Tag Archives: Buying a horse

The Billy Way

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William Funnell in the hot seat: how to select a young show-jumper and the state of the British market

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The world renowned Billy Stud operation started 22 years ago. It has subsequently produced a great number of notable showjumpers and eventers with the Billy prefix. The Billy Stud was the brainchild of William and Pippa Funnell, together with renowned sport horse dealer Donal Barnwell, who relished an opportunity to use their combined experience from showjumping and eventing at the very highest level, to improve British sport horse breeding. They are now breeding around 80 foals a year. We caught up with William to discover more about the stud’s philosophy, what he looks for when evaluating young sport horses.

 

Conformation is key and can be evaluated at a young age according to William. “They must be straight limbed but not straight in the hock because they usually struggle to sit behind. The hind leg is important for power to push off the ground as is the back. Just as the front legs are important for landing so these need to be straight and strong. They are likely to stay sounder and we all know a lame horse is worth nothing.”

 

When assessing conformation, William always looks at the loading points of a horse – so the hocks, front limbs and feet. “If these are not correct in the young horse, they are going to wear out much quicker and the horse won’t last” he says.

 

“In terms of the paces, I’m not too worried about a flash trot for a showjumper but I do like to see a horse step up underneath himself with the hind leg. You can tell a lot about a horse from his canter, even at a young age. The hind leg should be active and naturally move underneath the horse, not out behind.”

 

Whilst William believes you can tell a lot about the quality of a horse as a youngster in terms of its physical attributes, he say it is harder to judge temperament and trainability in the young horse. “In my experience, the sensitive ones can often be the horses who learn the quickest, once they understand what you want them to do. Sometimes the young horses who at first seem a bit aggressive, if you are quiet and build their trust once they realise you are a friend, they can become the nicest ones and often the horses you can build the best relationship with. They just need to let you in.”

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William would not consider buying a horse without X-rays, of any age but he is prepared to take a view on the findings. “X-rays are important for the long term especially in a young horse. I am less bothered about a chip of a bone spur and, if the horse is older with a good record, there is emphasis on completely clean X-rays, if the horse is sound whilst it has been worked and competed.”

 

The Billy Stud assess their youngsters regularly from the day they are born but they start being broken at three years old. “We start in March and send them to Will Plunkett who breaks five in a month. Before they go there, they will be handled well for a few weeks, loose jumped and X-rayed and we assess what we are going to put in the auction which happens in October.

 

The stud has held their own auction for the last two years now and are having great results. It is an online auction, whereby William, Pippa and Donal take a selection of the best three year olds and four to six years olds. Each one is fully assessed and X-rayed by an independent vet and potential buyers can come to see the horses in the flesh before choosing whether to put in a bid. The horses under saddle are also available to be tried. Videos and profiles of each horse is available online for those unable to view and brave enough to take a punt without seeing the horse. All X-rays and vettings can be released to prospective buyers for their own vet to evaluate.

 

William prefers to sell the Billy babies directly through their auction rather than sending them to others in the UK and abroad. “This way we are responsible solely for the quality of our own horses as it can be a real mixed bag at other sales. People trust us and know that we are not going to misrepresent what we are selling. It has proved a success so far  because people are seeing the Billy horses out performing now. They can come here and see 15 or more horses plus the vettings and X-rays and with an online auction, they under no pressure. It saves them time and money”.

 

Typically, they offer 15 three year olds and 15 four to six years olds in the auction. The majority are potential showjumpers but many would either showjump or event. The Billy Stud have always bred the modern sports horse with top level sport in mind, which means plenty of blood. William explains that they have bred this way owing to the way showjumping has evolved over the last twenty years. “Showjumping has changed, you have more technical courses where horses are required to shorten and lengthen. The format of Championships, the World Cup and Global Champions competitions mean that you need stamina as well as athleticism and plenty of blood. Nimble horses also tend to stay sounder as they are lighter on their feet. Gone are the days when an old fashioned heavier horse like Ryan’s Son could win a big class” he explains.

 

“At the same time, with enough blood in our stallions and mares, many of these horses are suitable for eventing which has also changed over the years. Eventers require more movement and scope to win a class now.”

 

The Billy Stud recently held their stallion viewing day as profiled on Horse Scout. Whilst there was a lot of positive feedback, William highlights that there were less commercial breeders than might be expected at the stallions days held on the Continent: “we sent Billy Congo to the VDL stallion viewing in Holland and there were 4000 people or more, whilst we had under 100”.

