#11 Buy a horse you already know
Many riders go on to become horse owners after sharing or loaning a horse. However I am not talking about loaning with a view to buy here, as that is something very different. But a rider that has been financially contributing to the upkeep of someone else’s horse for some time, without the sole intention of ever buying it. Usually however, it is common that when such an opportunity arises, the sharer advances into horse ownership. This would actually be the most recommended path to horse ownership in my humble opinion. The rider would already be aware of the horse’s personality and level of training, experience and confidence. They should also (hopefully) understand the work and cost involved in the upkeep of the animal. Experience would have been gained in dealing with the farrier, dentist and vet, and of course the animals dietary and exercise needs.
Continue reading “The Realistic Guide To Buying A Horse Part 4”
#8 Try out the horse yourself
When one particular family with limited horse knowledge asked for my help to try out a horse for their daughter, I was happy to oblige. On riding the animal in the arena I achieved 3 good paces before taking it for a hack through a wood. Even when jumping a fallen tree, the horse behaved impeccably. He was alert and forward going, and I saw no evidence he had been given a special treat to make him subservient. The teenage daughter of the family rode the horse in the arena after I had finished, but only at walk. After the horse was vetted and bought the family complained it would buck with the daughter. Again I rode the horse, and again he behaved impeccably. Later that day I received a phone call to say the horse had bucked yet again, and the daughter had fallen.
Continue reading “The Realistic Guide To Buying A Horse Part 3”
#5 Do not overlook the veteran horse
Do not be deterred from buying a horse that is over 12, 15, 18 or even 20 years old. If the animal is fit there is no reason why such an age should matter, or even be relevant. A 20 year old horse will hunt, show-jump, hack or even compete in dressage for example. Horse care has come on in leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades. They are afforded better dental, farrier and vet care, as well as improved feed and supplements, both of which can contain essential herbs and minerals to maintain good health. Most yards insist on fastidious worming programs, and flu and tetanus jabs. Manufacturers of equine consumables strive (and compete) to improve the quality of bedding in term of reducing dust and maximising absorption. Frankly put, there has never been a better time to be a horse, and 20 could be seen as the new 10!
Continue reading “The Realistic Guide To Buying A Horse Part 2”