It won’t be easy, especially in this market. Buying a new horse will likely mean trying out quite a few. Quality horses go really fast! You have to know the right questions to ask. Before you proceed, make sure you know yourself and your goals.

Trying a Horse

  1. Ask lots of questions! Before you even get in the car, you’ll want to ask as much as you can. Some examples include- How often are they ridden? Do they require maintenance? Are they easy to catch? And so on…
  2. Get an experienced horse person like your trainer to come with you.
  3. Watch them catch the horse in the field and tack up. It takes extra time, but is valuable information.
  4. Evaluate the horse’s conformation.
  5. The current owner should get on the horse first. Not only is it helpful to see them move on the ground, but you never know what the horse will do.
  6. Take it slowly. Get on the horse, make sure you’re comfortable, and walk them around. Go through each gait- keep it simple. It can be helpful to videotape your ride.
  7. Depending on your discipline and the horse’s experience, try some harder maneuvers or exercises to see if the horse has the training they were said to have. Don’t take the owner’s word that the horse is a champion at this or that. See it for yourself!
  8. If able, trailer the horse and take them to a new environment to ride. If they’re said to be a trail horse, then take them on a short ride through the woods.
  9. Don’t be pressured to make an offer. You can always come back out for a second ride or ask for a trial. On the other hand, don’t drag your feet if they’re the perfect match.
  10. All agreements should be made in writing!

Trying a new horse is both nerve-wrecking and exciting. With patience and persistence, you’ll find the right partner!