I had a question from a reader on purchasing a horse and how to know what you are getting is a good one. Let’s be honest here and state the facts that some horse people are not honest. They shade the truth or flat out lie. But it has been my experience that most are pretty good. Most people don’t want their names being tarnished by someone who feels they got a bad horse.
This is true of most big decisions in life. When you purchase a used car or a house you don’t always know what you are getting. When you hire someone to work on your house or car or work for you there can be problem. Here are some of my thoughts on making a good decision and dealing with the outcome.
- Own it. When you decide to purchase a horse know that there will be problems. Know that you will be happy owning this animal for the rest of its life and taking care of all the problems.
- Reasonable expectations. If you want the next national champion, you will pay for it. On the other hand if you purchase a very beautiful young horse and are willing to put in the time you can make your own dream horse.
- Do a pre-purchase. Veterinarians are good at their jobs. Have someone who is a lameness vet examine the horse to ensure there are not problems that you and the seller are not aware of.
- Look at big stables and breeders. A big stable or breeder will be very concerned about how you feel after the purchase. They want you to tell everyone where you got this great new horse. They won’t want you saying bad things.
- Make a decision. If you look at 10 or 10,000 horses you will always wonder if there is a better one or did I miss the best one. I find it’s best to buy it when you find it. Don’t wait and check out a few more. This will confuse you and keep you wondering if there is a better one.
This is scary. Especially when the purchase price can be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Buying a horse is a lot like developing a friendship. The purchase is just the initial step in a long journey that will be shaped by you. Make the journey your goal and it will all work out wonderfully.