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Buying a new horse is both exciting and nerve-racking. You need to be well-prepared when evaluating a potential prospect. Depending on your needs, this horse could be a long-term partner. The first farm visit is very important. Make sure you have your checklist ready to go!

Tips for the 1st Visit

  • If you can, try to see the horse in the environment in which they will be used. For show horses, see if they’re taking them to any competitions and make sure to attend one. You want to observe the horse in this atmosphere.
  • Plan a visit to see the horse at their home farm. Casually check out the facility to make sure it’s clean, organized, and safe.
  • Observe if the horse is already tacked or sweaty. This could be a warning sign!
  • Look over the horse’s entire body. You want to also lift each hoof.
  • Ask plenty of questions during the process.
  • Watch the horse be tacked up and study their reactions.
  • If possible, let the current owner ride the horse first. Next, the future rider should try the horse out. Make sure the environment is safe and they feel comfortable though.

You can find more helpful buying tips in this video by the University of Nebraska.

If you can, try to bring your trainer along with you! They should have plenty of knowledge on the buying process.