These days, people have different reasons for buying a horse. Some may purely want this type of pet for recreational purposes. Meanwhile, others who enjoy training animals may plan on joining competitions and races to show off their mount’s prowess.
The factors that you should consider would depend largely on your goals. For instance, you would want a sturdy steed if you plan to compete in tournaments. On the other hand, you should get a mare if you want to become a breeder. Horseyard.com.au allows you to choose the specific breed that you want to raise, like Andalusian, Arabian, miniature, ponies, and Shire.
Nonetheless, there are also things that you should look for in general when buying a horse, such as:
1. Excellent Health History
Since you’ll be acquiring ownership of a living, breathing animal, you’d want to make sure that they’re in good condition. Otherwise, you’d have to spend more money on their recovery. Worse, you might end up with financial and emotional stress if you’re unable to save the horse.
One of the primary questions to ask when inquiring about a horse’s health history is to determine whether it has been foundered. This occurs when there’s a lack of blood flow in the laminae. It leads to swelling and inflammation in the hoof.
Horses can generally recover from this condition. However, there are also instances when their hoof doesn’t return to normal. You should be aware that the animal might never be the same again after experiencing founder.
Equine colic is another disease that you should ask about. This gastrointestinal problem can lead to further complications, like dental issues and parasite infestation. Similar to foundering, some are unable to recover fully.
As much as possible, you must visit the horse in-person. Inspect their hooves thoroughly. Check for visible injuries and scars to ensure that they have an excellent health history.
2. Good Temperament and Movement
Once you’re satisfied with the interview about their medical background, you can ask someone from the facility to ride the horse. This way, you can see how they are in action.
If this is your first time to buy a horse, you should do your research and study how sturdy steeds should sound and move. Check how the mount fares and see if they buck as well. Their movement should indicate that of a healthy animal.
Additionally, inquire whether you can ride the horse yourself to see if the both of you click or not. Other temperament-related factors involve these processes:
- Tying – The horse should be easily tied without sitting back. This shows that they have been trained well and can obey commands without issues.
- Clipping – Clipping is the process of removing the hair on the underside and sides of the neck, as well as other parts, such as the shoulders and belly. It can boost the hygiene of the horse. You should know whether the animal is used to this routine or not.
- Catching – The horse must be easy to catch. Otherwise, you’d have a challenging time bringing them to heel.
- Socializing – If you have children, you should check if the horse isn’t spooked easily. Ideally, they should be used to a flurry of movement and noise if they’re going to be around young kids.
3. Caring Owner with a Pristine Reputation
Another factor to consider is the owner of the horse. They should be caring and able to provide the emotional support that the animal needs. Remember, a horse shouldn’t just be bred for the sake of money. Instead, they should be nurtured both physically and emotionally.
Some additional questions to ask the owner:
- How long has the horse been with them?
- What do they feed it?
- What was their breeding process?
- Will the animal be comfortable in any weather?
- What is the reason that it was put up for sale?
4. Trailer Preferences that Fit Your Budget
One of the major considerations that you should have before buying a horse is the trailer. This factor can significantly cost you, so you must determine how much you can afford first before purchasing the animal.
Identify the type of trailer that the horse is used to riding in. Can they be loaded without a problem or do they back out of the container?
Another consideration that you should think about is whether the animal prefers a stall or pasture. The fence is also a factor to mull about. You must be able to comply with these requirements to ensure that you can care for the horse properly.
Other expenses to prepare for when buying a horse:
- Lessons – The lessons are for you and the steed. Even if you’re already a good equestrian, it’s always good to refresh your memory. Plus, taking lessons together can boost you and your horse’s compatibility.
- Competitions – Joining races will involve entry fees, horse transportation, as well as special outfits and equipment. These expenses can quickly add up, so be certain that you’re prepared for these events financially.
- Farrier – Your horse will require regular farrier care every two months or so. The cost depends largely on the type of trimming and shoes that you want for them. If you have an older horse, you might need special shoes.
- Veterinarian – You should have check-ups twice a year. Meanwhile, deworming should be done every two months for optimal health. Have an emergency fund for your horse as well so that you won’t have problems when they fall ill unexpectedly.
- Feeds and Supplements – Food and vitamins are a recurring expense for horse owners. Ask your veterinarian for nutrition advice.
5. Nearby Location
Since you’ll be transporting the horse from one location to another, it’s prudent to find a breeder that’s near you. At the very least, choose one that’s in the same country. This way, you reduce the stress the animal experiences from the journey.
Buying a horse requires considerable investment. That’s why you should make sure you can find a steed or mare that’s healthy and sturdy, regardless of whether you want one for racing or recreation.