Too many horse shoppers, choose one that isn’t right for them. Eventually, they get frustrated and give up altogether, which is a pity. At Here4Horses we would like to help people enjoy every moment spent with horses – just as much as we do. Take whatever time it needs, to find the right one.
There is undoubtedly much to learn from websites like this one, where qualified experts present valuable information and views, backed up by scientific evidence whenever possible.
It can also be useful to recruit knowledgeable help. An experienced friend whose opinion you trust and whose horses behave in a way that you approve, or your riding teacher (we hope you have one), who can hopefully provide invaluable expertise and a source of helpful answers to your questions.
Finally, if you’ve not already done so, get yourself in shape. There are hundreds of horses out there struggling with unfit, overweight and crooked riders. Riding makes you neither slim nor fit. Regular cardio- vascular exercise, healthy eating and a good physiotherapist are essential.
2: A Last-Minute Check
Whether this is your first purchase or your last, having a horse can undoubtedly be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. We do however, know of many instances – even on supposedly top competition yards, where the day to day management of horses leaves a lot to be desired.
“If you don’t consider – or worse, don’t care – whether a horse is happy, then we believe you don’t deserve to be in control of its life”.
– Here4Horses Team
We cannot imagine that anyone enters into horse keeping expecting to become one of those third-rate people that thinks it’s ok to leave a poor, dependent animal in a confined space, unfed and without turnout or exercise. Sadly however, some people, even those who try to make a career with horses, are simply not up to the immense commitment required. This leads us to believe that:
At Here4Horses we believe that poor management of horses on Livery Yards or in private homes, represents one of the top five welfare issues in the UK today.
Therefore, PLEASE think carefully before you take the plunge.
3: Re-Home an Ex-Rescue
If, after all implications have been mulled over and the decision to proceed has been made, we would of course, encourage everyone to look at the possibility of re-homing a rescue horse or pony first.
There are literally hundreds of horses and ponies of all shapes and sizes in charity re-homing centres up and down the country.
That said, we fully understand that the perfect equine partner may not be available through the rescue route and that means prospective buyers need to be a little bit savvy when venturing out.
SO – If you’re not sure what to look for, or what questions to ask when buying a horse or pony, we have some helpful tips here to assist you in your research. Then hopefully, throughout the process, you can be confident that the horse you have your eye on, may well be the perfect one for you.
4: Initial Questions to Answer
- How far are you willing to travel to view? Long journeys can prove time consuming and expensive – but also very worthwhile.
- Young horse, Schoolmaster or something in between? Be honest about your own ability and confidence – both to yourself and to any vendor.
- What are your goals and aspirations as a rider? Try and buy a horse that is slightly more talented than you are currently. If you are ambitious, then be realistic about the horses’ potential. Horses can become very unhappy in their work when expectations of them are too high.
- Mare or Gelding? We believe a Stallion should be a highly unlikely purchase for a leisure rider as their needs can be quite complex to manage.
- What height range? Be realistic – we still all too commonly see riders too big or horses and ponies too small.
- What – including the colour – are you willing to compromise on?
- What do you feel would be a complete NO?
5: Does your Heart Tend to Rule your Head?
At Here4Horses our wish is that all parents, (and the fortunate adults out there, buying for themselves), are not be tempted to buy a horse or pony, simply because it is ‘pretty’ or ‘handsome’ or because your family exclaim ‘we love it’ and are begging you to make a decision.
Many people really won’t understand the consequences of owning a horse that’s not right for them.
It is then likely that they will latch onto the first one they see – particularly if it is the colour of first choice.
Beth on Thomas
6: Be Prepared to Take your Time
Avoid at all costs making an impulsive decision, simply because you are overwhelmed with excitement. It is far more heartbreaking to buy an unsuitable horse and have to sell it later, than it is to walk away before making the wrong purchase.
We have also heard stories of couples spending happy years together, only to split in a matter of months when one partner purchases a horse, particularly one that brings with it a host of problems!
The level of commitment is HUGE and must not be taken lightly.
To avoid unnecessary conflict and heartache, be as convinced as you can be, that the decision to buy a horse or pony is the right one for you.
Just to be clear. It is not our intention to be enjoyment prevention officers – far from it! We simply want you to be serious and prepared for the commitment you will be making.
‘No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle’
– Winston Churchill
Then, you can look forward to finding the most suitable equine partner and experience the very special unity that can only be found with a horse.
Look out for part three in this series aimed at helping you find the perfect equine partner.