What You Need to Know Before Going Horse Shopping

"It's almost magical when you get the horse that's right for you!"

What you need to consider when buying horses.

If you want to buy a horse, then that means you have done your research on horse ownership and you are ready to make a long-term commitment and know the responsibility of taking care of a horse. You should already know what is involved in routinely caring for a horse and all the associated costs before horse shopping. You should also already know where you will be keeping your horse--whether on your own property or at a boarding stable, and wherever you will be keeping your horse, it is safe and ready to house a new occupant. If you are new to horses, consider keeping your new horse at a good boarding stable for a while until you have learned more about horse management.

Before becoming a horse owner, you may want to consider leasing a horse first to make sure buying a horse really is the correct decision. If you decide later on that owning a horse really is not for you, or discovered you weren't as passionate about horses as you originally thought, you will still have the responsibility and costs of caring for your horse until you are able to sell him, which does not happen overnight.

Before going horse shopping, you will want to have some idea on the kind of horse you're looking for-what characteristics and personality do you want your horse to have? Just like people, horses come in all shapes, sizes, color, abilities, and dispositions. You can gather some idea by using your own past experience taking trail rides or lessons, going to horse shows, reading horse magazines or talking to horse owners. Knowing what sort of horse you want before going horse shopping will help keep you focused and not get caught up in a spontaneous purchase only to find out you ended up with the wrong horse. You also need to know what your budget is before buying a horse and concentrate only on horse shopping in your price range. If you've been trying out luxury Cadillacs, it's hard to settle on an economy Nissan.

Keep a notebook handy when horse shopping. When buying horses, it becomes easy to forget details after looking at several. Record information such as the horse's breed, age, sex, color, height, and markings. Keep track of the selling price and your likes and dislikes of the horse. Also remember to record the owner's name and contact information. Having a digital camera to take lots of pictures will prove to be an indispensable buying tool to help you remember each horse you looked at.

Take your time and don't rush buying a horse. Many first-time horse buyers get caught up in the excitement and make impulse buys that don't always turn out well. The horse may be more than the buyer can handle, or it may be discovered the horse is lame or unsound in some manner. By taking your time horse shopping and doing proper evaluation of the horse, you can reduce your risk of buying the wrong horse by at least 75%.