Friday, December 16, 2011

Buy a horse

Ten Steps In How To Buy A Horse

Buying a horse or a colt is an exciting experience for the first time. It is easy to captivated by the looks of a particular horse, but that same horse may not be the best horse for you at your level of experience. The horse could make for you an unpleasant and unsafe companion, and may become more of an issue than an asset for many years to come.

The following are 10 steps to serve as your checklist in how to buy a horse. It serves to help you avoid the mistakes that new horse buyers may incur.
1. Purchase of an untrained horse.
Many experience horse men and women will give the advice that they see this very often. Because the fact that inexperienced horses are often cheaper, or some other excuse, the buyer will choose an untrained horse.
Don't buy a horse because you tell yourself that you are going to train the horse or send him to a trainer. The training of a horse can take months. It can dangerous if not done correctly. Young or inexperienced mature horses are not reliable. The beginning horse rider will be happier with a horse that they can enjoy from the moment it gets off the trailer.
2. Turning down aged horses.
Actually, an older horse, makes a great horse for the beginner. The beginner may shy away from a horse in their teens or twenties, but many healthy horses can be ridden far into their senior years. In fact, daily light exercise, will be beneficial both to the rider and to the horse.
When buying a horse, verify the birth date, height, weight, and sex of the animal. Ask about any health problems. If you can, try to get information on the horse's training history. Find out if the horse been kept on a pasture or in a stall, and where are you keeping it? Has this horse part of a herd, or has it been alone?
3. Purchasing a young horse for the kids, "to grow with".
This philosophy sounds great, but the reality is that young horses and young riders are not a safe mix. It pays to buy a trained, mature horse that can be saddled up the moment you bring it home. A more experienced horse, contrary to a younger horse, will know how to handle the less perfect, "scarier" parts of the world. An older, well trained horse will provide more safety and enjoyment for your little ones.
4. Buying at an auction.
It takes a keen eye to acquire a good horse from an auction. At the auction, the horses appear to be calm and docile. That is because they are so confused about where they are, they freeze. Horses can be drugged to make them look calm and healthy. There was a young horse bought at an auction, that was drugged into good health right before the auction, but had the "heaves", similar to emphysema in humans, for many days after being brought home. The new owner spent many days and much money in vet bills nursing the colt back to good health afterwards.
5. An impulsive buying decision.
Before buying a horse, and making such a big decision, sleep on the decision. You may want to the idea across your friends, and of course, your spouse, if you're married. Buying a horse is a big decision, and you want to make sure the horse will be well suited for you.
6. Ask for a testing period.
Don't be afraid to ask the seller for a testing period. The majority of the private owners would prefer that their horses went to the good homes, and they want to feel confident that the purchaser can handle the horse. Some sellers will agree on a trial period, or may help you find a horse that is a good fit for you.
7. A breeding purchase.
Do you want to buy a horse just to breed it? Horses should be bred so as to pass on outstanding qualities, not just for the "fun" of it. Before you indulge your desire, visit an auction where the horses are destined for meat or otherwise. Let your own eyes behold the result of someone else's "backyard breeding experiments". Because the foal will be really cute is not really an important quality to pass on.
8. Resist the urge to buy "too much horse".
Your dreams may be bigger than reality. You may dream of going cross country on your new horse and jumping the culverts as you go. But, your reality is that you have only been riding a few months. Let your horse purchase be consistent with your skill and fitness level, not one to match your dream which may be ahead 5 years up the road.
9. Buying a horse just for color.
You probably want a horse of a particular color like paint, palomino or Appaloosa, but it is not the wisest decision to buy because of the color only. You don't ride color, just the car adage is that you don't drive paint. If you have several horse buying options, and all the horses are of great sanity, demeanor, and training, then by all means get the color that you have in mind. However, do not base your buying decision solely on color because that is not all you ride.
10. Horse care is a big factor in horse buying.
Taking care of a horse requires both time and money. Be realistic about this. These animals don't stop eating on special days, and can't just take care of themselves. The horse care requirement is still there even if you lost your job. You may love horses, but maybe it's more worth it to spend some money of riding lessons or a trail ride and leave to care and other details in someone else's care.
I hope these 10 steps will help you in your decision making process in how to buy a horse. In summary, find out as much about the horse as possible before you make your buying decision. Finally, please make sure that there is a bond between you and the horse since that will carry you through your entire ownership of that horse.
Erik Loebl offers a large selection of horse care, buying, recipes, and breeding topics at his website:

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