As a professional horse trainer and instructor I meet a lot of people that are in the market to buy a horse. If it’s your first horse, it can be pretty intimidating. So, if you’re thinking about buying a horse and you consider yourself to be a beginner, here are a few tips that will help you avoid falling into a situation where you end up with an animal that’s not suitable for you or your family.
Take an experienced horse owner with you. This is imperative when you’re new to horses and don’t know what to look for, even after you’ve taken some riding lessons. An experienced horse owner or trainer will know how to check for signs that the prospective horse is sound, healthy and is appropriately trained.
Ask the seller to ride the horse first. If the seller isn’t comfortable getting on the horse before you do, that is a big red flag. Ask the seller to ride the horse around for a while so you can see how it moves and how it behaves. Next rider up should be your experienced horse owner friend that you brought along, then if things still look good, you can go next. Keep in mind that a horse may do really well for an experienced rider, but it might not be the same for someone who is just learning.
Find out about the horse’s history. How long has the seller owned the horse? Why are they selling? Does the horse have registration papers that will be signed over to you upon the sale? What about the horse’s medical history? You can never ask too many questions.