What to Ask Before Buying a Horse

Last Updated on September 15, 2023 by ellen

Do you know what to ask before buying a horse? Horse shopping can be overwhelming, and pointing out the good from the bad can sometimes prove to be difficult. To help you when you want to purchase a horse here is a list of basic questions to get you started.

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What to ask before buying a horse

What to Ask Before Buying a Horse


Is the horse a stallion, mare or gelding. A stallion is an unaltered male, normally highly spirited thus not recommended for beginners. Mares and geldings i.e. castrated males are gentler thus recommended for beginners.

Is the horse registered?

This is very important to avoid buying a stolen horse, thus ask for the bill of sale showing that the horse was legally acquired. You can achieve this by using the services of a reliable horse seller.

What to ask before buying a horse

What is the health condition of the horse?

You should be able to observe and also ask certain questions concerning its health status such as:

  • Has it ever been injured?
  • Has it ever been ill?
  • Is it currently ill and are there any health concerns?
  • You should also ask if it has ever been vetted?
  • Does the horse have all of its vaccinations?
  • How often is it dewormed and which de-wormer should be used?
  • Does the horse have special needs or existing health condition? The answer to this should always be NO!
  • What is its personality quirks?

What to ask before buying a horse

You should ask questions like:

  • Has it had any training issues?
  • Does it require any special tack?
  • Does it require a firm handler?
  • How does it respond to corrections?
  • What areas of the horses training is lacking and need work?
  • How does the horse handle stress?

How tall is the horse?

Normally, a short person or younger person may prefer a smaller horse as opposed to a tall horse. This will also help you know if it is difficult to find a saddle that fits etc.

What to ask before buying a horse

How much, and what kind of experience does the horse have?

When getting the horse, you have to look at its experience with regards to what you need it for. You ask questions like:

  • What level rider does it need?
  • How frequently have you ridden the horse? 
  • Is it competitive and what are its results?
  • Which regulation is it best suited for?
  • What is the horse like when you take it out?
  • How good are they with crossing natural obstacles?
  • Has the horse ever bucked, bolted or reared?
  • Is it good at jumping?
  • Can the horse be taken out alone or does it needs company?
  • Who has trained the horse?
  • Does the horse cargo easily?
  • What types of trailers has it been in?
  • Is it easy to catch?
  • How much ground work has it done?
  • Does it require a firm handler?
  • Has it been lunged?

What to know before buying a horse


Considered these questions about your horse’s care.

  • Have you trimmed their hooves regularly?
  • Has it ever required corrective shoeing?
  • Who is its farrier?
  • Are its feet prone to cracking?
  • What feed and supplements is the horse on now?

Does color matter?

Bay horses are some of the most common. Bay refers to the color, not the breed. If you see a reddish brown or muddy brown horse, the color is bay. You might also want to consider black, chestnut, or gray.

Asking these important questions will help you choose the right horse, especially if you are buying for the first time.

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