To Buy or Not to Buy a Horse

If you’re thinking of buying a horse, there are some very important things you need to consider. It’s not an easy decision and you must decide if you can truly give the horse the care it needs and if you have the budget and for that care. Here are some considerations:

1.What you’ll need

Before you buy a horse, you’ll need to do some research into the breed and temperament of the best horse for you. Be completely honest with how much time you have to spare as you’ll need to invest a lot of energy in your new horse. Consider how much you can afford to spend on the purchase and life-ling care of the horse. You’ll need to consider the type of equipment you’ll need, the costs of which soon begin to add up. This is an animal that could be with you for the next 30 years, so it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Understand what common conditions affect horses and things you might have to invest in like for the symptoms of Sweet Itch

  1. Always see the horse

Many things can be bought online these days, but a horse is not one of them. You should also view a horse before agreeing a sale. Often unscrupulous dealers will provide a false description and it’s hard to get your money back if you’re conned into a bad sale. Taking the time to visit several horses should provide a better chance of making a successful match, even if it does require extra effort in the beginning.

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3.Have an expert opinion

Take an experienced horse person with you when you view a horse. They will be able to offer you an objective opinion and ask questions you might not have thought of. It’s also nice to have someone in your corner should sales tactics get a little much. They can also watch you during your ride assessment and provide feedback and advice.


Always check the passport is the right one for the horse. A vet should also check the horse for any microchips or suspected removal of chips. If you have any concerns over the passport, you can always check it with the Passport Issuing Organisation. Do not be tempted into buying a horse that doesn’t have a passport.

  1. GET THE HORSE checked

Your vet should check the horse is healthy and fit. Depending on what activity you intend to do with the horse, there are different levels of vet-checking. Knowing the horse is in good health prior to the sale can save a lot of expense and heartache further down the line. Using your own qualified equine vet is important. Don’t be tempted to use the seller’s vet for obvious reasons.

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  1. ensure the horse is suitable for the rider

The horse must be suitable for the intended rider and vice versa. It is a good idea to handle the horse as you would back at home, lead it in and out of stables, riding and over fences etc. Don’t ride a horse that you’re unsure about or feel might be unsafe and you shouldn’t feel you need to rush the decision. If you need to try the horse several times, then perhaps ask about a week’s trial.

  1. Horse history

Find out as much as you can about the horse’s history and don’t just accept what the vendor tells you. You need to know about any previous problems with health and behaviour, vet records and any other issues. There are many disreputable dealers out there unfortunately who might have doped an animal or stolen the horse. If the horse is being sold very cheaply, you need to know why it seems a deal too good to be true.

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