Tips for Purchasing a Horse, by Jackie Brittain

Purchase a horse that fits your needs.Purchasing a horse can be a very exciting experience as well as a significant one that requires good research and objectivity.

First of all it is important to explore your needs as a rider.  Your level of experience and ability will serve as a guideline for making the proper choice.  Be honest and realistic in setting those guidelines to ensure that a horse will be suitable for you as a rider and ultimately your horse partner.

If you have settled upon a certain riding discipline and are sure you wish to pursue it completely, then it is time to investigate breeds that excel and are bred specifically for the discipline.  This will help narrow down the field.

Examine your goals for you and your horse.  Also, consider the amount of time you can devote to achieve your goals.  Time is one of the biggest factors to consider as ones lifestyle demands affect the general outcome of the whole project.

You can find a quality horse in your price range if you look carefully.Many factors come into play when considering the individual horse.  Your choice of the horses age and gender have a direct bearing on your ability to handle that horse.  For example, a young inexperienced horse verses a proven experienced horse.  A gelding verses  mare or stallion.  A calm disposition verses a spirited disposition.  All of these factors must be considered honestly and objectively in making your decision to purchase.

The purchase price can be a good tool as a guideline for selecting your horse.  You can find a quality horse in your price range if you look carefully.  First of all consider horses with registration papers as this will insure age, ownership and breed.  If you are considering a horse without papers it is best to have a veterinarian check its teeth to confirm its age.  Purchasing a horse without papers has its risks.  Deal with reputable people only.

If you find a horse you are serious about purchasing, have a veterinarian perform a pre purchase examination.  Your vet will need to know the extent of the exam you wish as they can be very costly.  Rely on your price range to gauge the extent of the exam.  Basically you need a healthy individual with normal eye sight, teeth, serviceable legs and no vices  ( I.e. cribbing)  all of which a veterinary examination can tell you.  In some instances x rays may be necessary to insure a sound leg  for a serviceable future.

Ultimately, purchasing a horse can be a wonderful quest.Another area to consider that directly relates to your purchase price is the amount of care, feeding, boarding and training.  Buying a horse is only the beginning of maintaining a horse.  Are you able to provide your own facility and your own care for your horse?  What type of training and lessons will be needed to keep both horse and rider in tune?

Equipment is another factor.  A proper fitting saddle and bridle for you and your individual horse.  And just like the horse your tack needs to be clean and kept in top repair.   A rider needs proper boots and helmet.  If you will be showing your horse you will need certain styles of clothes for the type of discipline.  Safety is first and good equipment that is properly used and cared for will insure good rides.

In the horse sales business a Bill Of Sale and Sales Contract may be advisable.  This is particularly important during the period of time the ownership is transferred on the registration papers.  Make sure your business is in order, especially if you take possession and transport the horse.

Transportation is another area to consider.  The cost and availability of safe, reliable trucking plays a factor in overall costs and future costs.

Ultimately, purchasing a horse can be a wonderful quest.  Remember to take your time and research all possibilities and ask questions.  Trust your judgment in the final decision and look forward to all of the experiences that lay ahead.


Jackie Brittain
Merriewold Morgans Trainer