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Mistakes People Make When Buying a Horse

1. Looking for a bargain.

Basically, you get what you pay for. Now I’m not saying you need to buy a $10,000 trail riding horse, but you need to buy a horse suitable for what you’re going to do on it. If a horse is too cheap, there’s usually a reason why. You could spend $250 on a horse for your kids, and end up spending thousands on doctor bills. Wouldn’t you rather spend a little more on a horse for your kids to be safe?

2. Failing to try the horse out thoroughly.

A lot of people take a horse home, then decide two weeks later it’s not what they wanted, or not what the seller said it was. The first thing I do when I’m looking at a horse is ask the owner to let me watch them ride it. Usually after that I can tell if it’s even something I want to ride myself. It’s also a good idea to ask if you can take the horse home for a week, even if you have to write up an agreement in case something happens to the horse.

3. Buying a horse that’s beyond their abilities.

If your buying a horse to ride yourself, make sure it’s something you can handle. Unless you have a trainer you’re planning on taking the horse to. In that case you should let your trainer help you pick a horse he thinks would be suitable for you. Don’t try to train your own horse if you only ride once or twice a month.

4. Buying a horse unsuitable for your event.

If you want to participate in reining, you don’t want to buy a race horse. If you want to barrel race, you don’t want to buy a halter horse. Horse breeders now days have got quite “event specific” in their breeding. They’ve learned what works for specific events. Not just physically, but mentally, which has made horses a lot easier to train. Sometimes an ex-race horse will make a trail riding horse, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.

If you’re new to the horse world, I would recommend seeking dependable advice when buying a horse. Also a few basic horsemanship lessons would make your experience more enjoyable in the long run, and maybe save you a few wrecks too.

5. Getting stuck with a horse that’s not sound.

Unless you know and trust the party that you’re buying from, get a vet check. If you’re buying a horse from out of  your area, this definitely needs to happen. A lot of horses are bought and sold on the internet, and shipped across the country, too far to return them if there’s something wrong.

6. Not getting all the paperwork done.

Make sure during your transaction you get all the paperwork complete. On registered horse, you need a signed transfer. In the state I live in a brand inspection is required for any change of ownership. If the horse is coming in from another state, a health certificate and coggins test is required. Make sure you have all your bases covered to avoid any hassle later on.

The best advice I could give you if you’re new to horses is to educate yourself ahead of time. That’s a lot easier than learning as you go.