Here are some important questions to ask the seller when buying a horse. I hate to say it but, there are people out there who will not be truthful with you about the horse. I've been burned a few times so I'm passionate about helping others in the buying process.
Being educated is one of the best defenses you have - ask lots of questions. Here are my five “must-ask” questions:
1.) Why are you selling this horse? I always ask the seller this question. By asking this question first, you could save yourself some time. You may find out that the horse has some health problems or maybe it is the seller who has health problems. If the horse has health problems you would be better off continuing your search. If the owner has health problems this could lead you to ask other questions like when was the horse ridden last.
2.) Any bad habits? If you just ask the general question “Does this horse have any bad habits?” you may not find out everything you need to know. Be specific when asking this question. Ask if they have any problems with bucking, bolting, kicking, biting, pulling back, hard to catch, or cribbing. Depending on your horsemanship skills, these problems may be not be an issue. But on the other hand, if the horse has any of these problems you may want to continue your search.
3.) Any health problems? This is a very important question. Depending on the health problems this is one issue that could turn into spending a lot of money to get the horse healthy again. There are some things that can be fixed easily and others that will be a concern for the rest of the horse’s life. As an example, if the horse colic's on a regular basis this may be a health problem that could wind up costing you a lot of money with the Veterinarian.
4.) Do they load easily in any horse trailer? You want to ask the question just the way I stated it. I've found some horses will go into a stock trailer but not into a two horse trailer. And, if they don't load at all this could turn out to be a huge problem as the horse may tear up your trailer or they could get seriously hurt.
5.) When was the last time the horse was ridden? This question may tell you a lot about the horse. If the horse has not been ridden in several months this could be because he or she is a bucker and that may be why they want to sell him. Always make sure the owner rides the horse first. Never get on a horse that the owner has not first ridden, no matter what they tell you – it could prove to be a dangerous situation.
Don't be afraid to walk away from the buying process if you feel uncomfortable or you just need time to think about the horse. You will come out ahead if you go into the situation knowing what you want to ask and not be in a hurry. There are plenty of horses out there and the right one will come along. You want this to be something that is a win-win situation for you the seller and the horse.