Last modified on March 20th, 2020 at 8:50 am

How to Buy a Horse: 4 Key Tips for the First-Time Horse Owner

There’s more to owning a horse than just riding. Keep reading to see how to buy a horse: 4 key tips for the first-time horse owner.

There are about 9.2 million horses in America. These large four-legged companions bring both joy and comfort to their owners.  They also work hard in a wide variety of disciplines. 

If you want to get involved in the equestrian world, you may be considering buying your first horse. There’s a lot that goes into this purchase, and quality horses aren’t cheap. 

Follow this guide on how to buy a horse and make your first purchase an enjoyable one. 

1. Figure Out What You Want 

Why do you want to buy a horse? Figuring out what you plan to do with your horse will help you focus your search on the types of horses best suited to your intended activities.

Consider the pros and cons of the types of horses available for your chosen purpose. Younger horses will have more years ahead of them but will require a lot more training and work. Older horses have experience but may cost more. 

2. See the Horse in Person 

Never buy a horse sight unseen. This is a recipe for disaster, and you could easily end up with a lame horse. Buying a horse is a big purchase, and some unscrupulous sellers will say anything to close the sale. 

Ask to see the horse move. Ask that your vet give the horse a once over. They’ll identify any undisclosed issues. 

Interact with the horse and look for signs of fear or aggression. This will indicate the horse has been mistreated. While this won’t bar you from purchasing, it does indicate that it’ll need a lot more work. 

3. Do the Budget 

Horses are expensive. They cost money even when you aren’t riding them. You need to be prepared for these added expenses before you buy the horse. 

  • Boarding 
  • Feeding 
  • Farrier 
  • Vet
  • Equipment 

This can quickly add up to hundreds, if not thousands, every month. If your horse gets sick, you can easily face even higher costs. 

Don’t get too discouraged, though; this is the time to figure out how you can trim the budget by looking for alternative options. 

4. Have the Barn Ready 

Whether you’re planning on keeping your new horse on your own property or boarding at a barn, you need to have a home ready for your new horse. The simplest solution is a fenced-in paddock. But you could also go all out and look for a high-end barn with all of the features, such as rubber pavers.

The solution you choose will depend on what’s available in your area and your budget. 

Now You Know How to Buy a Horse

Buying your first horse is an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. By following this guide, you will know how to buy a horse by focusing on the basics. Focus on what you’re looking to do and finding a horse that fits that intended purpose.