponies can’t do. They are stocky and often heavier than regular horses, making them great riding horses. Other than children, some lighter and smaller adults can also ride ponies. Ponies are often used to teach people how to ride due to their commonly gentle nature. They can be used for equestrian sports and events, hunting, trail riding, and dressage horse shows.

What Is Your Horse Riding Expertise Level?

Are you an expert rider, or do you have no clue how to ride a horse? If you are an expert rider, there isn’t much you have to worry about regarding what type of horse to choose. An expert rider should be able to handle most horses, but try to go for one which is docile and not “spirited.”

If you are a riding newbie, start your riding classes immediately. Don’t wait until you get a horse to start your training. You can take your instructor, or coach, with you when you go to choose a horse. However, keep in mind that riding classes will cost you. If you only moderately manage to ride a horse, try to buy a gentle horse that will help you become better at riding.

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What Is Your Horse Riding Expertise Level?
What Is Your Horse Riding Expertise Level?

Can You Handle The Commitment?

Getting a horse is a huge commitment. By buying a horse, you are making a promise to love, support, and take care of an animal that is wholly dependent on you. So, before you take off to get a horse on a whim, ask yourself whether you can handle the commitment.

An average horse can live up to 30 years. That is three decades of dedication! If you are up for that kind of long-term commitment, then, and only then, you are ready for buying a horse. But, do take your time and make an informed decision and make sure you are capable of handling and caring for one.

There might be external factors that affect the situation, so take every aspect and responsibility of owning/caring for a horse into consideration before buying that horse.

Can You Bear The Expenses?

Do you have the money to bear the expenses of your new horse? On average, keeping a horse can take £400 pounds per month, if not more (and that’s on a budget). Ask yourself whether your finances can handle that kind of expense each month. In winter, it might take even more money as you will need to buy horse rugs and other accessories to keep your horse warm.

If you can’t bear the expenses regularly this will impact the horse’s wellbeing. Hay, feed, bedding, farriery, veterinary attention, insurances and so on all need to be factored into your budget. So, if you love horses, don’t take that risk and commit to bearing the expenses to give them a healthy, happy life.

Can You Bear The Expenses?
Can You Bear The Expenses?

Where Will The Horse Stay?

Do you have a stable sorted? If you are an experienced horse owner you will no doubt already have a livery yard in mind. However, if you don’t have a designated space for your horse, opt for a spot for it in a local stable with adequate facilities.

The average cost of renting a stable alone can range from £25 – £50 pounds per week. If you want better conditions for your horse opt for a assisted livery that can cost upwards of £50 pounds per week. If you want to keep your horse in a fully serviced livery, it can cost you around £125 pounds per week. Facilities will be a big factor when it comes to cost of stabling your horse, the more you get the more you’ll expect to pay, it’s like most things in life.

If you truly love your horse, you must ensure that the livery you choose should take utmost care of your pet. Also, make sure that the livery is fire and theft safe.

Be Wary Of Horse Dealers

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a horse dealer will try to extort you. But, sometimes, they might do it without even knowing that they are doing it. Some dealers bring in horses without knowing much about its breeding and past life,  or whether it is healthy. If you don’t know much about horses, you can easily get misled.

So, be very careful while handling dealers and ask the right questions to get the truth. Ask a lot of questions, and use your instincts to see if it feels like they are lying. Take a look around the stable block as well. If there are medicines and other things that look suspicious, find another place to search for a horse. And, always get a second opinion before settling on a horse. This is where your horse riding instructor could guide you as well.

Importance Of A Horse Passport

Imagine that you go to a livery to get a Buckskin horse but end up with a Dun. Even though one may be a hot-blooded racer and the other one is a horse-riding type, they look very similar. So, getting into such an accident is not uncommon.

This is why it is necessary and a legal responsibility to get a horse that has a horse passport. Just as your passport has all the necessary information about you, a horse’s passport has everything (or most things) you need to know about the horse.

A horse passport will have the right breed. It will also include its unique life number and the microchip number. You will also know about its lineage and origins. It should also have some information about its vet history and other useful information.

Pre-purchase Vetting

One can’t emphasize the importance of pre-purchase horse vetting. It is crucial to get your prospective horse vetted before you make a decision. A vet can help confirm the breed, age, and health condition of the horse. They can help you understand whether this horse will be right for you.

If your dealer or seller lies to you, your vet can tell you otherwise. Remember all the questions you are supposed to ask, and you can pass on the answers to the vet and recheck whether they are misinforming you. It is vital to ensure that what the vet is saying they are selling to you is exactly what you are purchasing.

Getting The Legal Documents

There are some events where word of mouth might pass, but horse purchasing is not one of those cases. Always get your purchase on paper. The legal side of a horse purchase is crucial. This will ensure that the vendor doesn’t come back with the police, claiming you stole their horse!

Always get all the right papers when purchasing your horse to avoid such horrifying mishaps. Make sure they give you a purchase receipt and contract.

The contract agreement should have all the necessary information about the purchase, including the name and addresses of the buyer and seller, horse details, purchase date, purchase price, etc.

Final Thoughts

Getting a horse is always a special occasion. Be careful when buying a horse since you have to ensure that the horse you buy is right for you and you are right for it. Go through this guideline to ensure that you know everything you need to know before buying the horse.

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