 

He believes this a reflection of British breeding generally. “We need to encourage more people to breed commercially. You see abroad, people enjoy breeding and are making money from it. With the UK farming industry struggling, perhaps more people should consider using this land for breeding quality horses.”

 

“The Billy Stud are big supporters of Horse Scout” says William. “We have always used them to advertise our stallions and our events. In fact they make up a large part of our stallion marketing campaign because we have had great results.”

 

To discover more about the Billy Stud visit their profile on Horse Scout:

https://www.horsescout.com/yards/the-billy-stud/profile/37

TODD TALK: MAKING A MARK ON BADMINTON

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TODD TALK: MAKING A MARK ON BADMINTON

MITSUBISHI MOTORS BADMINTON HORSE TRIALS
Wed 2nd May- Sunday 6th May 2018
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Winning Badminton is the stuff of dreams for any event rider. So when Sir Mark Todd claimed the title on his first attempt in 1980, it was one of the greatest sporting achievements of any rider. Ellie Kelly caught up with the legendary event rider known as Toddy, to hear about his Badminton memories and his expectations for this year.

“It was a complete surprise and definitely one of the greatest highlights of my career. Badminton always had this huge reputation and the history of being the first major Three Day Event in England. I have been coming for years, it still stands apart from other events. Burghley is amazing but to me Badminton is extra special, maybe because I have such great memories.”

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Badminton is unique in terms of the stabling and event set up, competing horses reside in beautiful stately stables adjoining one of the most important Stately Houses in the country. All this adds to the sense of occasion for riders and represents the tradition and history which entwines Badminton Horse Trials. Toddy sums it up: “There is something magical about taking your horses into those stables. Even now when I arrive, I still have the same feeling I did the very first time. Riding out around Badminton Park and going to the cocktail party in Badminton House with the Duke is also pretty special.”

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Toddy has won Badminton four times now. The first in 1980 on Southern Comfort, with Andrew Nicholson as his groom. He then had to wait until 1994 to win again, this time on Horton Point who was a catch ride he sat on for the first time the week of the event. The following year he displayed another masterful display of horsemanship after steering Bertie Blunt around most of the cross-country course with just one stirrup, after his leather broke. The following year (1996) he won with the same horse.

In 2000 Toddy retired from the sport and returned to his homeland of New Zealand to train racehorses. But he made a return to eventing in 2008, aged 52 and moved back to the UK. Just three years later he won his fourth Badminton title on Land Vision, making him the oldest rider ever to win, on his 20th Badminton completion. “To come back and win after being away from the sport was a particular highlight” he says. But there have also been some low points. “There have been plenty of disappointments at Badminton but I think when I lost a horse there, it was one of the worst moments of my career. It was a horse called Face the Music, who had won Burghley the previous year. He just slipped on take off for a fence and broke his leg.”

This year, Toddy has two horses entered for Badminton and he has high hopes for both of them. He rides the 14 year old Leonidas, owned by Di Brunsden and Peter Cattell. This is a talented horse he has had a long and somewhat checkered career with and is just as capable of winning a championship as crashing out dramatically. “Leonidas is a funny horse. Gentle in the stable but sharp to ride. He is mostly reliable but can do some funny things. He tripped up the step at the last World Championships, then had a disaster in the Showjumping in Rio, costing us a medal and he led the dressage at Burghley, then threw himself on the ground in the cross-country” Toddy says with a smile. “But he has always done well at Badminton. He’s been fourth twice and fifth once so I hope this will be his year because we are both running out of time.”

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Kiltubrid Rhapsody is his other ride. Once advertised for sale on Horse Scout, this horse will be contesting only his second Four Star. The eleven year old Irish bred is owned by Nicky Ryan and Dr Elizabeth Donald and Toddy took over the ride at the end of 2016. He describes the 17 hand impressive grey as “a genuine horse who can jump and do a good test, so he wouldn’t be without a chance.”

This year is a championship year with the FEI World Equestrian
Games being held in Tryon in September. Top riders like Toddy have a point to prove to selectors at this year’s Badminton. “I am lucky because I have a number of horses who could be in contention for the Worlds. The Championships will be Three Star but we are expecting a tough course” he explains. “These two horses will be in the line-up and I hope to have NZB Campino back, as he is just having a rest after an operation to remove a bone spur. Then I also have McLaren- he’s younger and less experienced than the others but he’s just magic to ride.”

