10 Common Mistakes People Make When They Buy a Horse
Whatever your ride: trails or arenas. Learn from collective experience and avoid these 10 common mistakes people make when they buy a horse.
Keyword(s): Buy A Horse
If you think you’re ready to buy a horse, hold up! A costly investment could turn into an expensive mistake if you’re not prepared before you buy.
The wrong horse will not only cost you a heap of money, but could also put off enjoying your riding, jumping, or wrangling dreams forever. Do your research as a first-time horse buyer to make sure you’re getting the best horse for your needs.
Common mistakes are easy to avoid if you take the time to put in the groundwork before buying a horse. Impulse buys are the quickest way to a headache!
Make sure you get it right first time by avoiding these mistakes other horse owners learned the hard way.
Hot Mistakes to Avoid When You Buy a Horse
From buying a horse unseen to not following a paper trail, there are many ways your horse purchase could go awry. Take note: avoid these common mistakes to make sure you find the perfect horse first time.
1. Not Seeking Professional Advice
You can read all the information ever written about buying horses, but until you speak to someone who has practical experience with it, you’re going to miss out on important stuff.
Find a mentor or ask a horse trader or consultant about your purchase. Ask your riding friends to come with you when you view a horse. They’ll be able to spot things about your riding style that may not fit with the horse you’re looking at.
2. Buying a Stallion for Your First Horse
Stallions – male horses that haven’t been castrated – are not a good idea for your first horse.
Only experienced breeders should handle stallions. They’re strong-minded and not suited for most leisure riding pursuits.
For your trail, show, or even working horses, geldings, and mares are the only ones you should consider.
3. Choosing the Wrong Type
Research the differences between mares and geldings to decide which one will suit your planned horse pursuits.
Mares, for example, are known to be moody and strong-willed but are great for leisure riding. They’re a safe pair of hands for newer riders: you’ll quickly correct your riding mistakes when you’re on a mare.
Geldings are known to be ideal as all-around activity horses, suited to most leisure and working pursuits. However, for new riders, the willingness of a gelding to do what’s asked can lead you into danger. Ask him to go down an unstable path, for example, and he will – risking a fall for both of you.
4. Thinking Younger Is Better
You may be tempted to get a young horse with the vision of learning to become rider and ridee in a movie-montage full of bonding, gallops, and smiles.
However, an older horse is more suited to your first purchase. They will be able to handle your mistakes as a new rider and also not learn bad habits from you.
5. Buying at Auction
Buying a horse at an auction is an absolute no-no for any first-time horse buyer. You risk an impulse buy on an inappropriate horse, spending over the odds on the price, and taking on unseen health issues.
At an auction, you run the risk of buying a horse unseen. You’ll not have had the time to check out the horse’s history, get an equine vet check, and trial the horse for a ride.
6. Forgetting to Check Identity Documents
Before you agree to any sale make sure you have seen – and verified – all horse passports, veterinary records, and identity documents. Take time to learn the horse’s family history – and verify it – before you consider a purchase.
The identity documents are essential for confirming the legality of the sale, the provenance of the horse, and flag any potential genetic health problems.
7. Not Researching Prices
It’s entirely expected that you’ll try to negotiate a price with the seller. Accepting the original asking price without prior research on similar horse types, age, breed, and background means you could be paying far too much.
Build a clearer picture of what you should pay for your first equine companion by speaking to new owners at your local stables, your horse consultant, or researching recent sold prices online.
8. Skipping the Equine Vet Consultation
Never agree to a sale before getting the horse vetted by an equine specialist.
The seller can tell you all sorts of wonderful stories about how amazing your horse is. However, they can also omit essential information about the horse’s health that could cost you thousands of dollars in the long term.
If your seller won’t allow an independent vet check before you buy, walk away from the sale.
9. Not Clarifying Return Details Before You Sign
Sometimes, you can do everything right in the steps leading up to a horse purchase, but simply not get along with the animal for a number of reasons.
The horse may show behaviors that weren’t present when you viewed, or your riding style may not match its personality. You may even simply struggle to build a good relationship with your horse.
This is why it’s essential to confirm your return rights in your written contract. Many sellers will offer an exchange within a time-limited period for an alternative horse – but some will request that you sell the horse back to them at a reduced price. Check the small print before you sign!
10. Buying Without a Trial
You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive – and it’s just as important to test out your horse first, too.
Ask for a trial ride before you commit to buying. There may be valid reasons the seller refuses, such as a lack of availability to supervise you on a ride.
However, it’s essential that you request a trial and, if one is legitimately refused, you have written into the contract a right to return for a full refund.
Search for a Perfect First Horse
With incredible horses scattered around every state, it’s hard to find the perfect first horse to suit your needs.
However, with our advanced search filters, it’s now much easier to buy a horse that matches your detailed requirements. Search online now to find your perfect horse for sale, then follow the advice above to make sure it’s the right purchase for you!