Before you buy a horse there are some major points to consider. Below is just a few of the most prevalent things to consider when buying a horse or pony:
Can you afford it – this is broken down in to time and financially. Buying a horse is a serious investment of both of the above..
Do you have enough free time to properly care for an animal like a horse?
Do you have a place for your horse to stay (such as a barn) or a place where you can board the horse? Again this costs money!
Commitment is the name of the game with a horse or pony – unlike some pets they can live for 20+ years.
Do you have the necessary equipment and supplies to do it properly? Caring for a horse requires tack, grooming supplies, and feed. Again, without labouring the point – all cost money!
Every horse rider/owner should have contacts including a good farrier and vet, often you will need to add a skilled trainer to the list. Getting these lined up prior to a purchase is often a wise move.
A horse or pony?
Contrary to some peoples’ beliefs, a pony is not a baby horse! Ponies are generally smaller than horses. Don’t think that because ponies are physically smaller than horses they are any easier to deal with as ponies are sometimes they are even more stubborn; choosing a horse with a better temperament is often a good idea over the physical size.
The difference between a pony and a horse is their size, ponies being smaller than 14.2 hands (58 inches) at the withers, and horses are +14.2 hands.
Breed – which kind would you like to own?
As with all animals, there are personality characteristics with many breeds and it is important, whatever the breed, to be sure to research to ensure it’s the one you really want and are comfortable with.
Maintain an open mind over colour and behaviour.
Finding the right breed and colour combination is one thing but if the horse is badly behaved, you may soon regret the purchase! Finding a horse with an excellent temperament will likely prove a much more successful relationship than choosing colour and breed over behaviour!
With the above in mind, be comfortable with your choice and you must be happy with the horse’s breed and colour.
Obviously buying a horse just because it looks right isn’t the only driver but you shouldn’t buy a horse if you honestly dislike the way it looks. Take time to find the one you like rather than rushing a purchase like this.
The future should be in mind!
If you cannot honestly see yourself happy with the horse in many years to come then do not buy it.
Meet the horse and spend time at his current home before you buy.
It is always worthwhile to see him in his own environment and also to see him in as many different situations (barn/stable, the arena and outside) as possible. Take some time to tack him up and of course, make sure you ride him more than once.
Ask for professional help from your contacts or your potential new stable owners.
Even the most experienced riders will ask for advice and it is essential that you do so. Sometimes it can take months of not years to find the right horse so don’t rush in to it.
1. If you know the trainer well, ask him if he thinks the horse is a good match for you.
2. Get your vet to look him over. Although some are put off by the cost of a vetting exercise. Think of it like this – although it can irritate spending $500 on a horse you don’t even own it is much more frustrating spending $10,000 on a horse you DO own!
3. Ask the current owners to ride for you – ensure that you are comfortable with the horse’s level of “spirited-ness” and make sure you will feel comfortable handling him.