Shopping for a Horse!

Before anyone gets excited…

Its for a friend…

I promise.

Don’t get me wrong, I would not say no to another horse, not that I would ever sell Eva but, you know, I think she would love a sibling…

giphy (9).gif
Well … maybe not

(But in all seriousness I do plan on getting a second horse in 2020 for various reasons, and of course it would be a second horse because I would never sell Eva as she is my first horse)

Anyway I have been speaking a lot to my friend recently about buying horses as she was on the look out and now has just successfully bought her first horse! I am so excited for her and her future with this horse!

So I thought I would write about the important points that you should really be considering when you are looking to buy a horse.

  • Know you budget!
    • Obviously the initial cost of buying the horse
    • Plus all the up keep as well; the livery, tack, rugs, feed, insurance. Work it all out so you know exactly what you can realistically afford.
  • Where are you keeping the horse and does the yard you are looking at, or currently at, have space?
  • What are you wanting to do with this horse ?
    • Hacking – You are maybe looking at a confident horse who maybe isn’t highly schooled in fancy dressage moves or jumping high but is quite happy going for a wonder by themselves.
    • Schooling – If you only have a school to hand you perhaps want to look for a project, something that needs time to mature and develop.(This was very much Eva when I bought her.)
    • Competition – This is were you are looking for a horse that has possibly already been out a few times and has coped well with the experience. You are either looking for a been there done that or a baby who has taken to work well and ready to be produced.
    • This is also probably the deciding factor in what breed of horse you would probably go for as well. Something hot blooded would probably not suit a hacking home, but you never know, every horse is different at the end of the day.
  • What age are you looking for ?
    • This is a massive factor in the experience of the horse. I hate saying this – I really do – but this is also were you might end up with “other peoples problems”, by that I mean if the person was perhaps tight through their shoulders and by doing that created tightness in the horses shoulders, you will then have to spend time undoing that. I am speaking from experience here, Eva learnt “if I throw a tantrum I get out of work” therefore I have spent a lot of time teaching her that if something is difficult throwing her toys out the pram is not the option to go for.
    • However in saying the above, if you are perhaps an inexperienced rider and don’t know how to bring on a younger horse, buying a horse who is a little older and knows their job and has been well looked after and will look after the rider while doing there job might be exactly for you!
  • Height of the horse ?
    • Lets face it I am about 5 ft 10″ and while I am not particularly over weight, I am also not skinny either I have a reasonable amount of muscle therefore what with my height and weight taken into account anything under 16hh would not suit me for seriously riding.

Now its time to get shopping !

Next question, where are you going to look?

  • Social media
    • Facebook is becoming far more common to find and buy horses. There are probably several groups focusing in buying and selling your area.
  • Dealers Yards
    • The idea of them is great. You tell them what you are looking You go and ride a few horses. There are ups and downs of these yards, not something that I will go into in this post
  • Word of mouth.
    • If it is your friend or instructor word of mouth is generally a reliable source.

Now, going for the viewing …

  • Bring someone with you!
    • It can be very hard to keep level headed when there is a horse that you are considering buying in front of you.
  • Arrive on time
    • It will be frustrating for the owner if they are waiting around for you to arrive.
  • Have questions ready
    • It will be frustrating for you if you are driving away and think of a question to ask afterwards.


One last thing..

Remember to bring your helmet!

6 thoughts on “Shopping for a Horse!

  1. Couple of extra things to add to the list –
    When looking for a ridden horse always make sure you see the seller riding before you jump on and try him out for size.
    I strongly advise people to pay a second visit preferably with much notice or warning. Appreciate this is a pain in the arse for sellers and to be honest I hate people rocking up unannounced but be that as it may I would still understand if it concerned a horse I had for sale. Lot of dodgy people drugging horses and ponies so they look like placid, laid back and safe as houses.


    1. Yes I agree but hopefully you have seen some sort of recent evdience of the horse being ridden first if thats the type you are looking for. I bought my mare without seeing the owner ride as the owners didnt ride and I was schooling Eva for them.
      The drugging is an issue to be mindful of when buying however if you are traveling a decent length to see a horse you might not have the opportunity to see the horse a second time without it becoming costly, in which case you would have to go with your gut feeling of if the person seems trust worthly or not.


      1. It’s probably impossible to cover everything..Having spent most of my life in the European horse world, and moving to the US a few years ago I’ve noticed a huge difference, in about every aspect of having a horse. Through the years I’ve owned a number of horses in Europe, having my horses insured was not even a question. It was a necessity, along with a pre-purchase vet check. While here in the US not one hobby rider that I know have there horse insured. I havent had any horse insured here either. Your post covered a to of helpful things. Looking forward to reading more posts!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.