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Thread: Things to look out for when buying a new horse

  1. #1

    Default Things to look out for when buying a new horse

    Just thought we should have people's collective experiences on this, so anyone who is looking can do so with their eyes open?

    If I start with:
    - it's very hard to earn a good living through being a reputable, 100% honest dealer. Even the honest ones that do well do so because they are amazing riders/horse people. When you get that horse home, it may react differently to you. There are a few out there that do what they say on the tin, but not a lot! Google phone no.s and names for ANY dealer unless personally recommended to you.
    - If you buy a horse in the winter you won't know if it gets sweet itch or headshakes in the spring/summer.
    - Always take bloods for a vetting.
    - Horses go through a 'tricky' phase at 5yo or thereabouts, when even previously angelic creatures can turn feisty and difficult. They usually revert back to their sweet selves around 6yo but beware of buying an angelic 4yo and expecting it to stay that way!
    - If the price is too good to be true - there's something wrong.
    - Cheap horses with issues take years to sort out: a lot of time, patience and hard work.
    - Some horses work amazingly at home but can't cope with show environments, or won't jump certain fillers etc.
    - Horses that are lean or underweight when you go to see them, will be quieter than their usual selves. Once you've fed them up, you may find a completely different horse on your hands.
    - The horse's eye will tell you a lot: if it is kind and gentle, there's a nice personality in there.
    - Thoroughbreds are gorgeous, loving horses that have a reputation for costing a lot to keep. They usually aren't too bad when young but do start to need stabling/extra feed etc when older!
    - Not all spooky horses will ever grow/desensitize out of it, however hard you try.
    - Always try the horse out hacking solo - then you will know if it's a nappy/scared solo hacker.
    - Assess the horse's movement carefully for any anomalies - they might come back to haunt you later.

    There's probably loads more...!

  2. #2
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    Some of those issues you will only really know about once you have bought it , so it is more the potential pitfalls rather than things to look out for. Some horses can be cheap because they want a fast sale or a good home and there might be nothing wrong with the horse.

    I would add...
    I would take an experienced horse person with you.
    Always get a vetting unless you can afford to lose the cost of the horse (under 1000 I wouldn't vet, but I am cautious)
    Ask about medical, ridden and general history.
    [SIGPIC][CENTER][/CENTER][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
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    Teazle, thank you for starting this thread . I wish I had googled Ben's dealer as from what I have since read I would never have even of bothered going. It would of saved me alot of heartache and money. I did get a 5* vetting, and bloods taken , but since found out the vet is as dodgy as she and they are all linked in together . I did also go back the following week to hack him out as that is something I wanted to do alot of and he was good. I did take experienced people people with me to all viewings. People said he had a kind eye. But to be fair to him , he is a nice horse . Just not for a novice rider who lacks confidence.
    I know it takes time for a horse to settle etc , but he was totally different when he arrived. My friend that has taken him from me , said there is no way he is a novice ride as have other people. She managed to sit on through his bucking fit !! This experience has taught me alot , and when I feel ready to try again I will be armed with alot more knowledge.

    Thanks again for very helpful thread

  4. #4
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    As well as google go on personal recommendations from people you can trust.
    If someone is not happy fir you to pick up a horses feet, catch it, hack alone ( or at least with a person near by on foot) walk away they may have something to hide.
    Unless the horse is a saint too or you are buying for showing and are experienced never buy on looks. That horse won't look so pretty when you are laying on the ground looking up.
    Never be scared to walk away if you don't get the right feeling.
    Ask the vet you use normally if they will travel or recommend a local vet.
    And personally my own mantra get birish to find you a horse. Colly and dime were both saints and mischief is versatile and as I wanted so much less stressful than the Uk in Ireland no one gets offended if you don't like a horse and is happy for you to do anything to try it out.
    no-one died of a fast trot
    A member of the Secret Sausage Society

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Teazle View Post

    - it's very hard to earn a good living through being a reputable, 100% honest dealer.
    No it's not. If you are a reputable 100% honest dealer with a reputation to match you will be making money hand over fist as you will have so many clients. All the reputable dealers I know are doing very well even in the depths of recession as they are busy every single day.

    I've got one for this list...

    Never buy a horse from someone who is desperate to sell it (unless you know the reasons YOURSELF).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teazle View Post
    Just thought we should have people's collective experiences on this, so anyone who is looking can do so with their eyes open?

