Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Hour and a Half from Town!
Hi Littleerin5! Welcome to HF!!
Thank you for your service and I can't wait to read about your adventures in horse shopping! (Ummm we love horse shopping and pictures, please let us live vicariously through you!!! There are some great eyes on here to help!)
If I were in your situation I'd take my time. Lots and lots of horses for sale at pretty decent prices. You said you'll be riding alone most of the time, which I love, but check out local riding groups in your area. I ride mutts, love love my mutts, but the trail groups around here ride gated horses so I'm a no go with them. All my other buddies ride mules, which are great but not my cup of tea... (we are planning lots of trail rides with them, that is doable!)
I always look for trail horses with EXCELLENT feet and do not require shoes. If possible take them for a spin around the block and do not trust a horse only in an arena. An imperative is if they will ride out quietly alone.
Make sure you find a good vet in your area to do a pre purchase exam. Too many people out there only looking to make a buck and they WILL cover up issues and even in extreme cases dope the horse to cover lameness/training issues. Try the horses out more than once, do not be conned by sellers who randomly mention that they are showing the horse in an hour etc... If you really like the horse put down a deposit, you can always walk away if you try him again and he doesn't suit.
Watch the sales ads carefully. Research people who list several horses frequently, not saying traders are bad (bought two from them) but you never know if they are filling you up with baloney like used cars salesmen...
Ask to talk to the current owners vet and get past medical records.
Good luck, be safe, and again WELCOME!!!
You can get a lot further with a ladder than you can with crutches!! What do you mean what do I mean?