Owning a horse is most enjoyable if the horse matches your personal needs. Here are some tips for buying the right one.
Step 1: Check the temperament Look for a horse with a temperament compatible with your own. Be wary of a horse that becomes agitated when approached. This can be recognized by the horse laying its ears back or kicking. If the horse is interested in being approached, it will put its ears up.
TIP: If you are a nervous rider, look for a calm horse.
Step 2: Select a skilled horse Select a horse that has been skilled in the sort of riding -- English or Western -- that you plan to do. Ask the owner to put the horse through its paces.
Step 3: Try out the skills Try out the special skills yourself when you ride the horse.
Step 4: Take your time Take your time making a decision about purchasing the horse. Visit the ranch or stable a second time to observe the horse's behavior.
Step 5: Borrow the horse Ask the owner if you can borrow the horse for a week before you make the decision to purchase.
Step 6: Have a veterinarian check the horse Have the horse examined by a veterinarian who is experienced in performing pre-purchase examinations. If all has gone well at this point and the asking price is right, go ahead and buy the horse.
FACT: The average life expectancy of a domesticated horse is 25 to 30 years.