Finding That Perfect Horse
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Finding That Perfect Horse

I would like to begin by saying how exciting it is to searching for a new horse! While the journey to finding your new horsie soul mate is exciting, I know that it can also be very scary. I have had horses since I was 5 and have grown up riding many types of horses. Some of them I bonded with, and others were just not a great fit. I know how important it is to find exactly what you are looking for in a horse, but also one that is going to mesh with you personally. I hope to share some insights with you when searching for your next horse!

Personally, searching for a horse is one of my favorite things to do. Ever. I have been told by many people I should be a broker because I just love searching for specific kinds of horses, or looking on the behalf of people. I enjoy weeding through the pages and pages of search results, eliminating some and jotting down potential horses. I do it even though I have no reason to! I just love it! *Side note: If you ARE indeed searching for a horse and feel stuck, be sure to hit me up! I would gladly help you for free!*

If you are like most people, however, the search process is long and exhausted and emotional. What was exciting for that moment quickly begins to wear on you when, time after time, you keep getting disappointed. Never fear! Your horse is out there somewhere! Perhaps you just haven't found him yet because he isn't for sale yet, and all the disappointment is a way of keeping you waiting for him!

Here are some tips for when searching for horses online:

1. Know exactly what you can afford.

Set a steadfast highest possible price-tag. Don't go over it. That being said, do not be afraid to expand your search results to about $500 above your set price tag. Many owners are willing to negotiate and drop their prices for a good home, or will say OBO (or best offer). However, if you contact an owner and they are NOT willing to drop the price, then move on. You CAN find something in your budget!

2. Know your riding/training ability before hand.

If you do not know what level of rider you are, ask your trainer/instructor or someone at the barn you respect to evaluate your riding. Often at riding lessons on other horses, you may feel like a confident experienced rider... until you switch horses and realize it was the horse making you look good. Or perhaps you feel like you're an awful rider who has no control of your horse whatsoever... and then you realize that the horse is just too strong for you and you're not a bad rider. If you're looking to buy (Or lease!) a horse, know what your ability is and what you can handle. Personally (even before my back issues) I stuck to older, tried and true horses because I am a push over. I am too lenient and am a very unconfident rider, so I generally prefer a horse who isn't strong willed or stubborn. That being said, some of my most meaningful learning moments were on stubborn horses who taught me to be assertive. But they were kind, gentle, stubborn horses - not crazy, wild green broke horses. Do NOT risk your own neck buying a horse that is too much for you... or on the flip side too slow for you that you get bored with really fast.

3. Know what size you need for your height/weight.

This is a tricky one, especially with new studies coming out to show how much weight horses can truly handle. The general rule is you should stick within 15-25% of the horses body weight. If your horse is 800 pounds and you are 250 pounds, that horse is gunna be struggling to carry you. It's not that you are too heavy to ride, you just shouldn't be riding that particular horse. Or if you are over 6 foot and riding a 12 hand pony... that could also make for an interesting partnership. Now adays, horses come in all shapes and sizes - even within the breed standards. I personally am an Arabian lover. I am a small person, so I was fine riding my 13.2 hand 800 pound Arabian mare. They typically were smaller and thin-boned. And then we had our other Arabian mare. She was 14.3 and was built like a tank. She looked more like an Andalusian and she could carry much more weight than the first Arabian. I have also personally seen some 16 hand Arabians that are built more like Thoroughbreds. Things are changing. So while you need to realize your boundaries, also realize that there may be an odd-ball in your favorite breed that does fit you!

4. Know how much time you have to commit.

Hopefully if you are buying a horse, you realize that it's a huge time and monetary commitment beyond just looking (that's the cheapest, least time committed part!). If you only have a day or two a week to physically go out and ride your horse, you should not be buying a 4 year old green broke horse who needs miles on them (unless you have someone else working them daily for you). You should instead be looking for a 10+ horse with experience and the disposition to be able to "sit for months and still be the same horse". However, if you are looking to ride every day and prepare for competition, you probably do want a younger horse with lots of energy and willingness to match you! You will probably be bored with an older horse whose favorite gait is slow.

