1. Body conformation and size
When buying a horse, it is important to evaluate the animal’s body conformation and size in order to ensure an appropriate fit for the intended purpose of the horse. The horse should be proportionate and of a size suitable for its intended use, whether that be riding, showing, or other activities.
2. Training and obedience
It is essential that the horse has been trained to respond to basic commands, as well as being able to move comfortably at all gaits. Assessment of the horse’s training should include an evaluation of how it responds to riders in terms of movement, attitude and obedience.
3. Gender and temperament
The gender of a horse can influence its temperament and behavior; for this reason it is important to consider whether or not you would prefer a gelding (a castrated male) or a mare (female). Additionally, assessing the animal’s overall disposition and attitude toward humans can be useful in determining if it would make a suitable companion for you.
4. Breed and color
When purchasing a horse, you should be sure to consider the breed and coat color of the animal, both of which will have an effect on its suitability for your needs and desired activities. Some breeds are better suited for riding or showing than others, while certain coat colors may be more desirable in different disciplines.
5. Age, health and soundness
The age of a horse is important when considering its suitability as a companion; older horses tend to require more care, while younger ones may not yet be suitable for certain activities due to lack of experience or strength. Additionally, assessing the animal’s overall health (including any potential issues with lameness) can help identify potential problems before they become serious.
6. Veterinary records
It is important to obtain the horse’s full veterinary history (including vaccines, dental care and hoof care) in order to ensure that it is up-to-date with its health and wellness requirements. This information can also help identify any potential issues that may need addressing prior to purchase.
7. Saddlery and riding equipment
When purchasing a horse, you should be sure to assess the appropriate type of saddle and other riding equipment needed for your intended activities; this includes bridles, reins, stirrups, girths, etc., depending on the discipline and preferences of the rider. It is also important to have an understanding of how to properly fit and care for the equipment.
8. Feeding and nutrition requirements
It is essential to understand the specific feeding and nutritional needs of a horse in order to ensure that it receives a balanced diet. This should include an evaluation of what types of feed, hay, supplements, etc., are most appropriate for the animal’s age, size, activity level, breed and condition.
9. Fencing, shelter and turnout areas for the horse
In addition to providing proper nutrition for your horse, you will also need to ensure that its environment is safe and secure; this includes having adequate fencing (such as electric fence or board/rail fencing) along with a suitable shelter area or stalls. Additionally, having access to an outdoor turnout area will allow the horse to exercise and socialize.
10. Cost of ownership and budget for future expenses
Lastly, it is important to consider the cost of purchasing and owning a horse, as well as any future expenses that may be required for its care (including feed, veterinary care and farrier services). Taking this into account can help ensure that you are financially prepared for the commitment of having a horse.