Buying a horse is an exciting moment in every horse lover’s life. It is a moment in your life where your dream and wish is granted. I have to admit though, buying a horse isn’t just all rainbows and butterflies. Don’t get me wrong, buying a horse is INCREDIBLE, but it also comes with great commitment and huge financial investment. Buying a horse requires a lot of thought, time, and most of all, money. It is definitely worth it though! There are so many decisions involved such as what breed of horse you want, how much you are willing to spend, what is the discipline you will be riding, and many more questions. Today, I am giving you my DO’s and DON’ts of buying a horse so that you can be prepared on how to handle different situations and how to make the final decisions on buying your dream horse. Enjoy!
DO #1: Make a Financial Plan
This is so important because not only does a horse cost time, but it also costs money. You have to make sure that when you decide to buy your first horse you have everything you need to support your horse. For example, you need to make sure that you have enough money to pay for boarding (if you do not live on a farm), veterinarian bills, the farrier, hay and waterers (if you own a farm), and tack (such as a saddle, bridle, martingale, brushes, etc). As you can see, there is a lot of money involved when buying a horse.
DON’T #1: Only Look at ONE Horse
Only looking at one horse is not going to make buying a horse a smooth process. All horses are different in their own ways. If you went to only look at one horse, you are not looking at all of your options. Look at a couple different horses to discover what you really want.
DO #2: Know That Buying a Horse Takes Time
This is extremely important to note because buying a horse isn’t going to be a quick process. Buying a horse requires a lot of thought, so buying the first horse you see is not a wise decision. Maybe you want to buy a saddlebred and you have been looking and just can’t seem to find the right one that you like. In this situation you might just have to wait and keep your eyes open until the right one comes along.
DON’T #2: Buy a Green or Unbroken Horse
Now, I am not saying that you can never buy a green horse, but rather I am cautioning against your first horse being unbroken especially if you have just started riding. Now, if you have been riding for a while and are into training horses and have a lot of time on your hands, I would say go for it. Training young horses takes time and if you only ride once or twice a week, that won’t be enough time to train a green horse.
DO #3: Invest in a Pre-Purchase Exam by a Veterinarian
I suggest doing a pre-purchase exam on the horse you are looking to buy, before you choose to buy it. A pre-purchase exam is basically when the veterinarian makes sure that your horse is healthy. The veterinarian will do an overall body check on your horse, check their oral cavity, examine the horse’s eyes, check for previous injuries, and listen to the horse’s lungs and heart. There is nothing more devastating than buying you “perfect” horse only to find out it is lame or has other health issues. Make sure to do a pre-purchase exam!
DON’T #3: Buy a Horse without Trying it Out
This is a SUPER important step not to skip! When you are looking at different horses, make sure to ride them! Riding the horse before you buy it ensures that the horse is right for you. It gives you a feel for how the horse moves and responds to your leg pressure, hand, and other movements. Trust your gut… you will know the right horse for you once you ride it.
DO #4: Take your Trainer out to Look at Horses with You
Taking your trainer or another experienced horse person out with you to take a look at horses is very helpful. It can lessen the pressure you may feel during the horse buying process and also give you a trusted second opinion.
DON’T #4: Don’t be Afraid to Say No
Never be afraid to say no to a horse that you are considering. Again, it is always best to look around at ALL options before making your final decision.
I hope you enjoyed this post and most of all found it helpful if you are looking to buy a horse! Buying a horse is an exciting time and a moment that will be treasured forever! I have included an infographic that you can download by right clicking that includes all of the 8 DOs and DON’Ts. Also, if you are looking for another extra reference to this blog post about the financial part of buying a horse check out this fantastic post. Until next time… don’t forget to hug your horse!