03-15-2008, 06:50 PM
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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..