1998 Cherry Hill
am 38 years old and want to buy a horse. 10 years ago I had horses,
but had to sell when I returned to school. I only want to ride for pleasure.
Should I look for a saddle horse? What questions should I ask about a horse
I am looking at? I enjoyed the saddle horse I had before, but had trouble
from the quarter horse.
are many factors to consider when buying a horse. I'm listing them in relative
order of importance.
Movement, Way of Going and Comfort
Level of Training
Breed or type
Color and Markings
The breed or type of horse you select should depend
on the style of riding you plan to pursue. Since you are interested in pleasure
riding, you will find individual horses in almost any breed that could suit you.
Since you have been out of the horse scene for ten years, I'd
suggest you pair up with a well-respected horse professional in your area to help
you go horse shopping. This could be a riding instructor, a trainer, a breeder
or someone who you feel comfortable with and has the time to help you narrow
down the field and give you a knowledgeable second opinion. Of course, you
will need to make some sort of arrangement to compensate this professional monetarily
for his or her service.
When you have found a horse that seems to be a contender
and is in your price range, arrange for a test ride. During the test ride
and buyer exam, you should have a check list (mental or small notebook) of things
you definitely want to check such as ease of picking out hooves, ease of mounting,
comfort of gaits, is the horse head shy, barn sour, hard mouthed or
XXX? The list of physical and training issues that you need to evaluate
can be quite long and that is why I wrote a book (Horse for Sale) filled with
such lists to specifically to help buyers. You can read about it on my website
the test ride, if the horse seems suitable for you, you'll want to have the
horse checked over by a veterinarian of your choice to see if the horse has
an unsoundness or health problem that would rule him out.
Horse selection takes time and the better you are
prepared for the process, the smoother it will go. So read up and plan to
take the time that is needed. Best of luck. I hope you find the horse
of your dreams.