Before You Buy Test Rides - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-10-2012, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Before You Buy Test Rides

I realize I've started three threads in the past two days, and I apologize, but I keep coming up with new questions. :s

I am going to see the welsh pony I want sometime soon and was wondering if there was anything I should do besides the basic walk/trot/canter before I buy him?
He is a jumper, so I will likely go over a few low jumps just to see how he does.
Speaking of jumping, I have never purposely jumped on a horse and am not experienced at all as to how it should go. Any tips on what I should look for or should I just watch him as somebody else rides?

Anything else you recommend?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 12:31 AM
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Watch another person ride him. How does the horse respond to his/her cues? You dont want to get on a fast pony only to find when you pull on the reins it only goes faster! Make sure there is no lameness, and watch him over jumps. Does it really like to stretch its head or tuck it in? You dont want to yank its head in or give a strange pony the opportunity to run off! Since you said you aren't experienced with this, it is best to bring an experienced friend who knows how you ride come with you and get on before you get on (but after the owner). That way he/she can tell you how the pony responded to him/her and any issues it may have. Good luck!
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“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 12:43 AM
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You should bring along someone who can put the horse through his paces. If you are not 100% solid at a particular maneuver or it's a new discipline to you... especially jumping. Don't attempt it yourself. You are asking for an accident or problems by attempting something outside your skillset on a new, unfamiliar horse.

The seller should demo the horse first. Then your buddy can ride and give you their feedback. THEN you could ride, but limit it to what you are comfortable with or what your buddy feels is within the horse's and your safe zone.

It's a lot like nuts and bolts - if the rider's nuts, the horse bolts! ~Nicholas Evans
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 09:49 AM
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I agree, let the seller ride the horse... I once bought a horse and the previous owner said she does not feel like riding her and one week later (after I bought her) I knew why she did not want to ride her... anyways, always let someone else (pref. the owner) ride the horse. Bring along someone who knows lots about horses and knows what to look for. Some people are just not honest and want to get "rid" of their horses asap without thinking about the consequenses :0( Good luck to you anyways and I hope it will be the right match for you!
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 10:32 AM
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Could you take a trainer or someone riding very well with you to get a 2nd opinion and (possibly) try the horse out as well?

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 10:54 AM
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I would watch the owner/trainer/student/leasee of the horse you are buying ride first. That way, you can see how they ride and how the horse has been ridden for the past however long. IF they misbehave (beyond the usual testiness towards a new rider), you will see it on someone who rides the horse semi-regularly. You can really gauge how you may want to handle a horse by watching someone who rides them regularly handle them, especially if they are a really soft or really rough rider. Because I usually ride my instructors sale horses, often, I rode the horses for buyers to see how the horse acts with a rider that is not an instructor/trainer.

If you have a trainer, bring your trainer. When I ride by myself, I piddle paddle all over the place and don't really have GO to make myself work. Especially when it comes to cantering and jumping on a new horse, which I have had a lot of experience with lately (having ridden 8 or 9 new, unfamiliar horses in an arena in the last 2 months, 7 of them outside of lessons, only 3 or 4 of them not considerably green). If I have a trainer or instructor putting me through my paces, I ain't piddling; I'm working, and I'm making that horse work with me.

When my instructor sells a horse, and the possible buyer wants to bring a trainer, she'll let them take a short lesson on the horse. A good lesson experience on a new horse gives both the buyer and the trainer (who will probably be working with the horse) a good feel for the horse and better helps to decide whether the horse is a good match for the buyer.

Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.

Last edited by Joidigm; 07-11-2012 at 10:59 AM.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 10:58 AM
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If you dont know how to jump how are you gonna evaluate his ability to jump from the saddle ? You need someone that knows how.

Also dont waste sellers time window shopping, nothing wrong with looking but you really shouldnt be going out test driving unless you are ready to buy if the horse is suitable.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 11:03 AM
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Good luck

Country Woman

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post #9 of 12 Old 07-12-2012, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody, the friend who may be bringing me is a great jumper, so I will probobly have her ride him as well.
I DO have riding experience, just not jumping. :b

Joe4d: I do plan to buy him, if he turns out to be a good match for me. The last horse I bought (that I just sold last night) was bought before I could spend time with him because he was very far away, which was a mistake. I just want to make sure, and be absolutely positive that I am happy with him before I tell her I'm going to buy him for sure.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-12-2012, 08:57 AM
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Before I buy or if I'm evaluating a horse for someone else to buy, I always have the owner/handler ride and put them through their paces. You find out a lot about how they are trained and also how the horse should react to you once it settles in. I don't just have them ride however I also have them work them on the ground and show me the horse has been taught to respect space. Before I even get on I then work them on the ground and put my hands everywhere on them. I watch them be saddled and make sure there are no issues with that. It blows my mind how many horses have saddling issues where I'm from. I don't see anything wrong with taking a 2 - 2 1/2 foot jump as long as you have jumped before I mean we take bigger jumps then that on trail all the time. But if you have never jumped before I wouldn't recommend trying on a horse you've not rode before. I would defiantly use your friend with the jumping experience for that aspect. It's really important to know what your getting. I have a couple friends who have been really burned by finding out later that the horse isn't everything the owner said it was. I might do a bit more then others when buying a horse but I haven't ever had a problem with the horses I require and I go in with my eyes wide open to the training they are going to need and the training they have had. Hope this helps good luck!
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