How to Shop for a Horse
Know what to ask a seller when considering buying their horse.
August 21, 2011
From America’s Horse
When you first contact a seller about a horse he or she has for sale, you should be prepared with your questions. Here is a list of questions to get you started:
- Is he registered and do you have the original registration papers?
- What condition is the horse in?
- Does he have any health problems?
- What is the horse’s personality like? Quiet and well-mannered, high-strung or “spirited” and likes to go?
- What does the horse look like?
- How tall is the horse?
- How old is the horse?
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- What kind of training has he had?
- Is he road safe?
- What is the horse’s recent background? What has he been doing? Has he been out to pasture or has he been used in English, western, 4-H, ranch, trail riding, lessons, driving, roping, reining, cutting, racing, etc.?
- What vices does he have, if any?
- Does he load into a trailer? Does he stand tied?
- Has the horse been stalled or is he a pasture horse?
- Has he lived alone or with other horses?
- If handled by a trader or trainer, who owned him before? How long did they own him? Why are they selling the horse? May I speak with the previous owner?
- Does he have a current Coggins test? If not, are you willing to get the horse tested?
Buying and Owning Your First Horse also has great information about developing a meaningful relationship with your new horse and getting the most out of horse ownership.
- Do you have someone at your place who will tack up and ride the horse?
- Do you have an enclosed arena or enclosed pasture where I can try out the horse? If not, are you willing to take the horse to a public arena, demonstrate riding him and allow me to ride him?
- If I like the horse, will you hold him for a vet check for me?
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