    If I start with:
    - it's very hard to earn a good living through being a reputable, 100% honest dealer. Even the honest ones that do well do so because they are amazing riders/horse people. When you get that horse home, it may react differently to you. There are a few out there that do what they say on the tin, but not a lot! Google phone no.s and names for ANY dealer unless personally recommended to you.
    - If you buy a horse in the winter you won't know if it gets sweet itch or headshakes in the spring/summer.
    - Always take bloods for a vetting.
    - Horses go through a 'tricky' phase at 5yo or thereabouts, when even previously angelic creatures can turn feisty and difficult. They usually revert back to their sweet selves around 6yo but beware of buying an angelic 4yo and expecting it to stay that way!
    - If the price is too good to be true - there's something wrong.
    - Cheap horses with issues take years to sort out: a lot of time, patience and hard work.
    - Some horses work amazingly at home but can't cope with show environments, or won't jump certain fillers etc.
    - Horses that are lean or underweight when you go to see them, will be quieter than their usual selves. Once you've fed them up, you may find a completely different horse on your hands.
    - The horse's eye will tell you a lot: if it is kind and gentle, there's a nice personality in there.
    - Thoroughbreds are gorgeous, loving horses that have a reputation for costing a lot to keep. They usually aren't too bad when young but do start to need stabling/extra feed etc when older!
    - Not all spooky horses will ever grow/desensitize out of it, however hard you try.
    - Always try the horse out hacking solo - then you will know if it's a nappy/scared solo hacker.
    - Assess the horse's movement carefully for any anomalies - they might come back to haunt you later.

    There's probably loads more...!
    I agree with all of these, as Clava says although you will prob only find out some of these things once you get the horse home, Id say if anything on Teazle's list is really important to you then dont buy unless you are able to get independent recommendations from RI's/PC/RC, the seller is willing for you to have a trial period, or you are buying through word of mouth - a known quantity with proven attributes. You have to sit back and ask yourself, am I able and moreover willing to work with/through any of the issues that might arise from the above? If the answer is for whatever reason no, then you have to take a lot longer over your horse search and be patient.

    DO listen to ANY little gut niggling you have. DONT compromise if you know your requirements are specific. You might see a horse that fits everything you want but is perhaps a year or 2 younger, if you know this might create a problem for you then dont allow yourself to be persauded into making that purchase. DO allow yourself to be flexible over colour/gender/type and to an extent, upper age. 'andsome is as 'andsome does and it's all very well being fixated on having a bay gelding, refusing to see any mares or anything with feather if you get it home and find you cant ride the damned thing. Horses are meant to be enjoyed and you never know what you might form a lifetime partnership with so be open minded. Its so difficult when you have been looking for months and months not to start getting impatient and allowing your doubts to be quashed, but dont do it!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    2,383

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    Suggested purchase questionnaire for the seller to complete and sign - could help if things go pear shaped afterwards.

    This was on a horse insurance website.




    HORSE PURCHASE QUESTIONNAIRE


    Warranty relating to the sale of horse known


    as……………………….on……………………….(date) at ……………………….

    1) Description of horse – colour, breed/type, sex, age, height, freeze or other brand marks?



    2) I intend to use the horse for hacking, endurance, dressage - Is there any reason why the horse might be considered unsuitable for that purpose?



    3) Are there any facts which might prevent it from competing under rules or conditions?




    4) Has it been unable to work through injury or disease during the past 12 months?




    5) Has it suffered recurring lameness or illness or any seasonal or management disorders?




    6) Has it been subject to any surgical operation?




    7) If a mare, has she bred? Could she be in foal now?




    8) Has it been given any medical treatment during the last three weeks?



    9) On the ground is it easy to:
    - groom, prepare and clip
    - tack up
    - shoe
    - lead in hand
    - load and transport
    - catch in field and stable




    10) Is it aggressive to people and/or animals?




    11) “Under saddle” has it been known to bolt, buck, rear, roll or nap?




    12) What type of bit is it normally ridden in?




    13) Is it traffic shy, either ridden or in hand?




    14) In the stable does it display stereotypic behaviour (vices) such as cribbiting and or indsucking, box walking, weaving, rug chewing (or flanking), kicking the wall or door or tail rubbing?


    15) Last saw vet


    16) Last saw farrier



    17) Shoed Front / Rear


    18) Tack / rugs included?







