|Could this horse become a member|
of your family?
Once the decision is made to search for a new horse and youset that ‘ever-so flexible budget’ then like most of us, you’ll probably be guilty of hitting the ‘Horses For Sale’ ads across the vast choice of equestrian websites - and literally being overwhelmed with choices. In this context, the worst nightmare of all is allowing your teenage daughter to do the searching for her new horse. You’ll then be inundated with a plethora of perfect equines, the majority of which will be at the other end of the country, with POA’s to make your eyes water.
It’s not only a time consuming and pretty frustrating ordeal , which often leads to screeds of messaging about the horse with the current owner but even worse , you might easily decide to set off at great expense to travel goodness knows where to look at said beast. Invariably this leads to disappointment purely because you haven’t really sat down before excitement took hold to thoroughly think what the criteria need to be for this new horse to fit perfectly into your lives.
You may think you have all the willpower in the world but making a CHECKLIST beforehand really does help and Equine extra has these 13 suggestions to add to yours!
1. Decide on your budget and STICK TO IT.
2. Decide what your maximum and minimum height requirements are. Be honest with yourselves. If you can no longer mount up from the ground with ease, then don’t even look at anything over 15.2hh!
3. Do you think a mare or a gelding will fit in with whatever stabling / field dynamics you have at home or on your livery yards. If you have any doubts about a particular gender then don’t but him or her!
4. Do your homework thoroughly if buying from a Dealer. The good ones will have earned their reputation.
5. Try not to have a particular colour or breed in mind; be open to looking at horses out with your preferences.
6. Take a knowledgeable friend along - one who has lots of experience and will tell you how they see it, not just what you want to hear.
7. Don’t be hesitant to ask the owner about a horse’s previous history, medical or otherwise. The more you know the better informed your decision will be.
8. Watch like a hawk how the horse reacts to you, how it stands when being tacked up, what tack is being used and whether it fits properly.
9. Pick the horse’s feet up, spend time checking feet and shoe wear. They can tell you about a multitude of issues.
10. Ask about competition performance and previous health and veterinary issues - and listen carefully. There could be valuable clues in what is said that may guide your decision to purchase.
11. With the all important test ride, don’t be hurried – and don’t mount up until you’ve seen the horse being ridden by the current owner. Take time to do the things you will be doing at home. If no mounting block is available then ask for one. Does the horse stand and have manners? Give it a calm and sensible workout on both reins. Note any stiffness or reluctance to move forward. Jump it to the height you will be asking it to jump. Does it make you feel confident?
12. Above all ‘Do you like it‘? This horse may well be about to become a member of your family.
13. Finally, if you are planning a full vetting of your intended purchase, do listen to the vet you’ve instructed. If he or she picks up an issue and it comes with a warning, then walk away.