Tips for Buyer’s

Start with an honest self-assessment

  • Do your homework.  Take the time to really think through your needs, budget, ability, and then ascertain the criteria needed to assess the horse with a competent trainer and investigate “real market prices”.

Your trainer’s role

  •  Have your trainer prepared to travel with you to try the horse.  Make sure your trainer has the ability to travel on short notice.  If your trainer can’t travel, check to see that he or she can “evaluate” the horse over the phone by talking with the selling professional and or review video footage of you riding the horse posted online to help you be in a position to decide definitively yes or no.

Your veterinarian’s role

  •  If you are not buying locally and need the opinion of your vet, coordinate to have your vet available on standby at a prearranged time that coincides with the vetting scheduled at the farm where you are trying to horse.  If your vet cannot be there for vetting, consult in advance as to what you both agree should be the required x-rays or other information that he/she will need to be comfortable about rendering an opinion and make sure this information is shared prior to the local vetting actually beginning. If possible see if the seller has access to a high-speed internet connection and can upload digital x-rays to the Internet for your vet to review while the local vet is still there. Make sure the local vet considered has digital x-ray capability too.
  • Be realistic.  No horse or vetting is going to be perfect. Careful examination of the market and your own self-examination to determine needs will give you a realistic idea about what to expect in the horses that ultimately meet your criteria.

Closing the deal

  • Don’t haggle just for the sake of haggling.  Everyone likes a “deal,” but if the horse is already priced correctly, you risk losing the horse of your dreams while you’re trying to shave a few dollars off the price.
  • Be pleasant to deal with.  This sounds simple enough, but it’s also a great negotiating skill.  If you’re non-business like, a bullying, or rude buyer, your attitude can prevent you from getting your dream horse.  Professional sellers know how to recognize demon buyers and will quickly dismiss you if they come to the conclusion wrongly or rightly that you are not serious or will be a royal pain in the _____.  Owners selling for the first time are also quick to learn about time wasters. If you’re pleasant and easy to work with, it may even open the door to your dream horse.  Why?  If it’s a really good deal, the seller’s phone will be ringing and e-mails will be coming in.  For any seller, it’s painful enough to part with his or her “baby,” so why deal with the extra misery of the difficult buyer?


Be nice, – it works!

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