I recently welcomed a new member to the family, and even though this isn’t the first horse I’ve bought, for some reason I felt like this was the first time all over.
Now that I’ve had time to think about my experience, I wanted to share the five things I’m always going to consider with future purchases:
Know what you do and don’t want
This is harder than it sounds, especially if you have a limited budget or other factors that will greatly influence what you can buy. Start by thinking about the following and reference this list throughout the process:
- What are my riding goals and what horse will get me there - also use this as an opportunity to talk to your trainer about your goals and get their advice
- What are my non-negotiables in a horse (height, age, previous injuries)
- What am I willing to accept (is this a potential project, am I OK with maintenance?)
Know your budget and get your finances together
Set your budget. Make sure you are making a purchase that you are comfortable and confident with. If you are taking out a loan to cover your horse, make sure that you’ve been approved with a bank and that you are comfortable with your monthly payments and interest rates.
Then add onto that budget
Get that budget squared away, and then add on:
- Commision fees you’re going to need to pay
- The cost of a pre-purchase exam
- New tack, blankets, shoes
- Initial vet visits
- Registration fees for USEF/USHJA
These are sometimes surprise costs, so make sure you’re thinking ahead about all of this.
Shop for insurance
This is a personal preference, but if you want to insure your horse, start shopping around for horse insurance before you purchase. It’s better to be safe and there are several different agents that offer coverage.
Be realistic, open and honest
Be realistic about what you want and what you can afford. Make sure that you’re comfortable with your decision. Talk to everyone that is involved and let them know what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling. Don’t get pressured into anything you don’t want to do. Buying a horse is a huge commitment - it’s emotional, expensive and time consuming. You want to make sure you’re getting what you want and sometimes that might mean waiting until you find the perfect match.
What else do you consider when buying a horse? Share your tips and tricks below!