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  • Buying a Horse or Pony - What to Ask the Seller

Buying a Horse or Pony - What to Ask the Seller

Buying a Horse or Pony - What to Ask the Seller

Buying a Horse – What to Ask the Seller

Buying a new horse is a very exciting time, however it can also be very stressful and rather daunting.

I'm sure we've all phoned up about a horse before and the conversation has gone something like this....
Purchaser: Hi, I'm ringing about the horse you've got advertised for sale.
Seller: Sure, what would you like to know?
Purchaser: Um, everything…….
It's much easier if there is direction to the phone call, and you have in mind what you would like to know about the horse!

I've found the best way to approach this is to keep a note pad handy and as you think of different questions you would like to ask, jot them down. It's also better to ask open questions, you will gain more information than if you are asking a closed, “yes/no” question. This also makes it more difficult for the seller to be deceptive or information to be misinterpreted. If you have a list before you pick up the phone, the conversation will be much easier and more informative.

To give you an idea, below are some questions I've found useful when buying a new friend:

  • •What do you like best about him?
  • •What is his worst fault/vice?
  • •How long have you owned him?
  • •How does he react when you take him to competitions?
  • •When competing have you ever used anything such as ear plugs?
  • •Has he ever been stabled/paddocked on his own and how did he cope?
  • •How does he react when you catch him in a large paddock?
  • •Does he wear shoes or is he barefoot? What is he like for the farrier?
  • •Has he ever been sick? Has he ever had colic? Has he ever suffered from laminitis?
  • •Has he ever had itch? (this is particularly important if you are in a warmer/sub-tropical climate)
  • •Have you ever known him to windsuck or crib bite?
  • •How does he behave with other horses?
  • •Has he ever seen fireworks? How did he react?
  • •What is he like with dogs, cats, other animals?
  • •What worming program have you been using?
  • •How easy is he to worm?
  • •What is he like to clip and /or trim?
  • •How does he react when stabled What if he is stabled for long periods of time due to injury etc?
  • •What rugs (if any) do you normally use on him in winter and in summer?
  • •Tell me about floating him? How is he to load? How does he travel in the float? Does he require anything special when floating such as needing an angle load float, truck etc Has he been floated with other horses and were there any problems?

I am sure you will find a few more questions of your own to add to this list but this is a good start. Good luck finding your new best friend!