How To Buy Your First Horse or Pony
Buying a horse or pony is a serious commitment. You should ensure that you have sufficient basic riding experience and have spent time around horses before you consider owning one. Ensure also that you can meet the financial commitment.
Should you decide to own your own horse, by following some simple steps you will help to ensure that it will provide you with 365 days a year of fun, love and pleasure to ride and care for.
What Are The Costs?
Consider the costs of field or stable rental, horse feed & hay, shoeing, annual vaccinations and insurance. You will need to work out how much each of these will cost.
Before you consider the type of horse, the size and age and the price you are prepared to pay, always take into consideration your own riding ability.
When Is A Good Time To Buy?
Spring or early summer, as you will have long days to spend time getting to know your new friend.
Where Can I Find A Horse?
Horse and pony sales websites will help you to get an idea of prices. Ideally your first horse needs to be aged 10+. Horses can be ridden up to their early 30s, however this depends on the type of horse or pony and the type of work it has been doing.
What You Need To Know
Before you view, contact the seller to ask questions. You need to know, its age, size and temperament, is it field kept or stable, is it good to catch, shoe, load on a box? Ask what it has been doing during its life, i.e. hacking out, jumping, cross-country and how long they have owned it?
Pay Attention To Initial Observations
Always take someone with you to view, ideally someone who knows how you ride and has an understanding of horses. At the viewing always see it in the stable or field beforehand and observe its behaviour. Is it friendly or aggressive? View it being tacked up and look for any bad habits such as napping or behaving impatiently.
The Riding Assessment
Always watch someone else ride first. This will allow you to see it in action. If you are happy with their riding assessment, ride the horse yourself always ensuring someone holds it for you to mount, and you have the properly fitted safety standard hat and body protector before taking it through a basic lesson at walk, halt, trot, circle work and canter.
Do not rush in to a hasty decision to buy. Look at a number of horses before making a commitment to buy. Ideally a horse will be sold with its tack, saddle and bridle. If not it would be best to negotiate buying them as they will allow you to be mobile as soon as possible. Follow these simple steps and you will ensure that you start off in the right way.
Caroline Farnell-Smith has owned horses for over 25 years and is BHS qualified.
This content was provided by one of our users, Caz