The excitement of buying a new horse is one like no other, but don’t be fooled by rose-tinted glasses. Before taking the plunge, make sure you’re fully prepared
Owning a horse – or adding to your collection, if you’re so lucky – is one of the most rewarding decisions you might ever make. However, it’s also a huge time and financial commitment, so it’s important that you make the right choice. Luckily, we’re on hand to make this venture as simple as one, two, three.
- Address your abilities
Be realistic about what you want from a horse, and what you’re able to offer him. Are you prepared to have a youngster? Have you got the experience and time, or knowledgeable people around you who could help? If not, an older horse may be better – one who’s been there and done it. This is the best option if you don’t have the time or experience to put into an inexperienced horse. Consider your…
- Create a shortlist
Once you know what you can offer a horse, it’ll help you form the basis to start shortlisting possible candidates, so write a checklist and stick to it. The key criteria you should set before you begin your shortlisting process are…
- Make the call
When you find a horse who meets your requirements, give the vendor a call to find out more information so you can decide whether to view him. Ask as many questions as you can to gather as much background information as possible. Questions to ask include…
- how long have you owned him?
- why are you selling him?
- does he have a competition record?
- what is he like to hack alone, in company and in traffic?
- how does he behave with other horses, ridden and turned out?
- what is he like to load, catch and clip? With the farrier and the vet?
In association with Petplan Equine
Make sure you’re fully prepared before taking the plunge with our handy guide on October Horse&Rider, on sale 22 August.