76 Questions to Ask When Buying a Horse

buyers look over a weanling

Getting a brand-new horse is a special moment every horseman has ever experienced. But we’re not going to paint a rosy picture – it’s quite a challenging task. Lots of details should be handled before an equine is yours. Thus, we made up a checklist of questions that will help you slay buying a horse.

little boy is holding a blanketed horse

Is That Horse the One You Need?

Ok, you picked a horse, what’s next? Giving money and taking the buddy home? Nah, that doesn’t work like that. We strongly recommend you double-check if the horse you’ve chosen is the ideal one. It means whether it fits your purpose and riding skills.

Here’s a batch of questions to ask when buying a horse:

Does the Horse Match Your Riding Skills?

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, your horse should fit your level. But this doesn’t mean if you’re a novice, you should look for a green unbroken horse. This choice could make a negative effect on your skills and slow down your development immensely.

Thus, we recommend you to pick an experienced equine (even little experience is better than nothing) that has already been under a saddle. And soon after, when you master your skills, you may look for a green horse and train it from scratch.

If you don’t know what your riding skill is, you should ask for a professional to get you examined. That’s a good point as a trusted trainer may advise you on what to look for when buying a horse. And what range of equines you may focus on regarding your level.

brown horse with white mane close up

Does the Horse Match Your Purposes?

Another crucial aspect to consider is what you’re going to use a horse for. Since there are dozens of equestrian activities available worldwide, some of them even require a special horse breed or riding level.

Find out what the main goal was of using that horse. If it’s an equine for pleasure riding, it’s not the best idea to buy such an animal for racing. And vice versa. That means it’s better to seek a companion that was used for a similar reason you’re about to use it. That would definitely work in your favor when you start training.

Another aspect to bear in mind is who is going to ride the horse. If you’re looking for an equine for children, you should find one that has experience of working with kids. As a hooved pal that has been working with adults only doesn’t guarantee it will get on well with youngsters too.

Will You Find the Common Ground?

Horses are different as well as humans. We don’t want to merely ride horses, we want to be their friends. That’s why we strongly recommend you to thoroughly ask about the animal’s temperament, whether it’s “compatible” with yours.

Unfortunately, this aspect is commonly underestimated. You may find it difficult to get a horse at once, thus, take a ride as often as possible to find how the companion behaves. If possible, try riding the horse out of the property to check how well it takes a new place in stride.

If you’re buying a horse for a kid, introduce them to their new companion (under supervision only) and look at how things are going. In short, check the horse in conditions close to the real ones it’s about to be ridden and trained.

chestnut horse is standing at sunset

Is the Horse Suitable for Your Schedule?

Since you set a goal why you need a horse for, you should think over its schedule. Different horse breeds have various characteristics that are good for this or that activity. If the equine got used to regular training, make sure you can provide that. On the contrary, if the horse is rarely ridden, don’t put a lot of workload on the animal.

In this case, there’s an option to lease a horse before buying. You can try your future companion to check if your schedule will work for him. And ask the owner about his daily routine to find out if it matches your expectations. Leasing a horse is a great opportunity to experience ownership and decide whether you should proceed with this equine or not.

Is the Horse Obedient Enough?

Everybody craves a “good boy” that will kindly respond to the commands. But in real life, something may go wrong. Therefore, we advise checking the hack for a good willingness to work and learn.

Try to communicate with the animal and look at its response. Since you go back not so long, you don’t have to expect instant obedience. However, you can check how polite the horse reacts to your actions. The idea is to get whether the companion understands what you’re asking and if it’s a good learner. This feature will stand you in good stead during further training.

gray horse is wearing a bridle

Does the Horse Match Your Health State Expectation?

The equine’s well-being plays a significant role when buying one. Ask the owner for a vet check to get the animal’s health examined. If you’re searching for a strong companion to partake in equestrian sports, you don’t want it to have diseases incompatible with performing.

