Purchasing a horse can be an expensive and life changing undertaking. A horse is a huge responsibility and in some ways more complicated than acquiring any other pet. Below are some considerations when purchasing a horse:
1. Contact a Veterinarian. A veterinarian should be contacted and requested to perform a pre-purchase examination of any horse you might consider purchasing. Generally, horses are sold with no warranties, with some limits, and if the buyer chooses not to have the horse checked out by a veterinarian the buyer in most cases purchases the horse “as is”.
2. What you see is what you get. Each horse related transaction is different from the other, and each transaction must be evaluated on its own merits. A horse may be injured, suffer permanent damage or be abused from owner to owner causing certain behavioral traits which were apparent at one time and may not be apparent at others. Therefore there is an inherent risk in such an “as is” sale.
3. Ask questions. The horse industry is very complex and operates under its own rules and traditions, independent of what one may perceive as normal in other areas of sales. Therefore if you don’t know something, make sure to inquire further until you are satisfied.
4. Realize your limitations. You should assume that your horse will respond differently to you than its previous owner, therefore a well-trained horse may react differently to a new owner.
5. Nature of Riding Horses. No horse is a completely safe horse. Horses are larger, more powerful and faster than humans. If a Participant falls off of a horse the impact may result in injury to the rider. If a horse is frightened or provoked it may divert from its training and act according to its natural instincts which may include, but are not limited to, stopping short, changing directions or speed at will, shifting its weight, bucking, rearing, kicking, biting, or running from danger. Furthermore, there are certain risks involved in Equestrian activity when riding horses and being in the general vicinity of horses. These risks include, but are not limited to, damage to any personal property, illness, bodily injury, trauma, or death as a result of riding a horse or being in the general proximity of a horse and all equipment related to such activity.
6. Have a Solid Contract in Place. If you are spending tens of thousands of dollars, you may want to spend a few hundred dollars to make sure that you are covered should something unexpected occur. A number of post purchase issues could be resolved with a solid contract.