Buying a great horse is not an easy business for a first time buyer. Purchasing a horse is a great investment of time and monetary resources. Unlike a goldfish you can just leave in a fish tank, feed twice and clean weekly, maintaining horses require space, lots of feeding and exercising—in short, a great deal of commitment for the long haul. Here are some tips on how to buy a great horse.
- Examine your resources. Do you have enough space for the horse? Do you have the monetary and manpower resources for the maintenance of the horse? You should have a budget for horse food, tack, visits to the vet, shots, shoeing, de-worming, emergency treatment and the like.
- What are your reasons for wanting to buy a horse? Do you want one simply as a pet or a competition horse for a budding equestrienne? Is this going to be your first horse? Your purpose in buying the horse will determine considerations such as purchasing a horse that has already been trained, or a horse built for speed.
- Do your research on horse breeds, horse management and applicable laws for your state. Did you know that there may be local taxes involved with horses and that the building structure for housing your horse has to comply with local fire regulations? These are also things you have to consider before making the purchase.
- After doing your research and assessing your budget and purpose for buying a horse, decide on the breed, gender, size, training,age, health condition, color, and price of the horse.
- Get expert advice. Tell your riding instructor, if you have one. They usually have clients who are selling horses. Plus, you can rely on their opinion later when you are making a final purchase.
- Check out reputable horse dealers and sellers in the area. Looking for dealers in your area is a practical necessity because you will be transporting the horse. Compare their prices. The internet is a good place to start looking.
- Prepare a list of questions for the seller. Confirm the breed, age, height, color, medical and competition history of the horse, if any, bad habits of the horse you should know about, registration and security markings, among others. This can save you additional trips to personally see the horse. By asking these questions, you will give the impression that you know what you are doing even if it’s actually your first time to buy a horse.
- Learn the tasteful art of negotiation. If you find a horse that you would like to buy, try to maintain a poker face, and not let on that you really like the horse. This is especially true if you are buying your first horse. Most enterprising businessmen will try to sell their merchandise at the highest possible price so don’t let your excitement bubble up the surface. Haggle.
- Take your time in making a selection. There’s no law requiring you to settle for the first viable horse you see. Have a look at other options.
- Visit your prospective horse at least twice. First by yourself, and the second visit, with an expert companion. Better yet, see if you can get the horse on a trial basis first before closing any permanent deal. Have a vet check out the horse’s health condition.
- Read the contract before signing the deal.
- Arrange for horse insurance and make the necessary handling and transport.
Learning how to buy a great horse is a tricky business. At the end of the day, although you will find the above suggestions useful, rely on expert advice to be on the safe side.