Buying a horse is probably one of the biggest commitments and life changing events that can happen to a person, so the decision to fulfil the dream of becoming a horse owner should not be taken lightly. Training and housing these majestic creatures is without a doubt incredibly rewarding but is also a strain on time and finances, so how do you make sure that you will purchase the right horse for you? Here at Waterman's Country Supplies we have put together a guide to buying a horse from things to consider and questions to ask to what to look for during a viewing.
Things To Consider Before You Start Looking.
There are many positives that come with owning a horse but before the search for the perfect breed it is time to step back into reality and discuss everything that is involved in owning a horse, starting with money.
As mentioned before owning a horse can be a huge strain on financial resources. From huge veterinary bills to paddocks and equipment, the yearly figures for simply keeping a horse in good health can be astronomical, so make sure that you have the finances to cover every eventuality. Make a list of every possible bill that you could encounter over a year and add them up. If you can afford the overall figure then continue, if you believe that you may struggle consider other options such going in for a horse share where the bills are split equally.
Another question that you must ask yourself is if you have enough time to dedicate to a horse. Horses need looking after 365 days a year including training and mucking out, so make sure that you have time to spare or consider another avenue.
Looking For A Horse
Now that you have your finances and accommodation in order it's time to start looking for your perfect horse, but where do you begin looking? Firstly decide what you are looking for in a horse taking into account age, size, breed etc. and don't sway from these. We all know that horses can melt our hearts but throughout this entire process it is better to lead with you head rather than your heart as it will pay off in the long run. Ring people that you know move in equestrian circles and tell them what you are looking for, they may even know of one that isn't even on the market yet. Also look in magazines and on websites to keep an eye on any horses that are for sale. As soon as you come across a horse that fits all of your requirements don't be attempted to jump straight in the car for a viewing. Ring the owner first and ask them a list of questions about the horse such as background and temperament, this also allows you to see if the owner is genuine.
Viewing A Horse
It's happened you've found a wonderful horse, asked all of you questions and you're off to your very first viewing. But don't let the excitement get away from you as it is easy to fall in love and completely disregard some key warning signs.
When viewing a horse first impressions always count, whether this is of the horse or indeed the owner. Any signs of over-working or poor health should be looked into and ask the owner to ride the horse before you attempt to ride it yourself. When you have introduced yourself to the horse and have had all of your questions answered then ask if you can prepare the horse for a ride yourself. Apply the tack on your own and look for any signs of bad manners or aggression as these should be avoided at all costs. Always remember to never make an offer straight away on the first horse you visit, be sure to take a look around and view all of the horses that you feel would be great contenders and if the first happens to be your favourite then go back and make an offer.
The Final Do's And Don't's Of Buying A Horse.
Do always ask questions about the horse and its past, contact previous owners to check if their stories match up.
Do make sure that the horse has the level of experience that you want and if not do you have time for training?
Do make adjustments to your list if the horse is likely to be ridden by other members of your family.
Do visit the horse three or four times before buying
Do ask if the horse is on any medication and if so for how long?
Don't consider inappropriate horses
Don't part with money over the internet or without seeing the horse
Don't get a horse you don't feel confident on or that scares you
Don't make a decision based on your heart
Don't get caught up on the look of the horse
We wish you the best of luck on finding your perfect horse and for a range of equestrian equipment visit our website.