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OTHER ITA SITES:
Buying Your New (first) Horse
Buying your first or new horse can be a very exciting but nervous time. Will I find what Iím after? Will it be the right horse for me? What is the real reason itís for sale? Does it have any health problems? HELPÖÖ I donít want to be ripped off!
RELAXÖÖÖ..here are a few handy hints that can reduce the stress in choosing your new equine partner.
Whether you are looking at buying your first horse or your 3rdor 4th there are a few safe guards you can take to help ensure it is an exciting time in both your lives.
So you have decided to buy a horse, congratulations! Now that you have taken this first step there are a few things you need to decide.
What are your plans with your new horse? Do you just want to go trail riding? Do you want to compete? If so, in what equestrian sport? Western, Dressage, Jumping, Polo, Pony Club, Eventing, Rodeo, Show riding, breed classes???
Do you have a breed preference? What height horse is best suited to you? What sex animal do you prefer? Will it be run with other horses? Are you experienced enough for a young horse? How much are you willing to spend?
Sometimes it can be difficult to pin point exactly what type of horse is best suited to you and your equestrian pursuits. It is advisable to seek out the opinion of a more experienced horse person, someone you trust and has lots of horse knowledge.
Unless you are buying for a particular breed or show ring activity, the coat color is of no importance! I have seen lots of people make mistakes having brought a horse because of their coat color.
I personally have never been a big fan of grays (sorry to all the gray lovers out there), but I will tell you that some of my best horses have infact been gray!
There are quite a few different horse buying guides and sources around. Check out the internet, local paper and local saddlery shop. Donít forget to ask your friends and horse acquaintances. These people will normally know who is for sale, why they are for sale and what the horse is like.
So you have found a horse that sounds great on paper and have contacted the owner to organize a viewing time. See if you can have a knowledgeable horse person go with you.
Try to arrive a little earlier than the agreed time. This way you will see if the horse has been worked before you get there and hopefully allows you to see the horse being caught and tacked up.
Get the owner to show you the horse being ridden first, and then get your friend to have a try and see what they think. If the horse doesnít seem to be suitable at this point or it scares you half to death, then donít get on!!! If you donít feel comfortable now then you wonít when you get it home.
Ask lots of questions. Even if you think they are silly. You wonít know unless you ask. View any registration papers and competition results.
Have a good look at the horse, pick up all four feet, look in their mouth, under their tail, in their eyes and note anything that looks abnormal. If you donít know what you are looking at get your friend to look.
If after you have put it through its paces and you think it maybe the right horse for you then I suggest two things, it maybe an idea to put a deposit down (if the owner agrees) and get a vet check done.
A vet will view the horse and conduct a few tests to see if it is healthy and sound. Remember to get an independent vet, one that hasnít seen the horse before.
It may also be wise to have another viewing of the horse on a different day. Even if you arrived unannounced, at least this gives you an idea of what the horse is like naturally.
Talk to people who may have seen the horse before, they should be able to tell you anything that they have noticed.
See the horse loaded on to a trailer, lead the horse around yourself, try putting the bridle on, any think else you may have to do on a regular bases.
Once you have done all this and you still think the horse is suitable then it maybe necessary to negotiate the price. This is entirely up to you.
But remember that a lot of owners wonít budge on the price, especially if they know itís a good horse (Although I have picked up a couple of great horses for half price their value, having been in the right place at the right time).
Remember to have all the registration forms transferred over to your name (or at least signed over) before you take the horse home. Also get a receipt saying you have paid for the horse in full before you leave the property.
Congratulations!!! You are now the proud owner of your new horse. May it be a long and satisfying journey together.
Tina Williamson B App Sci (Equine)
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