Choosing a horse can be quite a lot of work, specially if you are unsure of what you are looking for. That is why it’s best to look at yourself first. It all begins with you, your size, your age, your level of experience as well as your goals.
Horse or Pony?
While a child may be better suited for a pony and an adult for a horse, it may not always be the case. A small adult may prefer a large pony or a tall teenager may prefer a small horse. Size is an important thing to consider because how comfortable you are on your horse will affect your ability to ride and/or perform.
Green horse or Bombproof?
Your experience and your goals really comes into play when deciding what level of training you want in your horse. If you are a beginner rider, you will get more out of a horse that already knows what he’s doing, in whatever field you choose, whether be trails, barrels, jumping, dressage etc…
Experienced riders may benefit more in schooling and teaching a greener horse. But then again, you may want to learn together with the help of a horse trainer. This is something to really think about. So many horses get left in the field because this hasn’t been given enough thought.
Thinking about breeds?
Most horses are adaptable and will be capable of doing whatever it is you want them to do. Some may just be better at some things than others. For example, if you are looking to do some cross-country, maybe some jumping or even cutting cattle, I would look for into getting an American quarter horse than a Tennessee Walker. And if you are looking for long trail rides on a comfortable horse, then maybe a Tennessee Walker is something you would consider.
Of course there are many breeds of horses. It is worth doing some research on what breed best suits your goals and maybe talk to a local trainer for advice on where to begin.
Where do I start looking?
Searching for the perfect horse can be a long process. There are many resources out there to help you.
If your looking for a show horse, you may want to ask around at your local show ring. You may even get to watch your prospective horse in action. Sometimes there will be a sale list available as well. Maybe ask a few trainers and instructors if they have clients with horses for sale.
Your local riding stable is a great place to start. The Barn Manager will be able to let you know which horses may be for sale.
If your looking for a breed specific horse, the breed Association can point you to a reputable breeder in your area.
If your in no hurry, there are thousands of horses sold at auction, or in your local classified ads. Word of mouth also works miracles sometimes. Putting it out there that your in the market for a new horse may just lead you to the perfect horse.
Hard work pays off
Take your time when looking for a horse. Do some research, ask around, visit multiple barns and show rings if you have to. When meeting a horse, ask questions, observe, ask a professional, talk to a vet. All the prep work you do before purchasing your new horse will pay off, and I’m sure you will find the perfect connection !!
Please take a minute to tell us a little about your hunt for a new horse, and where it has taken you. We’d love to hear your stories.