Buying a horse is a huge decision – financially, emotionally and for the huge amount of time that will be invested in your relationship with him.
In the SEIB horse insurance office we came up with the following list of questions and things to consider when buying a new horse.
- Ask yourself “What horse is right for me?” - Write a short list of things that your new horse must be – or not be, and stick to it. For example – if you need to hack up a busy road each day, it is likely that a must have requirement is that the horse needs to be good in traffic.
- What are your goals? - Be honest with yourself when deciding what sort of a horse you are looking for. If your goal with horse ownership is to safely and enjoyably hack out with your friends, do you need a young, warm-blood dressage horse?
- Can you view a video of the horse? Before you use up half – or a whole – day travelling to go and see a horse, it can be really helpful to see some videos of him. Video of the horse standing, walking and trotting toward and away and video of him being ridden can all be very helpful in either putting him on a short-list, or ruling him out.
- Can any of your existing network help? - Word of mouth can be a really helpful way of finding a horse whose background you know. Mention to local horse people, in the riding club and so on that you are looking for a horse. You never know when a friend of a friend might have just decided to sell their horse who could be just what you are looking for. In this scenario, it is likely that you will be able to find out a good chunk of the horse’s history and as an added bonus, you won’t have to travel miles.
- Any extras included? - It is always worth asking what comes with the horse. A nice saddle and an array of rugs included in the sale price is worth knowing about!
- Ask if the horse is open to a vetting? - A certificate stating that the horse has passed a pre-purchase veterinary inspection, is very helpful when it comes to taking out an equine insurance policy for your horse.
- Can your instructor view the horse with you? - When going to look at a new horse, try to bring someone with you. Ideally, bringing your instructor along can be really helpful as they will have an understanding of the type of horse you are looking for. Also, an instructor will be able to video you riding the horse which can be very useful to look back over.
We also recommend that you always make sure that you see the horse being ridden before you get on him. There may – or may not – be a legitimate reason why the vendor doesn’t want to get on the horse, but it is always better to err on the side of caution.
SEIB have been arranging horse insurance for over 50 years. This experience allows us to tailor policies to suit your circumstances and ensure that you and your horses are covered should the worst happen.