Pets Tips: Advice For Buying A Horse

When considering the purchase of a horse, pay attention to the horse's temperament, hooves, health and age.

While most horses are beautiful and intelligent animals, there can be a vast difference in each horse's temperament and personality. If you are just starting out on your search for a horse, there are a few simple points that you need to keep in mind. If you aren't planning on spending a lot of money for a horse, then you probably won't be searching for a registered one. You can find a wonderful horse that doesn't have a long and impressive pedigree, and if you are looking for a family pet, this might be all that you need.

If you are an inexperienced horseman or you are buying a horse for a child, you need to consider the age of the horse. Typically, horses that are younger than three or four can often times act their age. Though they might not be difficult for an experienced rider to handle, they can be a challenge for a novice rider. Because horses can sense fear and nervousness from their riders, it is a good idea to look for a somewhat older and more settled horse. This doesn't necessarily mean that if a horse is older it will definitely be a good horse. This is just the first point you will want to consider. A horse that is anywhere from eight years to twenty years may work out well.

If you do pick a very elderly horse, however, keep in mind that he may not be around for very long. You should inquire about his health. You can ask to see vet records. You also need to ask where the horse has been kept. Is he accustomed to a stall, or has he mostly been kept in a pasture? If he has been kept in a stall, he may not adjust to inclement weather, and an older horse could be susceptible to pneumonia. Decide whether you want a mare or a gelding. You should not consider a stallion as a choice because stallions are normally high spirited and more difficult to control. A mare is a female horse, and a gelding is a male horse that has been altered to prevent breeding. Either gender would be a good choice.

When you are considering a horse, pay attention to how he responds to his owner and you. Before you try to lift and inspect his hooves, ask the owner to do so. Pay particular attention to how the horse responds to his owner when his back hooves are lifted. Does he try to kick out, or does he stand calmly as the owner holds his hoof. Once you are satisfied that the owner did not have a problem handling the horse's hooves, you should try picking them up yourself. Does the horse try to kick or bite you, or does he stand calmly? If he has been handled properly and shod regularly, he should not have a problem with anyone lifting his hooves. If you see a horse who tries to kick, rear, and bite while his hooves are being handled, you probably want to move on in your search for the perfect animal.

While his hooves are being handled, take a good look at them. Are they shaped well, or do you notice one or more hooves that are malformed, such as a club foot? Do they have deep cracks, or are they nicely trimmed. You should also inquire if the horse typically has to have shoes, or can his feet be kept bare? If you do not plan on riding on hard and rocky terrain, you may not need to have shoes placed on your horse. You still need to buy a horse that has healthy hooves, however.

It is also a good idea to ask the owner of the horse to wait until you arrive to saddle and bridle the horse, so you can get a good idea about his barn manners. Does he stand calmly and take the bit easily? If he drops his head as the owner places the bridle on him, consider this a bonus. If he tosses his head, stomps his feet, and fights the bit, you will probably want to consider looking for a different horse. Have the owner ride him first, then you try him.

Be wary of horse sale barns. You can get some good deals at some of these horse sales, but you have to be careful. Disreputable horse dealers will sometimes drug their horses to make them appear docile. Once the drug has worn off, however, the horse may be unmanageable and even dangerous. If you think you might want to buy a horse at one of these auctions, attend several without buying and pay attention to who is selling the horses. If you continue to see some of the same sellers there, they might be easier to trust. After all, they don't want to ruin their reputation as horse dealers by drugging their horses.

You need to inquire about any of the horse's shots, when and how often it has been wormed, and if it has been given any supplements in its feed. You also need to find out how long the horse has been with the current owner. If it hasn't been too long, see if that owner will give the number for you to contact the previous owner. With some knowledge and a little common sense, you can eventually find the perfect horse for you and your family. A well-mannered and pleasant horse can offer years of enjoyment to everyone.

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