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I have seen quite a few posts on here about people with horses who have been diagnosed with laminitis or another unsoundness; or just ended up with a completely different personality after they've gotten the horse home for a few days. I just thought that before buying a horse... the health and temperment of the horse are of the MOST importance to me. Here what I always check to make sure the horse is sound and suitable for buying.

-Before you buy a horse, you normally call to see when you should go look at him. ALWAYS show up ahead of the time the seller told you. You want to be there to see them take the horse out of the stall and tack him up. This way you can check for grooming/tacking vices AND you can make sure that the seller IS NOT giving the horse any drugs before he is being ridden (i.e calming, etc). I have seen people who bought perfectly levelheaded horses who turned out to be NUTS after the next day because they were drugged prior to buying.

-Some horses who have soundness issues loosen up and do not seem unsound after being ridden for a while. This is another reason why it is important to not only watch the horse come out of his stall... but to also watch him being WARMED UP and RIDDEN.

-Check to see if the horse is wearing any kind of shoes. If not, can he wear them? If so, what kind are they? If they are some sort of WEDGE shoe, BAR shoe, etc... Check to see the REASON for why they are wearing them. It could be linked to an unsoundness.

-NEVER be afraid to ask questions.

-Check to see if the horse's conformation is suitable for YOUR discipline. If you are'nt that adept to knowing conformation .. that's what the vet is for.

-ALWAYS have a TRUSTED vet do a check on the horse when you take him out to trial him. The vet will check for any lameness, swelling, blemishes, or conformation problems that may effect your horse in the long term.

-Make sure you ask the owner about if the horse has had ANY extra vet visits for laminitis, fractures, illnesses, worms, etc. Certain diseases such as NAVICULAR are PRONE TO COME BACK... and are not worth risking on a horse that you ride every week.

-ALSO, learn about the horses feed and medications/supplements. Figure out the reason for them and learn the last time they were dewormed/inocculated.

-If any serious hoof problems arise... let your VET or FARRIER look at them while the horse is on TRIAL. NOT after you BOUGHT him.

I know this seems like a lot of information... but, I was very surprised at the amount of people that buy horses without trialing them and having them examined by the vet first. Especially if you are using this horse for breeding or upperlevel riding, it is VERY important to make sure his conformation is suitable and his body is healthy.
Good Luck to all you horse buyers!
E:D
 

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When I'm selling ahorse I won't let someone take it for a trial period. If someone else calls about the horse I would have to tell them that the horse is being "tried" and if the horse came back they would assume that it was because of a flaw in the horse. The most I will do when selling a horse is to catch the horse and have it tied up mostly for the sake of saving time. Buyers can ride the horse as much as they want and they can take the horse wherever they want as long as the horse is back at night.
 

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And another thing - check for sweat/saddle marks which would mean that the horse has be ridden beforehand and worked down for you.... tut tut :p

My first horse I had a weeks trial... second horse - nooo way because she knew that we would find the lameness that we have been struggling with ever since. And no, we didn't get a vet check because he was dirt cheap and we knew he wasn't going to pass it anyway - he was in a horrible condition :( But I do regret getting one now... but in a way I think I would have wanted him anyway because he is SUCH a loving horse :)
 

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If you as a customer have a 3:00 appointment to look at a horse, and you show up at my place at 2:00 to "try and catch me doing something sneaky" - I garuantee you will be quietly escorted off the property! If you happen to be in town early and come by early just because, no big deal! But if your intentions are to "catch Me", We will not be doing buisness!!!!!!
If you cannot trust the person you are dealing with, find another person to purchase an animal from!
 

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If you as a customer have a 3:00 appointment to look at a horse, and you show up at my place at 2:00 to "try and catch me doing something sneaky" - I garuantee you will be quietly escorted off the property! If you happen to be in town early and come by early just because, no big deal! But if your intentions are to "catch Me", We will not be doing buisness!!!!!!
If you cannot trust the person you are dealing with, find another person to purchase an animal from!
I have to agree. If you need to be early - call.

Also - if it was one of my boarders selling a horse, I do not want a stranger on my property wandering around uninvited.

If you have doubts - have a prepurchase done on the horse or go and see it several times.
 

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My vet specifically asks the sellers if the horse has been drugged. If you ask point blank and the seller lies you can very easily sue and win. I look at the horse, take a test ride, then call my vet for a prepurchase. If the seller wont take a deposit and wait for the vet they're not worth doing business for. Use your own vet, or pick one someone suggest, dont use the sellers vet besides just getting records.

We didnt do a prepurchase on my weanling. He was three months and not really handled. My vet dosent do much besides look them over, because they dont usually stand long.
 

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if you like a horse & want to get a pre purchase done, be sure to look in its mouth before you agree to anything ! i nearly got a pre purchase on a horse, but then i looked it her mouth & said no way, because she had the worst parrot mouth id ever seen !
 
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