This weekend I am going to look at my potential first horse. Because the horse is about 3 hours away from me i was wondering if it was okay to only see the horse twice before i bring it home. The owner and I have been talking a lot so i already know a lot about the horse - I have also seen videos and pictures so its obvious a lot of the things she says is accurate. I was planning on trying out the horse this weekend and then going back next weekend to ride it again and hopefully take it home. If I like the horse, I am having a trial period of 2 weeks with the horse before it is officially mine. During this time I am going to get a vet check by my vet and get the previous vet records. My trainer is coming with me both times I go look at the horse. Does this sound like a good plan?
Sounds good to me. Though if your trainer advises you go for a third time, I would do it. Third times the charm.
Is it rude/weird to ask the owner if I can watch her bring the horse in/out of the field before and after we ride and watch her tack and untack the horse? How the horse is on the ground is also going to be a big factor for me.
Most definitely not! For your first visit, I would watch the owner do everything. Bring the horse in (be sure to call ahead of time to let the owner know you'd like to see it brought in), tack up, and ride first. Then maybe let your trainer ride next or else you. On the second visit, ask if YOU can bring the horse in and tack him up and then ride right away.
While I'm there, what all should I ask about the horse? Some of the questions I already have written down include:
1. how is she with other horses?
2. how is she around other animals?
3. how is she around kids?
4. what are her likes/dislikes?
5. how is she if you give her a few days off?
6. whats her normal work schedule like?
7. what are the cues she responds to best while riding?
8. do you lounge her before you ride?
9. Does she need any certain type of feed, supplements, etc.
10. When was her last farrier appointment and when/how often does she need one?
11. When was she last dewormed?
12. When did she have her vaccinations?
13. When was her last vet visit?
14. What type of bit, saddle, etc. do you ride her in?
15. Is she allergic to anything?
16. Does she have any bad habits?
17. Does she load into a trailer well?
18. Is she herd/barn/buddy sour?
Could I also ask to take the horse out on the trail? How would that work? Would the owner go with me on another horse and we would be out there for a very short period of time - just so I can kind of see how she is?
I would stay in the arena (if there is one) for the first visit. That way you can feel how the horse is and get to know her a bit. On your second visit, ask if you can go for a quick ride out on the trails. Perhaps begin in the arena just to make sure she is responding to you well. Or else have a third visit to go out onto the trails.
I already know some of the other stuff about the horse like past owners, history, previous injuries, no buck/kick/rear, level rider thats good with her, what her training is like and how its coming along, why the owner is selling her, show experience, good with vet and farrier.
is there any questions im forgetting? is there anything thats not necessary to ask?
How long do you think I am expected to be there? How long will I be riding for? I dont want to take up too much of her time, but I am also very interested in this horse and dont want to feel rushed or that things I am curious about have gone unanswered, especially since the horse is so far away - I dont want it to be a wasted trip.
Possibly an hour or two. Have the owner ride for maybe ten minutes and then you (or trainer) hop on and ride for several minutes. For you, I would recommend at least thirty minutes. Try different things with her: walking, trotting, cantering, jumping (if she does), circles, figure eights, lead changes, etc. Whatever she knows that you are able to ask for, do it! Be sure to make the appointment so you and the owner have at least a few hours free.
Also, I am also not necessarily setting my heart on this horse. There are three other horses I am planning on trying, but I wanted to try this mare first - and if I like her, buy her. Her owner and I have been in contact for almost two months and the more I hear about her the more I really like her and the more she seems like a good fit for me.
Does this plan also sound okay for other horses I plan on trying?
Sounds like you are really thinking hard and maturely about this.
Also, what should I wear? is there anything special I need to bring? I was thinking breeches, tall boots, and either a polo or tshirt. and I am bringing my helmet. Also, when I go to pick her up for the trail period/hopefully to keep her, am I expected to bring a halter and lead rope for her? and what about blankets? Its very cold here, and she doesnt have a lot of hair, would they give her to me with all this stuff and if I end up keeping her, just ship the stuff back to them?
Breeches, tall boots, and a shirt sound great. Also bringing your own helmet is a good idea as well.
When you go to see her, or I would wait until the second time just so you definitely KNOW you want her, ask the owner if anything is going to come with the horse. Tack, blankets, grooming stuff, etc. If the owner says nothing or maybe just a blanket, I would go out and buy a halter and lead rope just in case. If the owner doesn't give you a blanket, go buy one but make sure you know the size the horse needs.
If no tack (saddle, bridle) is coming with the horse, wait until AFTER you've brought the horse home to buy some. And I would get the horse fitted so the tack will fit her comfortably. Or I would ask the owner if you could take her tack for the trial period (or use some your trainer may have) and then once you do buy the horse, send the tack back if the owner/trainer wants it.
[quote]When I bring her home, should I let her settle in for a day or so? I'll only have two weeks to really try her out, so I dont want to waste too much of that time letting her kind of just sit around, I will continue to groom her and stuff, but maybe wait a day or two to ride her?[QUOTE]
I would let her settle in for a day. Then on day two just go out and do some groundwork stuff. Catching, grooming, lunging, leading, trotting in-hand, etc.
Sorry this is so long! I just have so many questions! Any tips are very appreciated! This is my first time I'm going to try a horse so I'm also very nervous - i'm afraid I'm going to make stupid mistakes and look silly and unexperienced. I just don't want it to be a bad first experience.
Any questions just ask! Thanks!
It'll be great. Just remember to relax and have a good time.
What kind of horse is the one you are interested in?