By: Jon Weaver
a horse is actually the simple procedure of exchanging
dollars and cents for an animal of your choice. But
buying an animal suited to your abilities is a difficult
task. Before looking for a horse decide what use and
purpose the horse will serve, for pleasure, for breeding,
or for showing. Each of these is in a different category
and requires a different kind of animal. However, you
may be fortunate enough to find a combination of all
Consider these tests before you buy a horse:
1. Look at him from a distance and examine his build
as a whole. This is called conformation, and each breed
of horse has certain characteristics that identify him
by form. The animal should carry his head well and be
neatly put together.
2. Check for soundness. Run your hands up and down
his legs. Look for an unexplained lump or sign of soreness.
3. Test his vision. A horse should blink when you
wave your hand in back of his eye.
4. See whether or not he leads in or out of the stable
5. Watch saddling and bridling. See if he is uneasy
when cinched. Some horses are afraid of a girth, caused
by too tight a cinch. Notice whether or not he is bridle
shy, touchy about the ears; whether he opens his mouth
to receive the bit.
6. Have the owner ride the animal so you can see
how he handles. Watch whether he stops easily, reins
well, backs, and has an easy gait. Have the owner work
the horse to a gallop. Try to determine if he is speed
crazy. The owner should guarantee the safety of the
animal as to training. Also, note whether or not there
is excessive breathing, noise with the breathing, and
flanks that heave spasmodically.
7. Most important! Ride the horse yourself. Is he
smooth in the walk, trot, and canter? Does he shy? Is
he spooky? Can you start and stop him? Is he too spirited
for you to handle? Does he switch his tail constantly?
Can you ride him away from the stable? A tail-switcher
means that the animal has been pushed too fast in training
and indicates nervousness. Usually a horse that has
been trained by a woman will not like a man rider, or
will be uneasy with a man on his back. Sometimes this
works in the reverse. Many times it is because of the
handling of the reins. A man is normally heavier handed
than a woman. However, this depends on the horse and
the rider in the main, but it is something to consider
in buying a horse that has been privately owned by one
person for some time.
8. Don't buy a stallion. He may look good in the
movies but is not practicable in real life. He is likely
to be unpredictable and should be managed only by an
expert horseman. He belongs, mainly, on the breeding
farm. You'll find just as much spirit and animation
in a good mare or gelding and far less trouble.
No horse is perfect, but whatever faults are present
you must decide whether or not they may be eliminated
with some training. Many times all a horse needs is
work. Horses also respond to owners. They have their
likes and dislikes. Personalities clash just as between
people. Whole personalities have changed with ownership.
Be sure the animal is suited to your own capabilities.
And, once again, don't buy the first horse you see.
Some'where there is a horse suited to you. Two things
are important: the age of the rider and of the horse,
and the experience or lack of it in both rider and animal.
One must equal the other, rider and animal, because
no matter how well trained the horse, if the rider does
not understand this training, then the horse will not
work well. And a good horse can soon be ruined by a
FREE information on how to buy, ride, train and care
for your horse. Advice, tips and tricks for beginners
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