Questions to Ask Before Buying a Horse

When you first contact a seller about a horse he or she has for sale, you should be prepared with your questions. Here is a list of questions to get you started:

  • Is he registered and do you have the original registration papers?
  • Gelding, stallion or mare?
  • What condition is the horse in?
  • Does he have any health problems?
  • What is the horse’s personality like? Quiet and well-mannered, high-strung or ?spirited? and likes to go?
  • What does the horse look like?
  • How tall is the horse?
  • How old is the horse?
  • What kind of training has he had?
  • Is he road safe?
  • What is the horse’s recent background? What has he been doing? Has he been out to pasture or has he been used in English, western, 4-H, ranch, trail riding, lessons, driving, roping, reining, cutting, racing, etc.?
  • What vices does he have, if any?
  • Does he load into a trailer? Does he stand tied?
  • Has the horse been stalled or is he a pasture horse?
  • Has he lived alone or with other horses?
  • If handled by a trader or trainer, who owned him before? How long did they own him? Why are they selling the horse? May I speak with the previous owner?
  • Does he have a current Coggins test? If not, are you willing to get the horse tested?
  • Do you have someone at your place who will tack up and ride the horse?
  • Do you have an enclosed arena or enclosed pasture where I can try out the horse? If not, are you willing to take the horse to a public arena, demonstrate riding him and allow me to ride him?
  • If I like the horse, will you hold him for a vet check for me?

Courtesy America’s Horse Daily.