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How to Buy a Horse Online: Tips and Advice

05/23/2007

Welcome to Equine.com, where we'll teach you how to buy a horse safely and efficiently, as well as what questions to ask when buying a horse. If you're new to buying horses on the Web, you may be nervous about shopping for an equine companion through online classifieds and e-mail. But buying horses online gives you so many horses to choose from, it's easy to find the dream horse for your needs.

So, want to learn how to buy a horse online? Read this guide for the best questions to ask when buying a horse and great information on how to check a horse before you buy.

Top Questions to Ask When Buying a Horse

Before you buy horses online or schedule a visit to see a prospective horse, use this list of questions to ask when buying a horse – and make sure you get sufficient answers from the seller.
 
1. Why are you selling the horse?
 
2. What type of documentation does the horse have?
 
3. Has the horse had any medical problems or major injuries?
 
4. Does the horse have any behavioral issues?
 
5. Who trained the horse, and what type of training method did they use?
 
6. What type of environment is the horse used to?
 
7. Does this horse have experience doing the type of work I want it to perform?
 
8. How many owners has this horse had?
 
9. How long have you owned the horse?
 
10. What type of medical check-ups and care has the horse had? How does the horse respond to the vet?
 
11. How does the horse respond to a show environment?
 
12. How does the horse respond to other horses? Is it usually kept with other horses?
 
13. Is the horse shod? Does it behave well with a farrier?
 
14. For what level of rider would you recommend the horse?
 
15. What type of riding do you do and how often?
 
16. What do you feed the horse?
 
17. May I contact the horse's vet, trainer or farrier?
 

Take this list and add your own additional questions to ask when buying a horse, and remember: the more information you get, the more informed your choice will be.

How to Check a Horse Before You Buy

If you’re satisfied with the seller’s answers to your phone or e-mail questions, it’s time to take the next step in horse buying: checking the horse. For some buyers, this means traveling to the horse and visiting it in person. This is an especially helpful step if you’re buying an expensive show horse or stallion, or any horse you consider a major long-term investment.

If you can’t hop on a plane to visit your prospective horse, you can still take steps to ensure a horse is right for you. Contact a respected vet or horse trainer in the horse’s area and request he or she visit the horse on your behalf. In addition to giving the horse a thorough exam, a set of unbiased eyes may also clue you in to potential problems. You can also request video of the horse running, jumping and being ridden to help you see it in action.

If you do visit the horse, you’ll still want an experienced trainer or vet there – especially if you’re just learning how to check a horse before you buy. You’ll also want the seller to ride the horse before you do. Be wary of any owner who is reluctant to ride or allow you to ride a horse.

Before you purchase any horse, remember that not only is a horse a major investment, but it’s a living creature as well. Asking the right questions and checking a horse thoroughly will go a long way in ensuring both you and the horse will be happy. If you think you’re ready to buy, read our guide to safe horse transport and choose a horse transport company.

For even more great advice on horses for sale online, how to train a horse and more, visit Equine.com today.

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