Are you in the market? Kate Kosnoff guides us through a few critical steps in the horse-shopping process.
So, you’ve decided that it’s time for a new horse. Congrats! This is a huge deal. You’re probably super excited and may not know where to start. Don’t stress. Buying a new horse is one of the most exciting experiences to happen to equestrians, but it can also be frustrating and tricky. Here are some tips that can simplify the process.
- Don’t fall in love with the first horse you try. Chances are, he or she won’t be the last horse you try.
- Make a list of what you want in a horse. If you know what you’re looking for, the process becomes slightly easier. Want a bombproof horse that will pack a timid rider around? Avoid the greenies and look for an older, steady-eddy type.
- If you find a great horse, take him in on trial. Don’t pull the trigger too soon; ride him or her several times before you write the check so that you’re absolutely sure you’ve found the one.
- Vet-check any horse before you buy or lease it. Read that again. This is not optional. Don’t skip this step. An x-ray or a soundness check can reveal something that the naked eye cannot. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Horses are expensive. Vet-check them.
Shopping for a new mount can be extremely overwhelming and stressful, but it can also be a positive learning experience. Make sure that you use an experienced horseperson (a trainer or professional rider) to aid you in your search.
In our modern age, the Internet can also be a great resource for finding horses. Sites like Big Eq, Exchange Hunter Jumper, and Equine.com are great tools in the horse-buying process and can give you a feel for what’s out there. Don’t be afraid to shop around! After all, your new mount will become a part of the family.