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Besides Badminton and the World Equestrian Games, Toddy’s plans include contesting the Event Rider Masters Series. “I want to target as many of those as I can this year. The Series deserves our support. ERM is putting decent money into the sport and giving eventing coverage to a worldwide audience.”

We are proud to include Sir Mark Todd as one of our loyal Horse Scout members. He has used the site to advertise horses. “ It is a great idea and provides a good service to users. Horse Scout has embraced the internet age which is of course, how the world works today ”he says.

What I couldn’t live without:
I use everything from the Mark Todd Collection and I only put my name to something that offers quality and value.

My horses are fed on Key Flow feeds. It is nutritionally the perfect balance for sports horses and innovative in it’s formula.

My owners. I have a number of long-standing owners who I am so lucky with. They are friends as well as supporters.

 

Written by Ellie Kelly

Finding a dressage horse with Liz Diegutis

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Finding a dressage horse with Liz Diegutis

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“It’s about temperament and rideability. Breeding and looks are of secondary importance” says International Dressage rider and trainer Liz Diegutis.

Whether Liz is looking for a potential Grand Prix horse for herself or a schoolmaster for an amateur, she believes that the horse’s temperament should be top of the list.

“They need a trainable brain. A horse who likes to work makes the job much easier.” For top level sport, Liz explains that whilst they need some spirit to give them a presence, if it is “over the top” it is likely to problematic. “They need a good natural engine but they must be rideable. People blame breeding and certain bloodlines but I think this usually goes down to how well it has been trained. I have bought horses with all the talent but if they are anxious or too hot, they require a lot of patience and expertise and sometimes it never comes right.”

“The most important thing for any rider, is to look for something within you abilities. If you buy talent, then you have to be able to manage it. You must have a good feeling for it. Don’t sit on a horse and think. “I’ll learn to ride this”.”

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Liz is also wary of spectacular paces, for any level of rider. “I avoid massive paces because they often come with problems” Liz says. “Particularly when you are trying to collect a pace. Look for three good paces, they certainly don’t have to be extraordinary particularly for an amateur. I look for a good four beat walk and a natural jump in the canter. The trot can be produced and developed. In fact I have a homebred mare who perhaps didn’t have the best canter as a young horse but we have trained the pace. She is at Grand Prix now.”

Buying British is something Liz feels strongly about. “ We have some brilliant studs in the UK now who are breeding and producing some fabulous stock. There are many examples all around the country but I have been particularly impressed by Court Farm Stud, Mount St John, Caledonia Sport Horses in Scotland and the Oppenheimer’s at Headmore Stud in Hampshire.”

“I also think you can usually trust the UK sellers and breeders more than foreign sellers. I was based on the Continent for a few years and I know how it works. If you choose to go abroad, you have to know where to go and who to trust. Wherever you go I think you should always take someone with you. Preferably more experienced than yourself and ideally someone who will sit on the horse for you too and give their verdict on top.”

Liz is less fussed about bloodlines when she is buying a horse but as she breeds her own, she has a wealth of experience in the area. “I go for old, established bloodlines like De Niro and Negro and I’ve always been a fan of Sandro Hit. They have a reputation for being tricky but if you understand their brain, they can be brilliant. Of course the mare is the important bit, so you need to look at that side too. I only breed from a good mare.”

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Conformation is not a deal breaker for Liz but she does have three rules on this. “Good bone, good feet and straight limbs” she states. “The rest, like length of back I can overlook, if it gives me a good feel. Dressage horses come in all shapes and sizes, even at Grand Prix level. To be competitive I would always buy something that is attractive to the Judge but that is not just about looks.”

An over-produced horse should also be avoided. “I don’t like to see a three year old that looks like a five year old, simply because it has been over fed and over trained. This will nearly always result in issues later. As my aim is Grand Prix, if I am buying a youngster, I like something that has been slowly produced. With my homebreds, they live out rough for the first three years of their lives before they come in to be broken. Then if they are any good, I take it very slowly.”

 

Written by Ellie Kelly

 

Photography by Stuart Lark

 

 

Tina Cook

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Tina Cook

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Tina Cook is one of Britain’s most successful event riders and has been a mainstay on Team GB since the early 1990’s. She is a three-time Olympic medallist, winning individual and team bronze in 2008 and team silver in London 2012 as well as winning a further 11 medals at World and European Championships. She was part of the gold medal winning team at last year’s European Championships with Billy the Red.

