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7 Red Flags When Buying A Horse

29 9:09:10

When buying a horse there are many things to take into consideration. To help decide if a horse will be a bad buy try these 7 red flags.

  1. Seller reluctant to answer questions. When you ask questions about the horses history or faults look for some simple signs that may indicate lying (or bending the truth). Avoiding eye contact, changing the subject or only half answering the question.
  2. Feel pressured by the seller. If the seller seems to be pressuring you ask yourself why. Generally people selling a good horse are keen to see the horse go to a good home not just the first person who comes along. From my experience a seller like this is hiding something.
  3. Horse nervous or touchy. A horse that is touchy around the head is that way for a reason. Some horses do not like being touched as much as others but it can also be a sign of at some stage the horse has been hit around the head. This can generally be fixed but takes time and patience.
  4. Horse needs lunging before saddling up or riding. If the seller insists on lunging the horse before saddling up or riding ask why. It could be something as simple as the horse not being exercised as often as it should and still being fed as if it were. Whether this will be a problem depends on your riding experience and purpose for the horse.
  5. Horse is pushy. A horse with bad manners that pushes into you when leading or tries to drag you around can be dangerous. A horse is a large and strong animal and should be taught proper manners when young. If a horse has missed this basic education it makes you wonder what other basic education it has missed out on.
  6. Seller avoids riding the horse or appears nervous riding the horse. The seller should know the horse and if they are nervous it could indicate something is up. Have they had a bad experience with this horse? If they appear nervous put them on the spot and ask why.
  7. Signs of sedatives being given to horse. This is an old trick but unfortunately some people still do it. It is hard to pick up with a strange horse but some signs to look out for include the horse appearing listless, drowsy eyes, and of course you can always sneak a peek in any nearby rubbish bins for evidence.

When looking for a horse to buy do not ignore anything that appears out of place. Keep your eyes open for red flags. Write a list of things you want in a horse and a list of negatives that you do not want in a horse. After looking at a horse mark of all the postives and negatives and compare them. The more horses you look at closely the better you will become at picking the 7 red flags when buying a horse.