What do I look for?

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What do I look for?

This is a discussion on What do I look for? within the Horses for Sale forums, part of the Horse Resources category

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        03-15-2008, 10:37 AM
    What do I look for?

    It has been so long since I bought a horse I was hoping you all could refresh my memory on the things to look for and the questions to ask. Thanks.
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        03-15-2008, 06:35 PM

    No one can help me?
        03-15-2008, 06:50 PM
    Questions: (besides the obvious age, sex, etc)
    - Has the horse ever had any lameness or health issues? In addition, ask if they are on any meds.
    - Is it up to date (UTD) on all vaccs and dewormings?
    - Does the horse have any vices (i.e. Cribbing, weaving, etc.)?
    - What kind of training does this horse have?
    - Ask any questions regarding your discipline.. I as a dressage rider would ask what kind of movements this horse has, etc... I won't really care about how high he's jumped.
    The big one: Why are you selling this horse? (if the answer seems bogus, think twice about the horse.)

    To look for when viewing:
    - Have the person not catch the horse until you get there so you can see if it's hard to catch.
    - Are there any fresh saddle marks indicating the horse was worked (possibly heavily) before your arrival?
    - Is the horse in good physical condition? Are the hooves trimmed properly?
    - Look for any conformation faults.
    - Have the owner ride the horse first, so you can see how he/she acts, as well that way you can see how the horse moves.
    - in addition to this, stand along the rail while the rider rides towards and away from you in a straight line to see if the horse's legs don't hit one another.
    - Look to make sure the horse is alert, with eyes that focus properly in case of drugging.
    - Walk away from a lame horse, if you are looking to ride.

    Some other notes:
    - Be honest about your abilities. I as an owner will screen potentials before they make an appointment - my last gelding was for experienced owners only, so if you came to me and said you're looking for a higher-level dressage prospect, I would let you come and see him. If you were looking for a pleasure horse, then no, the horse wouldn't be the right one for you.
    - Don't be afraid to tell the owner about any concerns you might have.
    - Don't be afraid to walk away without buying the horse.
    - Be very very very wary of people advertising the horse as "last chance to buy! Buy him or he gets killed" or any ads like that - chances are you're just going to supply the owner with more money to buy another horse and up the price for another "buy now or he gets killed" project.
    - Do ask if you can take the horse on a trial; many horse owners will let the horse go to your barn for a week or two to do a trial - but you might have to sign a liability waiver.
    - Do ask to come back and try/see the horse more than once.

    I'm sure I'll add more later..
        03-15-2008, 09:26 PM
    Green Broke
    Ooh, that's a really good list! I don't think there's much else to add...

    I always like to ask about a horse's personality and get a complete history of the horse. Especially in the area you're going to use him for. So if you're looking for a good trail horse I ask if he's been hauled anywhere and how he does in new places. If he's a show horse I ask what he showed in and how he placed. Sometimes listening to what they say and how they say it can answer a lot of questions. I had a lady rave about a horse and tell me how wonderful he was until I asked if he was spooky at all. She hesitated and told me that he sometimes looked at some things but eventually got over it. Yeah, the horse bolted anything he saw/heard/imagined anything remotely moving. It took months to get him past it!
    Also I highly recommend going with another horsey friend that knows your abilities! It's nice to have another pair of eyes on the ground that can offer sound advice.
        03-15-2008, 09:33 PM
    Green Broke
    Just thought of another one! I like to ask what bit they go in and why. I had a lady tell me this pony she had for sale had a very soft mouth but wore a kimberwicke because "that's what she rode her of her horses in". The horse had a mouth like a rock and pulled like crazy!

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