View Full Version : Tips for buying/leasing

Sep. 12, 2009, 12:40 AM
I'm looking for a horse to either lease/buy, and am going to Southern California to test ride a handful of horses in a few weeks. My trainer is unable to go with me, and she normally handles the "business" talk when we meet with the other trainers.

So, since she'll be gone, I want to know what the "right" questions are to ask when I get down there and start interacting with salespeople. I've heard so many horror stories about them lying to customers, saying the horse is healthy, and then after spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on trailering and vet checks, the horse turns out to have awful medical or behavioral problem. I know it's not entirely avoidable, but I want to prevent getting ripped off and/or heartbroken as much as possible.

Politics and dishonesty may be inescapable in the horse [sales] world, but is there anything I absolutely MUST ask, either in the saddle or in conversation? I've never done this before (obviously), and appreciate any tips or advice you experienced horse owners may have.


Blue Star
Sep. 12, 2009, 12:53 AM
1. Know the reputation of the person with whom you are dealing.
2. Have someone video everything to watch with your trainer later so he/she is still part of the decision process.
3. Ask if there are any existing xrays your vet could see.
4. Ask for any show record, then check it on line.
5. Arrive very early so you can watch the horse being tacked up and maybe catch any "prep work" being done.
6. Make it clear from the start that you are gathering information and not going to make a decision that day under any circumstances. Your trainer, not you, will call the owner's trainer later to discuss the video, the trial and anything else he trainer feels is important.
7. Do not be too effusive about the horse no matter how much you love it.

Just cuz the trainer cannot make the trip, does not mean he/she can not be the person who asks the tough, pertinent questions and negotiate any deal for you.

And have fun....:yes:

Sep. 12, 2009, 09:24 AM
Totally agree with above post. Ride, Video, look up the show record,let the trainer deal with the rest.

I would add, however,

I would look them in the eye and say "How long was this horse lunged or ridden today?" Not 'was it?" but how long? Most professionals want the trial to go well, so even if it is a quiet horse, they will sit on it (even for 2 minutes) to make sure it is in fact quiet, sound, and what they expect when you get on it. If you come across knowing this fact, you are more likely get an honest answer.

Walk the lines. Make sure they are set on the stride you expect - not too short or too long.

Jump a different jump than one of the ones the trainer jumped it over (assuming you watch it go first)

If it is not the horse for you, say thanks and get off. They'd rather you dont waste jumps if its not the one for you.