“Tails” From the Other Side

You know, I have been talking about the buyer who has to be aware in the horse business, but there is also the seller to consider. They also have their share of woes, along with many a tale to tell about some of the buyers they have had dealings with. Let’s suffice to say that not all buyers are innocent of wrongdoing, but neither are the sellers. Let’s get to it, then.


Anyone who is looking to buy a horse should be completely honest with the seller. By this I mean-don’t represent yourself as an accomplished rider if you are only a beginner or intermediate rider. Not only can you get hurt, but you can also be party to ruining a perfectly good horse. If you buy an accomplished, well trained horse it won’t take any time at all for him to “unlearn” everything he once knew if you are a novice rider. If you are practicing bad habits, this animal is going to pick up on it and act accordingly. Horses are very sensitive to their riders and it doesn’t take very long for him to realize you really don’t know what you are doing. What happens? He will get away with whatever he can, either by acting unruly, biting, kicking, and actually trying to get you off his back!


So, here are a few things you should keep in mind when you are off to look at a horse you might want. As I stated before-be honest about your riding abilities. A scrupulous seller will not put you up on a horse that is used to, or needs an experienced rider. He can help you choose a horse that is suited to your abilities, one that you can learn on, and isn’t going to try to dump you into the nearest fence!

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  • Be courteous and show up on time. If you can’t make it, call the seller and let him know. No one likes to be standing around waiting for a no-show, and you certainly wouldn’t like it if you were the one waiting!
  • Don’t show up with all your friends in tow. Neither you or the horse need any distractions like people whooping and yelling. If you have to bring someone, choose a person who actually knows something about horses!
  • Oh, and speaking of c-leave your cell phone at home, in the car, or at least turn it off so it isn’t ringing away.
  • Whatever you do don’t drag your poor dog along with you. Who knows what kind of trouble can erupt if he decides that chasing the horses around would be fun! Many an injury has occurred this way-both to animals and humans.
  • A seller who knows his business may want to observe how well you ride in a small area, rather than letting you go galloping off on your own. This is to keep both you and the horse safe, and to see how the horse reacts to your commands.
  • If you want, you can bring your own saddle with you. There are a few good reasons for doing so. You may be more comfortable, you will be able to judge how well it fits the horse you are considering, and the seller will be able to check the condition of the equipment to see what shape it is in. Oh yes – bring and wear your riding helmet!

Well, that’s about all I can think of for now, but it’s enough information to start you down the right path. Remember, there are two sides to every horror story you may have heard about sellers-so be your own judge. As long as you know what to expect, what to do, and how to act you will be fine.

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