Questions about going to go look at my potential first horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 02-02-2015, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Questions about going to go look at my potential first horse

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?

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.

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?

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 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.

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?

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?
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?

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!
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post #2 of 19 Old 02-02-2015, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khorses23 View Post
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.
not sure about the rest -- but this is a good idea
ask to watch the owner catch, tack up, and ride the horse before you even think about getting on
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post #3 of 19 Old 02-02-2015, 12:16 PM
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I think its all good! A few things. On your first trip ask about all the things that come with her. I also think that you should bring her in and out. She may only be good for the original owner. Hope this helped xxx
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post #4 of 19 Old 02-02-2015, 12:19 PM
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Get the vet check done before you take the animal from the property. It's amazing what can show up a few days after drugs have worn off. It's common for sellers to claim it happened after the horse left their property.



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post #5 of 19 Old 02-02-2015, 12:29 PM
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It's always a good idea to see a horse be caught, groomed, tacked up etc - though there will always be some sort of a settling in period when you get them home - new handler, surroundings other horses so never expect total perfection
When you go to view dress tidily but not as if you were going to a competition or straight out of an advertisement all brand new and shiny.
If I was travelling 3 hours then I would expect to ride the horse the first time I went (in fact I always expect to ride a horse on the first visit provided I like what I see and that includes watching someone else ride it first) If I was undecided and maybe a decision between several horses I would then maybe go back and try it again
What are the terms for the trial?
If the horse fails the vet or changes its character too much can you have your money back or do you have to have another horse off these people?
If that was the case then I'd have it vetted and blood tested for sedatives and medications before I took it on trial
Make sure you're 100% clear on who is responsible for any serious injuries or even death of the horse whilst in your care that could result in vets bills or loss of the horse. If money has changed hands then you might have to insure for that period even if you eventually don't want to keep the horse for some reason
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post #6 of 19 Old 02-02-2015, 12:39 PM
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You've got a lot of the proper questions. One that I would ask is how is she for turning out alone, barn or buddy sour? A horse that is barn or buddy sour is a nuisance, can be worked on but I like to avoid it if possible.

Also ask about stable vices such as weaving, cribbing or stall walking. If she is outside when you get there you might not get a chance to see how she behaves in the stall, especially if she is the only one in the barn at that time.

Good Luck
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post #7 of 19 Old 02-02-2015, 12:53 PM
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Yes, get there a little early and watch everything, you would be surprised how many horses get a special " cocktail " before a test ride.
ALWAYS ask " Does the horse have and bad habits or vices? "
Does he trailer well?
Is he good for the horseshoer and is there anything special needed for his feet?
Does he have any allergies or feed sensitivities?
What does he eat? ( you will need to feed the same)
When was he last vaccinated and wormed?

You need to bring your own halter and lead line. You should make the blankets part of the deal since if the horse doesn't work out and you invested the money in a blanket to fit him... It won't be a big deal to ask the blanket go with the horse.

Also use their normal equipment for the test ride. Make note of the type of bit is used to and whether the saddle required is extra wide etc. It could mean the saddle you already have will or won't fit.

After talking so long with the owner, I am sure she knows what you are looking for and this horse sounds like the perfect fit. " wink". So just be careful because this horse is going to be your everyday partner for a very long time. Do everything you can to make a fair assessment as to whether you two are a perfect fit. Your trainer is probably making a commission on the sale which is normal, so carefully weigh her/his opinion as well. If the horse isn't right, heck you drove three hours out, ask if there is any others offered for sale. Sometimes that works like magic to produce a great horse.

If you want a trail horse and the owner says this is a trail horse, for sure go out on trail. On your second trip out have your trainer bring along a sure and reliable trail horse to ride along. If your trainer doesn't have one, ask a friend to come along with their horse.

Use the two weeks wisely, ground work for a day or two, then ride everyday.

Remember to always wear that helmet. I hope you find a great horse.
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post #8 of 19 Old 02-02-2015, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khorses23 View Post
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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?

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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?
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Keep going, keep moving forward. You'll get it together someday.
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post #9 of 19 Old 02-02-2015, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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What kind of horse is the one you are interested in?[/QUOTE]



Thank you so much! You were so detailed!
I love all the answers, everyone is being so helpful!

The horse I am going to look at is a 7 year old ottb mare. Right now she is doing beginner w/t lessons and working more on jumping and trail rides with her owner. I do hunters, so we will just be doing w/t/c and some small jumps (probably no higher then 2-2'3 - at least for now). I intend on doing a descent amount of shows with her all throughout the year. We will also be going on occasional trail rides on and off the property.(:
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-02-2015, 01:19 PM
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Also, don't worry about how much time you are taking to be with the horse. Folks understand these things and they need to sell their horse. Most sellers want a good fit for their horse too.
Very important to watch the owner, or one of her riders ride the horse first!
Also have the Pre-purchase exam before you take the horse home. Arrange to have a vet there during the second trip because that is the tipping point and you are ready to take the horse home. The only thing is.. You won't know results of drug testing or is x-rays were taken, but really if x-rays are warranted, wouldn't you pass on that purchase? The owner would need to take have the x-rays done to establish health status before the horse is sellable if the vet says x-rays are recommended.

Do not use the barn's vet, so during the first visit you need to ask what vet they use and ask about vet history on the horse. Then hire a different Vet for the Pre-Purchase exam.
Have a trial contract with you. You should not have to exchange any money at this point, especially since you have a trainer with you. Under contract and with proper ID
a trial period should be secure. You will be responsible for anything Accidential which may occur however, even death of the horse. If the horse goes lame, but, for example, it was known the horse has navicular, then of course that just goes back to the owner which is a case in point for the PPE before you take the horse home.
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Last edited by CASugar; 02-02-2015 at 01:27 PM.
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