What an exciting time! Horse shopping is an experience you won’t forget. From the highs to the lows, this adventure has one end goal- to help you get the horse of your dreams. Whether this is your first horse or you’re a pro, these tips will go a long way.

The Dos of Horse Shopping

  • Create a checklist of desirable qualities in your future mount
  • Set a budget and stick to it
  • Ask lots of question before you make an appointment
  • Bring an experienced horse person along with you
  • Save money for a pre-purchase exam
  • Ride/try the horse more than once
  • Watch them in the field and stall
  • Ask for vet, de-worming, and farrier records
  • Check papers if buying a registered animal
  • Evaluate their potential in your chosen discipline
  • Be honest about your experience and abilities
  • Watch the horse be groomed and tacked up
  • Take your own pictures/video to help in the decision-making process
  • Research the seller or breeder

The Don’ts of Buying

  • Buy sight unseen
  • Select a young, untrained horse if you’re a beginner
  • Attend an auction without experience
  • Limit yourself to a certain color or breed
  • Believe everything the seller says
  • Get pressured or pursued into buying a horse you don’t want
  • Only try one horse out
  • Ignore the advice of your trainer
  • Look at horses over your budget
  • Waste the time of sellers
  • Buy without a bill of sale

Depending on your experience, the best thing you can do is enlist the help of your trainer or a trustworthy horse friend. They will be able to guide you through the process and help your find your perfect riding partner.

Take a look at 20 Questions To Ask When Buying A Horse before you make an in-person appointment.