Buying - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 11-20-2015, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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I may be buying a new horse on Sunday, I have never bought one on my own before, so what questions do I need to ask the current owner?
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post #2 of 18 Old 11-20-2015, 11:46 PM
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First and foremost, how much experience do you have? Will you be bringing a more knowledgeable horse person with you?
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post #3 of 18 Old 11-21-2015, 12:11 AM
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Not being at all rude, but if you need to ask on a forum, then you are not ready to be shopping on your own.

I will also add, that I have bought many many horses, but in the last couple of years I got sensible and my trainer found my last two horses, and I wish I had got smart a lot earlier...

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #4 of 18 Old 11-21-2015, 12:23 AM
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Get a pre-purchase exam (vet check) before handing over any money.

If you are a novice rider, DO NOT get a green horse. Or a young horse (under 8 or 9). Or a gelding recently a stallion. Or a horse with any bad habits whatsoever. Or because it's pretty. Or because you feel sorry for it.

If you have never owned a horse before, and you don't have a very experienced horse person, typically the person you are paying for lessons, to advise you right there, reconsider the whole horse-buying thing.

There, I summarized the Horse Forum's inevitable collective wisdom about to be dispensed upon you. Although I am sure I've left things out.
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post #5 of 18 Old 11-21-2015, 01:45 AM
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What Avna said. I am relatively new to horses and just bought my first horse today. I've spent many, many hours researching in lots of different ways in order to figure out exactly what sort of horse would be best for me. There are so many things to consider before you even get to the point of asking a seller questions, or even talking to a seller.

First, make sure you and the horse are well matched in terms of experience. If you are a novice rider, like I am, you want a horse that is well-trained and not overreactive. You want a horse that you can ride with confidence, because being confident will improve your relationship with the horse. For me, that meant a smooth enough ride that I was not in fear of falling. For you, it might be something different.

Once you figure out what you think you want, you should go out and ride some of these horses in order to decide what it is you *really do* want. For example: I thought for a while that I knew what I wanted, then rode some horses that convinced me this wasn't really right for me. I thought I would be willing to "settle" for a rough ride but decided, after experiencing some very choppy trotters, that I really did want a gaited horse. Your needs and wants will be different from mine but it's important to ride some horses and narrow down what you'll enjoy from a horse.

Finally, be careful. There are lots of bad sellers out there. I spent months weeding through online ads and discovered that, if I'd respond to someone's ad, I'd often get a message from someone else warning me to stay away from the seller because they were known to be dishonest. One woman tried to sell me a horse that she claimed could "do everything" and I received a message from someone else who told me she'd just bought that horse at auction the weekend before and couldn't possibly know all that about him yet. This stuff goes on ALL the TIME and you need to make sure you have experienced people in your corner to steer you in the right direction before you make a costly mistake.

Finally, when you really are ready to ask questions, ask the majority of them while you are watching the seller ride the horse. Have her do things like flap her arms while on the horse's back to see if it spooks. Make her run the horse through all of its gaits. I looked at a horse and the seller was afraid to canter him. I'm not going to buy a horse that the seller is afraid of!

Finally, don't get hung up on looks. I ended up with a really pretty horse, but looks were the last thing on my list. Get a horse that satisfies your most important riding criteria and one that won't kill you. Well-broke is more important for a new rider than anything else.

Hope this is helpful. Horse shopping became an obsession of mine for a while, but putting the time in to do it right will make the end result very rewarding. I could not be happier with the mare I finally chose.
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post #6 of 18 Old 11-21-2015, 07:42 AM
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You need to read this.

I agree that with the question you asked you really need to have an experienced person who knows how experienced you are, with you.

All to often people, when horse shopping, think with their heart and not their head.

Someone who hasn't ridden many different horses will often get into trouble because if a horse has a 'fault' they think they can cure it when they get it home. When they do not have the experience to do so.
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post #7 of 18 Old 11-23-2015, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2015
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I don't know where to put myself on the experience level, when I was younger I had a horse and rode him a bit and was in 4H, and I've done quite a bit more ground work with horses than anything else because I had a mustang (from my 4h group) that I halter broke. But during Jr. High and high school I pretty much quit doing anything with horses, now that I'm out of high school and growing up a little, I realize I'd like to get back into it, and definitely stick with it. I know I need to shop with my head and not my heart, I've shopped with my heart before and it hasn't worked out, most recently I got a little green broke mare who was mostly like a big puppy to me, I just sold her today, but last night I was riding her one last time and she got spooked and I fell off, so needless to say I'm a little sore today and the "green on green makes black and blue" saying is definitely true. Anyways, I've been looking around at a lot of horses and seen quite a few that I've liked and that would be okay. But I think I've finally find the one, we're going to go look at him this weekend (we had to reschedule) and my grandpa is going with me and he's had horses for about 20 years, but I wanted to be prepared with questions of my own as I've never actually bought a horse myself
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post #8 of 18 Old 11-23-2015, 03:39 PM
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You can ask pretty much anything about the horse's personality and history. Is he good with children/dogs? Does he have any medical conditions? Is he a hard or easy keeper? Does he stand for the vet and farrier? Does he load? What has he been used for in the past?

You want to see how the horse is with being touched all over - touch his ears, pick up his feet, and especially look at his teeth. Unfortunately, it's fairly common for sellers to lie about a horse's age. Make sure you watch him being ridden from the ground so you can see how he moves and watch for any signs of lameness.

Always get him checked out by a vet before you buy. And personally, I will never again buy a horse without a trial period. If you can, take the horse home for a few weeks and see how he works out. You'll probably have to sign an agreement with the seller, but it's well worth it to make sure you're buying the right horse. And also because it's not unheard of for sellers to drug a horse before you come out. If a seller seems evasive to nervous when you start asking questions, run for the hills!

Good luck. I know horse shopping can be a major headache. I hope you find the perfect one.

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is ultimately to be at peace with himself.
What a man can be, he must be.
" Abraham Maslow, 1968
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-23-2015, 03:52 PM
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Location: AZ
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How old is he Abby and what has he done? Do you have a copy of his ad that you can copy and paste here?

We can help you better if we see it and a picture would be good too!
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post #10 of 18 Old 11-24-2015, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2015
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He's registered so surely they wouldn't be able to lie about his age, because it would be on the papers? He is almost 7. I don't have any way to post the add on here, but the people who have him have sent me about 10 videos of him, so I've seen him be mounted and ridden at a walk and trot, and backed and sidepass. I have a couple pictures I can post but the quality isn't that great because I screenshot them off the videos I was watching. I do have a clear picture of his backside and of his head. I'll attach them too, and a video if I can figure out how. I'm assuming but obviously don't know for sure, that he stands good for the farrier because you can tell that he has shoes on in all the videos. They also sent a video of him being ridden up to a busy highway and standing at a stop sign as cars went by. The people who have him raise quarter horses and Missouri fox trotters I believe. They said he's been on many trail rides and is safe for a beginner. When we go look at him were going to have them ride him through all the different gates for us. And they said they would like to make time to sit down and talk to us and get to know us too when we look at him, so I feel pretty good about it. I sold my babies because they weren't safe for me and as hard as it was I know I did the right thing because now I can get the horse that's right for me.
Not to mention I think he's BEAUTIFUL.
Oh, and during the winter months when the weather is bad, and everything is hectic with the holidays, and especially if you have a job on top of everything, how often should you be riding to keep them sharp? I know people say every single day but I don't think that's exactly possible this time a year is it?
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