Surprisingly, Tina reveals that some of her best horses have seemed “fairly average” as young horses. The good news is for us budding event riders is that Tina believes that you do not need to start with a massive budget to find a suitable event horse, even if have big ambitions. “In my experience it’s all about having a horse with a good brain” she says. “Then by creating a trusting partnership and having good management as I have done with all my top horses, look at where it can get you.”

When I look back on my top horses they have not necessarily been the most outstanding young horses, but what they have all had in common is that they have had a trainable, competitive brain and an attitude to want to please me.”

Buying British and buying blood.

Tina has never felt the need to look abroad and has bought the majority of her horses in the UK. Many have come from bloodstock sales or via her brother, the well -known racehorse trainer Nick Gifford.  “I rarely go out and look to buy horses, they tend to find me, but when I do, I have always leaned towards Thoroughbreds. As I am looking for championship and potential four star horses, the more thoroughbred blood the better, and certainly nothing less than 60% blood. It is also the brain I am used to working with so it suits me best.

The blood horses may be more average in their movement but they tend to stay sounder due to their movement being more economical and effortless. I look for an easy action when they are cantering and they must be able to travel between fences. When a horse finds galloping and stamina easy, it’s not only one less thing you have to teach them and work on, but they are the ones that find the extra gear to get themselves out of trouble, even when they are tired. It is when horses are tired that injuries happen.”

Less is more

“We are lucky in eventing because in many cases, it’s Mr Average who can make it to the top, in a way that probably isn’t possible in dressage or show-jumping where scope and movement is vital.

There have been many times in my 30 year career, when I have had flashy moving horses with huge scope and I’ve thought it was my next Olympic horse but then they have never stayed sound or proved too be difficult to produce for eventing.

I see this a lot with Junior riders. They have a taste of championship level and with some money behind them, they think they need something that looks flashy and throws a big jump. But these horses are more difficult to ride because they are bigger and rangier and use more effort.

Through my career, I haven’t had big money to spend and it’s been a case of making the best of what I’ve got. Smithstown Lad was a 16 hand hunter hireling from Ireland. Together we were on the Junior and Young Rider teams, he took me to my first Badminton and finished 4th at Burghley.

Even Miners Frolic as a young horse had a very “Thoroughbred” technique over a fence and he was naturally the bravest, but he had a lovely attitude. So we had to work on trust and technique. Then Star Witness was a racing reject and I never thought he would make a four-star horse. But he has always tried his heart out. He has now done four, four-stars with a top ten placing in every one.”

I have produced almost all of mine from scratch. Until I got to my 40s and some owners wanted to buy something to go to the Olympics so we found Billy the Red through an agent. This was the first time I have ever done this and was the first I have ridden with eventing form, as he had done a few Intermediates.

“It is definitely important and I am a big believer in “no foot, no horse”. I have had horses with bad feet and they can stay sound if managed very carefully. When buying, I wouldn’t necessarily dismiss poor conformation or weakness if I liked everything else. A lot of my horses have had issues and I have found a way to keep them on track through the levels. It’s partly because I have not had lots to spend but also because I am stubborn. If a horse has some talent and a good attitude and I see them improving, that really excites me and I want to keep going, even if they do face physical challenges.”

Producing the Prize

Tina notes that however talented a horse, there is no substitution for good horsemanship. “Yes, everybody has upped their game, but I believe success comes more from the right training and good management more than relying on exceptionally talented horses. Look at Michael Jung. He turned both Sam and Fischer Rocana from glorified Young Rider horses into four-star winners.

I am very strict with making sure they are really established at one level before I move up to the next, even if that means spending more than a season before you step up. They don’t always have to be jumping big fences and going flat out to get the time in every event. Very few horses can cope with that both mentally and physically on every occasion. So I save that for when it really matters.

The most important thing is that horses enjoy it. It never works to bully a horse into doing something, they will eventually become unstuck because they won’t trust their rider. They have to want to please me rather than be frightened.”

 

Kit that powers Tina’s success

We always want to know what the latest “tack trends” plus the brands favoured by professionals. So here are Tina’s top choices:

“All my horses have been fed on Red Mills feed for years now and my brother Nick has all his racehorses on it too.

I ride in Voltaire saddles and virtually live in my Ariat boots and Gatehouse hat. For the horses I use Prolite boots for every day and competition, and as my horses spend a lot of time in the field we have plenty of rugs from Jumpers Horseline.”

 

Written by Ellie Kelly

Horses for sale this winter

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Horse Scout’s advice for buying horses this winter.

