6 Tips for Finding the Right Horse
Finding a new horse is exciting, especially when you complete your first ride, but it’s also a process that needs careful consideration. Too often, lack of experience or simply rushing the decision can result in owners purchasing a horse that isn’t right for them. Whether you’re a novice looking for your first horse or an experienced rider searching for your next mount, there are lots of factors to consider.
Having a bad experience can really knock your confidence but choosing the right breed will give you al the enjoyment you desire. From different breeds to your own physical attributes, make sure your clued up on what to think about when finding a new horse.
Read on for our six top tips you should follow for purchasing the perfect horse.
Take your time when finding the right horse
You may be in a rush to buy a horse but taking the time to evaluate your options will always work out best. Impulse buys can work out well but it’s never worth the risk, instead, do your research and give yourself enough time to weigh up the pros and cons.
If you want some extra guidance, why not bring an expert with you? Going alone to view horses can make you feel under pressure and you may forget to ask some of the most important questions, especially if you’re a beginner. If you know an experienced rider then there’s no harm in asking for their advice so they can provide an expert view on things.
Discuss your riding goals and experience with whoever you’re taking with you so they have a good idea of your needs.
Take notes during your visit
If you’re visiting lots of different horses, you might forget some of the most important details when you get home. To avoid this, take notes during each visit, and as mentioned, bring someone else with you – two heads are usually better than one. It’s a good idea to request that you view the horse as it’s brought in from the field, as opposed to having the horse ready for when you arrive. Seeing how the horse reacts at every stage will give you a much better insight into their temperament and behaviour, plus you may notice signs of pain as they are tacked up which indicate an underlying injury.
See the horse in action
Finding the right horse for you, it’s important to see how well they ride. So when it comes to riding the horse, you shouldn’t get on a strange horse cold, instead, watch someone else ride them first. This is a good opportunity for you to see how it moves – does it go from walk through to canter without fussing? Does it have good pace levels? Plus, you can see the horse’s full capability when ridden by a confident and seasoned rider.
Remember, if you see anything that makes you feel uncomfortable you do not have to get on the horse yourself. Your safety is paramount and it’s your choice to walk away if you are not comfortable riding.
Finding the right horse breed
All horses are different and for you to build the perfect partnership you’ll need to find a breed that suits you. This may take some time as each horse is unique, but it will be well worth it in the end. Horse riding is an expensive hobby, so you don’t want to rush your decision and purchase a horse that doesn’t complement your riding style or capabilities, or you won’t have fun!
The first thing you need to do is think about your own attributes such as height and weight as this will narrow down your choice. You don’t want a horse that’s not strong enough for you, although most horses can carry 15 to 20 percent of their own body weight, they may begin to struggle with any more than that.
Some of the most popular horse breeds include:
- Cob – Also known as a Gypsy Vanner, Cobs are more placid in nature which might be a better fit for a new rider. Their size and build may seem intimidating, but they are great horses under the saddle, particularly for those who enjoy hacking. However, they are not as suitable for sporting activities that require agility and speed.
- Arabians – Considered ‘hot bloods’, Arabian horses are known for their energetic temperament that can sometimes be a handful. They are not suitable for inexperienced riders but make excellent racers thanks to their speed and endurance.
- Thoroughbreds – The most popular racing horse in North America, this breed is also considered to be hot blooded, known for their spirit and agility skills. Thoroughbreds are a multipurpose horse that are brilliant in all equestrian competitions such as dressage and jumping.
Consider their history
Always ask about a horse’s history before you make a purchase – this includes their health and experience in their field. Ask about their medical records so you’re aware of any ongoing problems or health risks that could crop up in the future.
You may also choose to ask:
- Why are they up for sale?
- What’s their competition history?
- What discipline are they best suited for?
- Who previously rode the horse?
How do you know that you’ve found exactly the right horse unless you shop around? It can be easy to instantly fall in love with a horse simply based on how they look, however, this isn’t a sensible way of going about things. Visit as many barns as you can so you have more than one option to consider. Shopping around will help you gain a better understanding about what you need and perhaps get you a better deal too.
Who knew finding the right horse could be so challenging? Your new horse deserves a good home, but where’s best? Here at BarnHop our expert team are ready to help you find the best horse facility for your needs. There are barns available for every kind of horse, so if you have a specification in mind, let us know! Reach out today to find out more.
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