Buying a horse is exciting, and in today’s economy, there are a wide variety of them available at rock-bottom prices. Keep in mind that buying a horse is a huge investment – in money, time and commitment. You’ll want to make sure you purchase a horse that is right for you – one that will fit your lifestyle, riding style, and experience level. You have your heart set on a Peruvian Paso - now how can you decide which one to buy?
Peruvian Pasos are known to be extremely intelligent, friendly and gentle. But horses, like people, have all experienced different events in their life, and not all of them may have been pleasant. As a result, they may have picked up some bad habits over the years. Depending on your experience level, you might enjoy the challenge of working through a horse’s challenges. But if you are a first time horse buyer it’s best to choose a horse that is ‘bomb proof,’ meaning not easily scared, well trained, and calm. You should never buy a horse without first going to meet them in person.
The first thing you should do when evaluating a Peruvian Paso is assess their ground manners. Make sure the horse allows you to touch or groom them all over. A well-trained horse will be comfortable with this, and they should not seem to be in any pain. They should let you pick up their feet, and allow you to lead them around while respecting your boundaries. They should be familiar with their saddle and bridle, and allow you to tack them up without much reluctance.
If the Peruvian Paso seems calm and willing on the ground, you will want to ride the horse and experience their gaits. Ideally they would be trained to voice and leg commands to smoothly move from one gait to another. Evaluate how well they are at changing directions, and make sure they slow down and stop when you ask them to. Peruvian Pasos are beautiful movers, but do not be swayed only by their beauty. Make sure first and foremost that you feel safe riding them, and that they listen to you.
If you’re happy with the horse so far, the next step would be to arrange for a vet exam, to make sure they have no prior injuries and are in good health. These steps will ensure that you will enjoy your Peruvian Paso for many years to come!