Keep in mind that horse breeds prone to have a range of disorders. You should be aware of such issues before purchasing a hack. Ask a vet if the horse meets your expectations and can be used in the activity you desire with less risk to get sick over time. Moreover, the state of health affects the price tag as equine health care is pricey.

weanling and handler wait for its turn

Sample Questions to Ask When Buying a Horse

Here’s an extended list of questions you may find useful when choosing a new companion.

General Questions

  1. What’s his/her name?
  2. How old is the horse?
  3. What’s the breed?
  4. What’s the color?
  5. Is it a registered horse?
  6. Is the horse friendly?
  7. Who are the parents?
  8. Have you ever leased the horse out?
  9. Where did you buy the horse?
  10. Why do you sell the horse?

Riding Skill Questions

  1. Is the horse broken?
  2. What riding level does the horse meet?
  3. When was the last time you rode the horse?
  4. Who else rides the horse?
  5. How often do you mount a horse?
  6. What are the disciplines the horse is suitable for?
  7. Has the horse ever been ridden off the property?
  8. What tacking gear fits the horse best (a saddle size, a snaffle bit type, etc)?
  9. How long does the horse spend time outside?
  10. Has the horse ever won in competitions?
horse and donkey are behind the fence

Training Questions

  1. Is the horse quick-witted?
  2. Is the horse willing to learn enough?
  3. Is the horse easy to catch?
  4. How does the horse handle transporting?
  5. What training equipment do you use?
  6. How smoothly does the horse respond to your commands?
  7. What are the weak points in training the horse?
  8. What are the strengths I should focus on?
  9. What type of halter is used?
  10. Can the horse withstand the pressure?

Health Questions

  1. What is the current state of health?
  2. Were there any severe injuries in the past?
  3. Is the horse vaccinated?
  4. How often do you visit your vet?
  5. What was the last time you visited the vet?
  6. Is the horse dewormed?
  7. Does the horse prone to have colic?
  8. Is the horse prone to any severe diseases?
  9. Are there currently any health concerns?
  10. Do you know the medical history of the parents?
young horse is at the sun lights

Feeding and Watering Questions

  1. What’s the horse’s weight?
  2. Is the horse overfed/underfed?
  3. What’s your regular feeding routine?
  4. What’s your regular watering routine?
  5. What are the treats your horse loves best?
  6. Any allergies I should know?
  7. What food supplements do you give?
  8. What mineral and salt blocks does the horse prefer?
  9. Is the horse prone to obesity?
  10. How often do you feed the horse per day?

Horse Care Questions

  1. How often do you shower the horse?
  2. What’s your bathing routine?
  3. How often is the horse turned out?
  4. Do you use any horse blanket?
  5. Do you wrap your horse’s legs?
  6. How often do you visit a farrier?
  7. What’s your grooming routine?
  8. What brushes do you use?
  9. How often do you clip the horse?
  10. How do you cope with insects and larvae?
two horses are hiding under the trees

Breeding Questions

  1. Is the horse mature for breeding?
  2. Has the stallion ever covered a mare?
  3. Has the mare ever foaled?
  4. How was the mare covered?
  5. Who was the mare bred to?
  6. Was the foaling successful?
  7. Is the mare currently gestated?
  8. What’s her health condition after the foaling?
  9. Is the horse available for breeding?
  10. Are there any genetic disorders?
woman is hugging a horse

Summary

As you can see choosing a companion is time-consuming. You need loads of aspects to be considered before buying a horse. Every horseman covets the best equine with a brilliant background. Get all the necessary information about the hack in order to avoid a pig in a poke. You don’t want to fork out for the ugliest horse in the world with poor health.

Hope this list of questions to ask when buying a horse will come in handy and you’ll find your perfect match.

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David Garcia

David Garcia

David Garcia is a vivid writer and a big fan of equestrian sports. He founded Horse Riding Center – the blog where David shares his knowledge and experience about horses, tack, equestrian riding equipment, taking care of horses, and other useful guidelines.

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