    Signed ……………………………………vendor


    Dated……………………………………


    By answering this questionnaire the seller will be providing to the purchaser a warranty that the answers given are correct.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Ireland
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    Google is your friend.

    When you go to a vetting - bring a pen and paper - write down everything about the horse, registered name, passport identity, microchip, registered owners.
    Don't accept the spoken word - if it has papers, get them in your actual hands.
    Ring the registry - make sure the documentation is legitimate and they have a record of it.

    Go home and google, google, google.

    Don't take any thing for granted - if the horse has done RC, PC, jumping, dressage - there will be records - its amazing what you can find.

    Irish horses in particular ... there is absolutely no reason you should buy an imported horse *with no records* ... if it travelled, it had documentation, from what I've found, Irish horses are often better documented then UK horses ... foalbooks, registries, discipline databases, sales reports ... all open and free for inspection.

    The older the horse, the more info you should have. If the horse is 10, has no documentation at all, no mark that it ever existed - its a very cheap horse, or it should be.

    If it 'hunted for a season' ... find it with who, the contact details for all the registered hunt packs are listed openly on the web, and its actually a very small country when it comes to horses.

    If someone claims that their horse has competed and local or unaffliated events, yard shows - ie; theres no proof ... if they have no photos/videos ... then take it with a pinch of salt.

    Write down all the info you have on the horse, information you know and have seen to be true. Don't consider anything outside of that info in your decision.

    Its not a 5k SJr*, if it never jumped*. Its an unproven horse and not worth the money you are paying.
    *(insert discipline here)

    _____________

    You may think that all sounds quite silly, but just a few example of horses that appeared on forums, I have researched;

    -A 10yr old coloured horse that went to the knackers yard in ireland with a broken pedal bone. Sold as a 5k hunter in the UK a few years later. Seller illeged it had an affliate showing record here... it just didn't! Previous owners thought it was dead!

    -A known wobbler, given away for free, sold in the UK 3 months later as a sound potential eventer for 4k. Was microchipped and only had one registered owner, who could have been contacted.

    -A 6yr old soured showjumper, its record showed that it competed and won consistantly at 1m10 as a 4 yr old ... before it was exported it was being eliminated consistantly at 90cm with the same rider, purchaser never checked the record, saw that the horse had affliated points listed in its passport (from its early career) ... sold for 8k in the UK. New owner couldn't get the horse over a crosspole after about a forthnight!

    -An 'eventing' horse, 5k ... similar story to the last, its BE record record showed it was well and truly soured, and firsthand reports on forums under last owner full name(!), for broncing and putting riders in hospital.

    -A 7yr old horse, did both suspensories as a 5yr old, sold as sound, eventing potential with doctored papers. There was a glaring flaw on the papers though and it wasn't hard to spot it was a dud. It was a very distinctive horse and had the buyer contacted the RC it was documented as competing with, any member could have identified it and knew its history.

    It seems to happen every day. Most slip through with people who don't bother with vetting, some with vets who are affliated with dodgy dealers, some are doped. The pathetic thing is, even before you paid your 500quid for the vetting, google could have told you more then even an honest vet!!

  9. #9
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    Why oh why did I not google first ?? I think perhaps i was so ridiculously excited about getting my first ever horse, may have contributed to my mind frame ?!The vet I used is definitely affliated with the dealer. I have since found out he has been struck off before. I feel really stupid and that when they met me I had mug written across my forehead.
    I know I will be armed with knowlege if I choose to get another horse, but I just feel incredibly dumb right now . I am probably sounding like a broken record and I apologise for that.
    I will definitely be using this thread in the future !!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ideal76 View Post
    Why oh why did I not google first ?? I think perhaps i was so ridiculously excited about getting my first ever horse, may have contributed to my mind frame ?!The vet I used is definitely affliated with the dealer. I have since found out he has been struck off before. I feel really stupid and that when they met me I had mug written across my forehead.
    I know I will be armed with knowlege if I choose to get another horse, but I just feel incredibly dumb right now . I am probably sounding like a broken record and I apologise for that.
    I will definitely be using this thread in the future !!
    Not trying to rub salt in the wound - but just for an example to other members.
    The only thing I knew about Ideal's horse was that he was called Ben, and he came from Kent and was sold/advertised in the last month (as much as she said on the forum). Set dates/locality for your search, imput the things you know, gather a few more snippets, cross reference a few different terms ... = result.
    'CTrl + F' also incredibly useful!

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