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Winter proves a perfect time for the acquisition of new horses for sale for Horse Scout riding professionals. This contrasts  first time and novice buyers ideal time of year to purchase a new horse unless they have a professional support system in place.

Professional yards overcome the difficulties of riding through the winter months with greater ease than the amateur home.  There is a tendency for better facilities: walkers, staff, lunge pens, structured daily routines, which undoubtably  enable professionals to slot any new horses into their set up with greater ease than smaller private homes.

The Horse Scout Team have found that all too often, first time and novice buyers encounter a negative experience with a new horse through the winter months. Contributing factors range from common and understandable mistakes such as: over feeding, unnecessary clipping out for aesthetics versus logic, poor warm-up options / lack of training support and poor turn out routines.

The  inability to maintain necessary work levels, (or that which the previous home and rider was able to facilitate) tends to be paramount. If you or your friends are having any concerns, we would recommend a winter livery option with a proven professional yard that works within the same discipline you have purchased your horse for.

International Event Rider and Hampshire based trainer Lucienne Elms confirms the relevance for a patient approach, especially with the youngsters or novice rider. “I always give the young horses the chance to relax and warm up on the lunge long and low,  with a loose set of side reins for 10-15mins over the winter. Especially if they have had a day off, it keeps their brains ‘on side’ as they are able to then relax and concentrate when my clients or I get back in the saddle. In my experience horses are two things: memory and instinct. It takes months, even years to train them; but seconds to form an unnecessary habit or bad experience. Clients being bucked off onto frozen ground is never something I want to hear, and when selling its always best to be honest about the ‘quirks’ or needs of the animals, that way these problems can be avoided. Prevention is better than cure!

Horse Scout Team would recommend when buying a horse for sale, it is always best to take a professional with you, ideally one that knows you, and your riding ability, to support your selection process and reduce the chance of being victimised by a sharp or underworked horse over the winter months.

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Kathryn Robinson Talks to Horse Scout

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Kathryn Robinson, Canadian event rider 
Naunton, England, with our Horse Scout reporter before setting off for the week of her life

International Event Rider , Kathryn Robinson, talks to Horse Scout about her career and her tips for buying an event horse

What are your biggest achievements?

Being chosen to represent my country (I was born in Canada and my mother is Canadian) and ride in the Olympics at Rio. I was travelling as reserve but due to a horse being lame, I’m now part of the team.
I was short-listed for London 2012 and in 2014 was selected for the WEG but was unable to compete because of a technical hitch with the paperwork. I’ve placed 7th at Pau four-star.

Tell us about your top horse, Let it Bee, who you’ll be riding for Canada in South America.

He’s a 15-year old German-bred gelding by Lamerto out of Baroness. I got him as a 7-year old from a guy that had bought him from an auction but was fed up as he had started to stick his tongue out. If I looked at him now I would never buy him — he’s so long, hence his nickname Limousine — and not put together to be a top event horse. But I bought him to do some pre novices to get my confidence back and just kept going. His best discipline is dressage and although he can be a bit hot at a one-day event, he’s very good at a three day and has been extremely consistent this year.

And you rode at Badminton for the first time earlier this year?

Yes, my aim was to complete, which I did with a double clear. I wasn’t the quickest cross country but I didn’t want to over phase him.

How did you get into eventing?

I didn’t grow up in a horsey family but I always loved them and belonged to the local pony club as a teenager. I stopped riding around the age of 16 and then didn’t take it up again until my 20s when I became a working pupil Samantha Albert, a Canadian-born eventer who rides for Jamaica.
She found me my first event horse, Hugo Simon, and I ended up doing quote well on him, competing in one and two stars and coming second at a one star in Portugal.

Who else would you say has been influential?

My fiancee Giovani Ugolotti (the Italian event rider) as he really helped me regain my confidence after losing Hugo. Gio’s my best coach — always honest and no, we don’t argue that much as neither of us can be bothered! We also both visit Henriette Anderson for dressage.

Tell us about some of your other horses.

Suttogo Georg is a 7-year-old, German-bred ex-show jumper who is nippy, spooky but a really good jumper. His weakest link is dressage but he’s not naughty, he’s just never been taught and I hope that will fall into place by next year and we can move up the grades.
I have another 7-year-old called Linus, a 6-year-old named Calling Card and a four-year old called Castello.

And they are all German?

Yes, I like the German horses and we have a good agent out there who I trust and has good eye.

