Buying a Horse? Get The Facts Before You Buy

Buying a HorseIn part one I talked about asking the seller why they’re selling the horse, when was the last time the horse was ridden, if it had any health problems, does the horse load easily into any horse trailer and did the horse have any bad habits. Here are the other 5 questions to ask the seller when looking at a horse.

6.) Are they good for the farrier?
I’ve know of some people that have never had their horses hooves trimmed because they
are out in the pasture 24/7. Depending on the terrain some horses will naturally wear their hooves down with movement and maintain a good shape to the hoof. If a horse has never had their hooves trimmed you may find it to be very challenging just to pick up their leg and inspect the hoof. For a horse that has never had their hooves trimmed it is a different sensation to them and some react badly. If the horse behaves badly during the trimming some farriers will not come back until the horse is properly trained. It is not the farriers job to train your horse to have their hooves handled it’s your’s.

7.) Are thy easy to bathe and clip? Bathing a horse is something that most people want to do especially during the summer months. If the horse has never had a bath you will find this to be very frustrating because most people chase them around only to find the hose getting tangled around your feet or crimped. Horses that aren’t used to being bathed will usually dance around and some will violently pull back trying to get away.

You may not think being able to clip the horse is a big deal, but it is. If you ever decide you want to show the horse there will be some clipping needed for the show ring. I’ve had horses that were never shown, but I needed to clip an area because of an injury so yes clipping is important information you need to know about the horse.

8.) Is the horse wearing shoes? The reason I want to know this is because I’m a big fan of my horses being barefoot. If a horse has worn shoes for several years they may hoof problems. I knew of a gelding that the owner put shoes on him as a yearling. When this gelding was purchased the new owner wanted him to go barefoot. After pulling the shoes he was lame for several months and could not be ridden. The hoof is the foundation for the horse so make sure they have good solid hooves with no major problems.

9.) Are the registration papers current? When buying a horse that is registered make sure the registration papers are in the current owners name and make sure they sign the papers over to you. With some associations a separate transfer sheet will be required for the owner to sign. If the papers are not in the current owners name this could wind up costing you a lot of money to get things straightened out.

10.) How do they get along with other horses? This is an important question to ask especially if you have other horses at home that you will be putting your new horse with. Some horses are big bullies and will do whatever they can to run other horses out of the pen. If the horse does not get along with other horses it will present a challenge when you are riding around other horses and could turn into a dangerous situation.

Don’t be afraid to walk away from buying a horse if you feel uncomfortable or you just need time to think about it. You will come out ahead if you go into the situation knowing what you want to ask and not being in a hurry. There are plenty of horses out there and the right one will come along. You want this to be something that is a win win situation for you the seller and the horse.

If you’re new to horses, ponies or miniatures or you’re thinking of making a purchase be sure to join my Facebook group and get your questions answered. Click here to find the group on Facebook (you must be logged in)

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  1. More good points, Kim. I’d add to your list of ten what they’re being fed. This will tell you about possible health concerns (and associated issues that may arise over time) as well as what your costs might be (hard keepers can put a big dent in your wallet). Hair testing (it’s cheap) can also give you a picture of their nutritional balance over time.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out and is something I agree with also. Feed can make a huge difference in a horses health like it does for us. I hear you about the hard keepers as my Arab has always been one and with him getting old it’s really getting tough. Great tip about the hair testing. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Two of my horses are grade horses. One of them is a home bred and I don’t have papers on either one of them. I have every one of their coggins papers and vet records going back 15 years for the mare and birth for the home bred. I would imagine that those records would be “proof of ownership” should I ever need it.

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