5. Have goals set for what you want to do with your new horse.

Maybe you are a clean slate that doesn't care what discipline or what training your horse has. But if you're most people, you have at least an idea (if not background) in a particular discipline that you are planning on working on. (Or if you are me, your plan is the ride as calm and slow around the trails as possible!) If you want a Hunter Jumper project, I would not recommend looking for a horse that's been trained in Western Pleasure. That horse is going to wonder why you want them to move beyond their slow jog. Unless you are looking to completely retrain a horse, try searching for something that's had some foundation or training in what you're looking to do.

6. Realize that color is not everything.

This may possibly be the number one mistake both inexperienced and experienced horse buyers make alike. You click on an ad because the first thing you notice is his color, or his markings, or how cute his expressions are. After studying his picture, getting excited about how amazing he would look in the show ring, you finally read his info. There's a few red flags of things you really did not want in a horse, but you're willing to overlook them for now because he is just so pretty. So you set up a time to go see him in person. And once you see him in person, and realize he is even MORE gorgeous than the picture, you totally ignore the fact that he didn't stand still while being tacked and mounted, and that he bucked a few times at the canter. You wanted a solid, quiet, ready-to-go show horse, not a project. But you met him, so now you're smitten, so you buy him. And then the honey-moon phase wears off after you get him home, and you realize suddenly you are stuck with a horse that is just not a good match. You gave up a list of potential horses (chestnuts, blacks, bays) that would have suited you better because they weren't as pretty. NO horse is a BAD color. PLEASE, I beg of you, if you do not hear anything else I say, IGNORE the color and look at the horse. (That being said if you have a list of 10 perfectly qualified candidates who all are equally perfect for you, then by all means, pick your favorite color!)

7. Know that not all sellers are honest or trustworthy.

You'd like to think that everyone in the horse world are just as honest, reliable and dependable as you and your barn mates. But the fact is, there are some people who are in it for the money. They are willing to talk up a horse and never mention important vices for the sake of a deal. Unfortunately, some people will even go as far as to drug a horse when you come ride it. It's hard to tell if someone is a dishonest seller, however (and sometimes it's blatantly obvious!). Do your research. Look up the seller or their stable name online. If they have a website, look it over (remember, this is still online, so it can look fancy and still be false info) and see what they are all about. If they do not have a website, sometimes forum discussions will pop up in your search results about that seller/barn. I have found out some really bad, dishonest brokers and sellers through forums that I would have otherwise thought were good sellers! The best thing you can do is ALWAYS go look at the horse in person. Even better, take a trainer/instructor/experienced friend with you to make observations while you ride and have a second opinion. Sometimes the moment you get to a place you suddenly realize that its a bit shady, but other times its things the seller says (or mis-matched information) that can clue you into the fact they are not honest. To avoid the drugged horse issue, set up a time to go see the horse within the next 7 days. That's enough time for it to wear off but not enough time to safely administer another dose. Take a vet along to do a vet check, or ask YOUR vet to go at some point. Make observations that should indicate a doped horse such as: floppy ears, glazed eyes, loose lip, sluggish movement, delayed reactions, and/or unusual sweating for the weather/amount of work. A seller should be OK with you coming to see a horse 2-3 times if you are a serious buyer, and may even consider a trial period of they are reputable. When in doubt, trust your gut feeling. It's better to say no and not get stuck with a crazy or lame horse.

Those are just a few tips, but if you have any questions or want to know more information, please feel free to leave me a comment here and I will be happy to answer! And if you ever want help looking at some horses, let me know and I will be glad to assist you if I can!

Happy Trails!

Melanie

Owner of Happy Horse, Happy Rider!


Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Horse Halters: Nylon Horse Halter Has High Resistance to Moisture
Horse halters are an important item at the stables. Without halters, you cannot manage the horses. Many people run a boarding house for animals to make an income. Some provide commercial services such as training as well. Race horses are given the best of food and physical training to ensure…
By: Cedrick Atherton in  Pets  >  Horses   May 23, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Invest In Horse Treadmill
Everyone knows that being on the treadmill is highly beneficial for your health, but also for improving fitness level, getting in shape and feeling better overall. Treadmills are not suitable just for people, as animals get to benefit from them as well and horse treadmill is actually highly beneficial for…
By: Johny Danes in  Pets  >  Horses   May 07, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Solutions From Horse Livery Rotherham
Pets are usually the animals you keep in or around the house so you can play with them and make them a part of the family. Usually you think about cats, dogs, guinea pigs, parrots and other animals like that. But what happens if you are interested in a larger…
By: Johny Danes in  Pets  >  Horses   Apr 15, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Cattle Feed Manufacturers In India
The fixings that go into Cattle food are called Cattle Feed. The feedstuffs cows devour comprise of roughages, grains, oilseeds and repercussions. Roughages are coarse, inedible fixings that give mass to the eating routine and advance ordinary inside capacities. In the human eating regimen, nourishments like lettuce and grains give…
By: ranjit1 in  Pets  >  Horses   Apr 06, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Horse Feeds Stoke On Trent: Taking Care Of Your Aging Horse
As your horse starts aging his body will start working less effectively. You will realize certain weakness in his body. Besides, he may not be any more capable of grazing and chewing foods because of deteriorating teeth. Also, he may suffer from several joint issues such as arthritis. His weight…
By: Johny Danes in  Pets  >  Horses   Mar 13, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Founder In Horses
Founder in horses happens after the horse has had laminitis. It is a direct result of laminitis. Many people use the terms "founder" and "laminitis" interchangeably, but they are different ailments that are related to each other. If a horse has laminitis and is not treated immediately, founder can set…
By: Michelle G in  Pets  >  Horses   Apr 11, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Best Site for Fifa 16 Coins 5 Various Astounding Points In Relation
One thing what type must not overlook usually it will be very needless that will squander aside buy fifa 16 coins paypal dollars around paying for innovative outfits prior to taking some sort of holiday. Summer time outfits which in turn drivers possessed using them about the very last voyage…
By: appgamenews in  Pets  >  Horses   Nov 17, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

Laminitis Horse Treatment - What to Do While Waiting for the Vet
A few months ago, my friend thought her horse was coming down with laminitis. She had been riding alot on roads down to a different barn to then go out riding with friends, and was scared her horse was showing signs of concussion laminitis. She called me, and I immediately…
By: Michelle G in  Pets  >  Horses   Mar 31, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Practicing Safe Horsemanship Part 1
One of the most important rules when being around a horse is safety. This cannot be stressed enough as a horse is the prey and you are the predator, so when you are approaching a horse let him know you are coming speak to him so he is aware of…
By: Diana Dailey in  Pets  >  Horses   Apr 06, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Controling the Engine Of A Horse
Why would I need to control the hindquarters of a horse? The hindquarters of a horse is like the engine to a car. It is where all the power comes from. Now imagine if you were in a car and whenever the car wanted to it could just take off…
By: Joshua Reynolds in  Pets  >  Horses   Jul 09, 2013  
0
  Likes: 0

My Horse Training Stories : Teaching A Horse Lunge
Teaching a horse lunge can be both very simple and extremely hard if u get it wrong and confuse the horse. Expecting your horse to canter on a lunge straight off is also a bit too much expectation … and liable for the horse to run out taking u with…
By: NicB in  Pets  >  Horses   Dec 10, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Fitting the Saddle to the Horse
Proper fit of the saddle to the horse is one of the most important pieces of tack that your going to own for your horse's comfort. Do not ruin a good saddle fit by using too much padding,use just enough padding to give adequate clearance for the withers and to…
By: Diana Dailey in  Pets  >  Horses   Mar 20, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Founder In Horses - What You Should Know
Founder in horses is not the same thing as laminitis in horses. Many people use these terms interchangeably, but it is not correct. While they are certainly related, they are not the same thing. It is important to understand the difference between the two. Founder is caused by laminitis. It…
By: Michelle G in  Pets  >  Horses   Apr 01, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

What Vaccinations Do You Need For Your Horse?
If you are a horse owner, you are highly likely a horse lover as well. As a horse owner you also know the expense of acquiring a good horse, as well as the expenses involved in providing quality food and board. On top of these costs is the necessity to…
By: Claire E Anderson in  Pets  >  Horses   Mar 31, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Equine Hoof Trim Evaluation 101
How do I know if my horse is trimmed correctly? This is a question that has been asked of me many times over. My goal here is not to teach you how to trim your horse. Instead, my aim is to teach you to be observant of some key elements…
By: Trevor2 in  Pets  >  Horses   Jul 26, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 594    Report this Article