Before you start looking
Before you begin looking for a new four legged friend, you ought to have these questions readily answered answered. We've outlined some tips to help you consider a few things before you start looking for your next horse or pony.
What is your budget?
Your budget will determine what sort of horse might be joining you. As a general rule, more experienced horses, horses 'in their prime' (which can vary between individual horses) or horses with particularly good bloodlines tend to be more expensive. So, if you're looking for a 10 year old event horse with BE experience and top bloodlines on a budget of £500, you probably need to reconsider. You also need to plan into your budget what you'll actually need when your new horse arrives. If you're viewing a horse that isn't coming with any tack or equipment, have you planned for that in the budget?
What size range do you need?
Height ranges can be a bit of a funny one when it comes to buying a new horse. Generally, most of us know what size pony we'd be too big for and we can mostly decide what size horse would be too big for us. But, keep an open mind when you're looking. There are lots of different factors that might determine whether a horse will be too much for us or not. For example, age, temperament, experience, etc. Keep an open mind when you're browsing adverts. If you're looking for a 15.2 that's done a little of everything, you may find you'd still be content with a sensible 'been there, done it' 16.2.
What age range are you looking for?
Age ranges can be a little like height ranges - the age of a horse doesn't necessarily say whether they'll be right for you or not. If you've been riding for a while you'll probably already know that some young horses can be more sensible than some golden oldies! However, generally, older horses tend to be more experienced and so can be a little more placid - but we really must stress this isn't always the case! As with height ranges, we suggest that when you're browsing ads you keep an open mind. If you're thinking you'd like an 8-10 year old horse, browse horses from 6/7-14. There's no harm in browsing the online ads.
How far from your home are you willing to travel to view and possibly collect a horse? This is something that perhaps people don't consider enough. Imagine the frustration of finding your seemingly perfect horse only to realise its 200 miles and a four hour drive away. Most sites that allow you to browse horses online will have an area filter that lets you view ads that are only so many miles from you.
What purpose will the horse serve?
Are you looking for a cuddly companion or a scopey jumper? Like with distance, most sites enable you to view horses by their experiences. For example, show jumping horses, first ridden ponies, etc. Before you start browsing ads, its a good idea to decide what you want to do with your new horse. You can be a bit flexible with this one if you want to make sure you've looked at every possible ad that might be right for you. For example, if you're looking to do mostly dressage, you don't have to view dressage horses ads only. You could have a browse through the 'all rounders' category too.
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