TIPS ON BUYING A HORSE
TIPS ON BUYING A HORSE
When buying a horse the first question you need to ask yourself is: what do I want from a horse? Do I want to ride at Olympic level or weekend trail riding? It is important to ensure that the horse you’re looking at will best suit your needs. There is no point looking at a horse that is not broken in if you’re a novice rider and vise a versa.
The next question you need to ask yourself is; how much am I willing to spend? Once a budget has been decided upon it’s time to think about what type of horse do you want to buy? There are lots of breeds and disciplines to choose from, regardless of the breed or discipline conformation is the most important. Some things for you to look for are:
- Does the horse meet the above criteria – it is important in equestrian pursuits that your horse will or is showing potential in your field of interest.
- Condition of the horse – it shows the horse’s maturity and strength. A horse that has been in poor condition for prolonged periods may have long term complications.
- Good sound moving horse – look for three free flowing paces, watch for lameness when you’re inspecting. Tip: watch the hind legs tracking and try to notice if the horse is well balanced when walking, flowing when trotting and comfortable in the canter.
- Well balanced horse - is a nicely conformed type. The horse should be in proportion to its breed with good bone, perfect feet, an intelligent head and an alert eye.
- Good girth – the horse should be balanced in length from the wither, to the hip, to the tail dock. A good deep girth gives more room for the organs.
- Strong knees – look for correct and flat knees with a centre line running through the canon, fetlock and hoof. Average knees are offset, however can be okay provided the tendon behind the knee is vertical to the fetlock joint at the rear. Bad knees are very open and have a weak structure.
- Good feet (not boxed) - perfect feet are strong wide feet that have great shape, are not too flat and have a good toe. A good toe is nicely rounded at the base and the sole of the hoof has a good width. Tunnel or box feet have a narrow slope, no hoof development and have not matured in proportion to the horse’s growth. Box feet (tunnel feet) are a problem because they create shoeing complications due to not enough wall on the hoof.
- Hocks – need to be in proportion, they should be parallel to the horse’s knees.
- Size – again ask the question does it suit my original criteria. Size for performance is not always relevant as long as the horse suits your needs.
- Good temperament – this is most important of all. A horse that has a good temperament is going to be easier to handle and will be your best mate. It is important that you gel with the horse and feel comfortable with it. Horses have a sense and can tell when you’re uncomfortable with them and they’ll react to this.
- Vet check – HORSEZONE recommend that you organise a vet check prior to purchasing.
Note: the tips provided in this section are to be used as a guide only.
When searching for a horse for sale on HORSEZONE you can narrow your search down by choosing a breed, discipline, sex, colour, height, age, price and location.
In your search results you can sort by tile, discipline, state and price.
If you haven’t found what you are looking for, HORSEZONE have other ways to help you find your perfect horse.
Be the first to know when a new listing becomes available by signing up to our email alert service.
By signing up to this service, you will receive immediate email notification when a listing is added to the site that meets your criteria. You can set up multiple email alerts with different criteria to ensure you don’t miss out on a great buy!
To set an email alert, login to your account through My Horsezone, under “My Account” click on “Email Alerts”, then click “Add New Email Alert” then simply set your criteria. You can also enter keywords such as Foal at Foot, Liver Chestnut etc.
10 USEFUL QUESTIONS TO ASK A SELLER
- How long have you had the horse?
- Why are you selling the horse?
- Has the horse had any soundness issues?
- Will the horse do the job that I require?
- What is the horse’s experience?
- How does the horse cope under pressure?
- Can you explain the horse’s temperament
- When were the horse’s teeth, drench and feet completed?
- Is the horse easy to catch, float, worm and shoe?
- Are there any behavioral issues that I should be aware of?