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8 Tips for Selling or Buying a Horse

by Ben King | Friday February 24, 2017 | Equestrian

Your horse is worth more than dollar signs.

When it comes to selling or buying a horse, the process is about more than simply posting or answering an ad online. You want what’s best for your current or future equine pal.

This post unveils some of the best kept secrets in the horse buying industry.

Tips for Buying a Horse

Buying a horse can be an exciting adventure. You’re introducing another living being into your lifestyle. But don’t let the thrill of the search cloud your judgement. Take advantage of these horse buying tips when you’re on the hunt for your perfect fit.

1. Take an experienced horse buyer with you.

While it’s always smart to have a second set of eyes evaluate any big purchase, a second opinion can be especially helpful if this is your first time stepping into the world of horse buying. A friend with experience in these transactions can point out issues or concerns you may not have noticed otherwise.

2. Know what your deal-breakers are beforehand.

Do you have a set-in-stone budget? Are you looking for a trail-ready horse? Before you contact a seller, identify those factors that will break a deal for you. Knowing when you need to say “no” will make it easier to avoid the pressure of an insistent seller. In addition, it reduces the risk you’ll develop an emotional attachment to a horse for sale that, ultimately, isn’t a good fit.

3. Get your hands on the horse.

You’ll definitely want to get your hands on any horse you’re considering purchasing. It’s a good idea to ask the seller’s permission first. When you get the go-ahead, The Trail Rider recommends you examine these areas for apparent issues:

  • Eyes
  • Mouth and teeth
  • Ears
  • Head, neck, and chest
  • Feet
  • Anal area


4. Trust, but verify.

Protect your money (and your heart) by verifying the horse’s health information with her vet and farrier. If the seller ordered a pre-purchase exam, request a copy of the results rather than relying on the seller’s word that the horse is A-okay. You might even consider ordering an additional exam from an independent vet.

Tips for Selling a Horse

Selling your horse can be an emotionally challenging responsibility. Be sure to consider disclosing any information you’d want to know to make the horse buying process as smooth as possible.

1. Place an accurate ad.

Nothing will turn potential buyers away faster than an inaccurate or, worse, untruthful ad. Avoid the temptation to exaggerate the horse’s attributes or gloss over her flaws. This includes making disclosures of health, training, or behavioral issues (like cribbing). Take the same straightforward approach with photos, too, making sure all images of the horse for sale are clear and not retouched.

2. Show the horse at her best.

Clean and groom the horse before the prospective buyer arrives. Give the prospect a view of her conformation by showing her first without tack. After the buyer has had the chance to look the horse over, then you can add tack.

3. Get a signed liability waiver.

If the prospective buyer is going to ride the horse when they come to see her, protect yourself by ensuring they sign a liability waiver. Make sure they wear proper headgear, too.

4. Authorize your vet to release health records.

Don’t create the impression that you’re trying to hide something. Be transparent with your potential buyers. Authorize your vet to release the horse’s records to serious prospects. You may also want to encourage the buyer to schedule a pre-purchase exam from an independent vet. The more open you are about the horse’s health, the more comfortable the buyer will be saying “yes” to the purchase.

Whether you’re adding more horses to your family or want to build a new stable for the horses you already care for, Quarry View Construction offers the know-how to give your horses the home they deserve. Contact us to chat about your equine barn needs.