View Full Version : Experiences of buying horses
13th February 2010, 09:46 PM
Im looking at getting my first horse sometime this year hopefully and was just wondering if people would like to share their experiences of buying their horses.
I have heard a lot of horror stories about people seeing lovley, calm horses only to find them to be very different when they got them home and to be quite honest Ive been a little bit put off!
How do you know that what the seller is telling you is the whole story and that the horse really is right for you??
Is it better to go to a private seller or to dealers??
Also if anybody has any tips as to what to look for or what to do I would love to hear them!
13th February 2010, 09:54 PM
To be honest, if you are unsure if the horse is right, then it probably isnt going to be. Unless you are experienced at buying horses, i'd always reccomend taking someone with you who is experienced who may see things of importance you may not.
There are lots of dealers out there who are good, honest people who care about their horses. However, the 'bad' dealers, despite being a minority, give all dealers a bad name. At the same time, a 'bad' dealer will know when they can take someone for a ride and flog them an unsuitable horse at a rediculous price, and then refuse to take the horse back. This is again a big reason why you need someone experienced with you if you are unsure incase you end up going to a bad dealer.
If you find a horse isnt suitable, or there is just something odd about the reasons for sale [or even if the owners dont appear to be telling the truth etc] just walk away. It is never the horses fault no matter the problem, however there are many private sellers who will not tell the whole truth about a horse just to try and get rid of them.
You will find horror stories about people buying horses who have turned out to have been drugged, turned into a 'dangerous' horse at home, bucked etc, however often, these people didnt know what they were looking for, werent experienced to tell something odd was going on/check all the relevant things, or were just plain unlucky. I wouldnt let these stories put you off. Afterall, every seller is different.
At the same time, a horse will most likely not work and behave for you as it does for his/her owner, so dont let this put you off. Mares especially are very much more 'cuddly' so dont think that a mare is going to be a devil if she doesnt seem that interested in you, and so on. Go with an open mind and view many horses, never buy the first one unless all the others are unsuitable.
Make a list of what you want to look for, exceptions and what you dont want, and stick to it. It is important to make sure a horse is vetted upon buying, especially for the new owner, etc. Getting them vetted then warrants that they are healthy and suitable for the purpose you want. Although it is not compulsary to get them vetted, it is majorly reccomended.
I worked with a lot of horses who people had bought and ended up getting conned or had made a wrong choice buying that horse. Some of the horses were clearly flogged with a ton of lies just to get rid of them. Most of the time, the problems can be sorted, it just depends if the new owner is prepared or able to work through them or send the horse back/sell on immediatley. The last two horses i bought i did not have vetted, due to that i checked the first pony myself and the second i knew was arriving with big health issues. However i would not reccomend chancing it if you are looking for a horse you can have hopefully a healthy and happy ridden life with.
14th February 2010, 05:33 AM
Like Jane I don't personally know of anyone whose had a bad experience of buying a horse not being like it seemed at viewing, but when going around with a friend to look for a horse for her, we did have a few "interesting" experiences viewing horses.
The first two horses we went to see with one lady - I noticed walking behind them as they walked into the school both had unlevel pelvises, with one pelvis moving freely up and down and the other not dropping down as much. They may have simply put their pelvis out in which case they could be manipulated back but it didn't give us much confidence they didn't have other problems that the owner had or had not noticed. They weren't anything special anyway so we walked away.
The next one we saw had no brakes - that was obvious when the lady showing the horse off to us started cantering in the school, and when she then jumped it we thought the horse was going to carry on and jump out the school into the adjoining field as she struggled to find any brakes. My friend kindly volunteered me to try that one out for her before she sat on it! lol A walk and trot was enough for me to know that the horse wasn't for her and I told her so, she then sat on it herself and it only took a couple of minutes of walking and a small trot for her to agree.
Another, the lady got on the horse in the school and within the first 2 minutes it stood vertical on its hindlegs, came down, went straight back up again (almost going over backwards), and proceeded to go up-down-up-down about 10+ times. Once it had stopped, the lady said it had never done that before but she stayed on a little too well and didn't seem shaken up enough to convince us it didn't regularly do this - we said thanks but no thanks and walked away. That was our shortest viewing! lol
Another, after chatting to the lady, looking at the horse, and asking questions about the horse, she went off to get tack, when I noticed the horse looked odd on one side of its face and feeling around on both sides I found part of its cheekbone was missing. We asked the seller about it who said it was from an accident from years ago, but that the horse had been x-rayed and there was no bone floating around, etc - but she didn't tell us it had part of its cheekbone missing when we were chatting and looking at the horse with her - which makes you wonder if she was trying to hide something.
When viewing a horse - don't rely on what the seller tells you - look very carefully at everything and the more people you have with you the better as they will all notice different things.
If and when you do come to buy a horse there is a section about buying horses in the Information section of this site at http://www.equine-world.co.uk/buying_horses/ which you might find helpful.
14th February 2010, 10:46 AM
Thank you, all of what you have all said sounds like really good adivce.
I would always get a horse vetted before I bought and would definatley take somebody with more experience along with me to see what they thought. Are RI's usually ok with doing this? Mine is being a bit funny since I decided that loaning from the school where I have lessons isn't really what Im looking for.
It's nice to hear that the majority of time things do go well!! I'll start looking at ads then in the hope that the right horse comes along!!
14th February 2010, 12:18 PM
buying horses is tricky business you have to try get a good read off people and horses, if your unsure about a horse take someone with more knowledge and experence with you to go look at it tkae as long as you need and dont rush into anything
i would buy a horse from a dealer and from a private person at the end of the day a good dealer wont risk their rep by selling you something lame or unsutaible you just have to find trustworthy people
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