Monday, April 16, 2007

Buying a Horse?

Buying a horse over the Internet. Hmmmm.........I've done that. Actually, that's how I found Kola. I surfed many a horse for sale website. Horseville. AgDirect. Horsetopia. I believe it was Horseville where I found her. However it was through a relatively local ranch that had Kola for sale as well as many others. A ranch that shows up here at the Walworth County Fair every year, but it wasn't until I got to Timmermann's Ranch that I realized who they were. And funny enough, the other horse that I was interested in which I also had found over the Internet was private sale and owned by the mother of a girl who worked at Timmermann's but I did not know that until I went to see Kola and started talking to those people. After I had bought my first horse and was on the prowl for a second, I learned allot. One thing I learned was trust your gut. My husband and had never actively bought on our own before and were on the hunt for who is now Misty. I looked locally at first. Went to a local place that I had driven by before and saw a sign advertising Quarter Horses for sale. The barn was unkempt and dirty. There were probably about 20 horses there and they were standing in a dry lot. One was clearly injured and most were thin. The impression I got of the old man who owned them was that he couldn't afford to keep him. I think he loved them, but had bitten off more than he could chew. Of course I steered clear. The next place I went was a place about 2 hours from here and I had found her over the Internet. She had a few horses for sale. Before I made the drive, I had explained that the horse I was looking for may be for my inexperienced daughter and I was looking for something well broke. We went there and she pulled out two geldings. The first one, was difficult to handle on the ground let alone in the arena with his ears pinned back the whole time. The second one, a chestnut Arab, quite sweet and fairly well mannered, both with extreme diarrhea and neither up to date on worming or vaccinations. We walked away. Another one, closer to home, bowed tendons, they didn't think I noticed. In the end, it was Jess who found me Misty and Misty has turned out to be one the best horses anyone could ask for, loyal, well behaved, trustworthy, and easy keeper. A good mare. And Kola, over the Internet but through a reputable business is turning out much the same. My point is, there are many things I learned when going to purchase a horse if you are not an expert in it and by expert I mean in the business. A breeder, trainer, an experienced horse person. So here's a short beginner's list to use when purchasing a horse.

  1. If you have a friend who is an experienced horse person or trainer that you trust, bring them with you when you are looking.

  2. Don't buy for color. Buy for the horse. The horse that suits you and your experience.

  3. Talk to the seller, tell them your experience.....I've found that reputable places that sell horses and honest individuals don't want to see anyone get hurt on something they've sold.

  4. A pre-purchase vet check is always advised.

  5. If you look at a horse somewhere, and like it. Don't buy right away, turn up a few a days later unannounced to see the horse a second time or arrive an hour or more earlier than the expected appointment. (some people work the horse to the bones or drug it if it is a horse that can be difficult to handle)

  6. See the horse get tacked and ridden. And ride the horse yourself.

  7. Be wary of auctions, it's easy to get carried away!

  8. Make sure you can afford to keep this animal! Feed, Hay, Shelter, Vet Visits, Unexpected Vet Visits, Farrier, Fencing and Repair (if you're not boarding), Boarding.

    I don't know if I've forgotten anything, but please, if anyone can offer advise or suggestions, I welcome comments.


Rising Rainbow said...

I would add if the seller is as fast as you can.

Amd, if the horse is also. Pushiness on the ground carries over into riding. It may not appear obvious but if it's pushy on the groung you can bet when that horse gets frightened with you on its back it won't listened to you. Many, many people ride horses they are only safe on as long as nothing goes wrong!

Kathy C said...

I couldn't agree more with your list.

Anonymous said...

Well done. Too many people buying horses they can't handle or horses that are lame. Good post.

Twisted Oaks Quarter Horses said...

This list came at a good time, it's warming up and people are outlooking. Here's just a few other suggestions to add.

1. Watching them saddle is great, if you can saddle it's better. If the horse won't stand, walk away.

2. Try not to buy a fixer upper. Putting on weight is one thing, behavior problems are another. It's like marrying the wrong person hoping to change them.

3. Ask the seller if they would buy the horse back and see what kind of reaction you get. I would buy everyone back that I have sold. I gave away the one's that I wouldn't.