So what would your advice be for others when buying a horse; particularly an event horse?

Go with someone you trust and who can be helpful with regards to the breeding.
Some great stallions produce very nice young horses but they don’t all go on to be a top event horse — look at those with good competition records.

And do you favour any bloodlines?

Linus and Calling Card are by Heraldic — but as he is so old it’s impossible to find them anymore.
We have three in the yard by Duke of Hearts. I just gave the ride on Duke of Champion to Gio… he just grew so big that I felt I couldn’t physically help him show jumping. Gio is pleased… he just got a 6-year-old at novice!

What single thing has changed your riding for the better?

I’ve always suffered from nerves and can freeze at a competition. This year I’ve seen two sports psychologists and they’ve been really helpful giving me exercises to stay focused — it has literally transformed my performance.

And next year is a big year… your wedding to Giovanni. Is it all organised?

The venue is… it’s at my parent’s house. Other than that, the only thing I’ve done is buy the dress! And we’re also going to have to have a mini honeymoon as the date is in the middle of the eventing season!
Kathryn Robinson has a professional Rider profile page on Horse Scout.  Click through and see her horses and read about her career as a professional Event rider and trainer.

10 helpful hints when buying or selling horses

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Horse Scout has a great website for buyers and sellers alike. The sales and professional pages are full of information and clear to read.  This makes it so much easier for both buyers and sellers. Having all relevant information sorted into categories make it easy to make informed choices when looking at the horses form or potential.  Good photographs make a difference to a viewers initial decision and Horse Scout offers both stills and video footage.

10 Helpful Hints when Buying or Selling Horses

1. As a seller write your advert carefully and be accurate in your description, don’t advertise your horse 100% in traffic if you have only ever ridden him down quiet country lanes. Both Sellers and Buyers should keep a copy of the advert which can be useful if there is a dispute in the future.

  1. If you are having the horse vetted which is always recommended, do not use the regular vet of the seller. You must instruct an independent vet and pay for the vet direct.
  2. If it is important that the horse is good to load, ask to see him load. If you ask the seller to confirm that the horse is vice free get the seller to warrant that the horse is vice free by writing it down. As a Seller if you have told the Buyer that the horse is green and has never been ridden out alone before, for example, write this down and ask the buyer to sign it acknowledging the fact.
  3. Don’t buy a horse without its passport.
  4. Be realistic about your abilities – don’t over horse yourself.
  5. If you discover a problem with your horse inform the seller immediately and keep copies or notes of all correspondence.
  6. When you go to try or look at a horse to buy always take an experienced person with you if you are a novice.
  7. If the Seller is selling on behalf of someone else, if appropriate contact the Owner direct. Whenever looking at a horse ask lots of questions about vices, what it has done, its breeding, competition record, laminitis, sweet itch, lameness etc.
  8. Cut your losses – If all has gone wrong and you end up with an unsuitable horse, come to terms with the fact and don’t always insist on litigation which can be expensive, consider selling it to a more suitable home. As a Seller if a horse proves to be unsuitable for a Buyer consider taking the horse back and finding an alternative buyer, if the horse is genuine this shouldn’t be a problem.
  9. Always have a written contract, with details of the buyer, seller, price and warranties (if any) given signed by both parties.

Buying a dressage horse? 10 tips for a happy start to your new relationship 

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Start slow and Be patient. Don’t ask for too much too soon, especially when working with a young horse.

Take time to get to know your new horse.  Establish a good relationship with and to get to know their personality, strengths and weaknesses.

Start at the beginning.  Initially go right back to the basics and establish your own way of going with your new horse.  Start with bending and riding a straight line; you will find it easier later on to ride the more advanced moves accurately

Keep your horse interested.  Don’t endlessly go round in circles at the same pace use transitions.  It’s a good way to calm a hot horse and excellent for helping a lazy horse focus on the job and both types become more responsive to the leg.

Build in down time during your riding sessions.  Allow your horse to stretch and unwind and stretch his muscles between exercises.

Build a varied routine into your training schedule.  Hack out and jump  to keep your horse interested and help him (and you) keep a fresh outlook.

Even if you have just bought yourself a school master start by going to low key events and taking your time to get to know your horse under pressure. And let him understand the difference in the way you ride in competition mode.

Be prepared for lots of hard work, even with established horses a proper working relationship takes time to grow. Perfecting your moves will not come over night for either you or your horse

Practice, practice, practice

And most importantly ‘Remember to have fun’ is key to enjoying your new purchase.