Tag Archives: buying

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.

Ten Top Tips for Picking a Pony

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Top Tips for Picking a Pony

This is your child and as every parent knows we all want to make our child’s first experience on a pony a happy one.  It is so important to build confidence into these first few years.  There is time enough for bombing about and simply having fun, falling off and being put back on are all part of the learning process but if your child is scared then you wont be buying a second pony let alone be trailing her around to shows and buying her her first competition pony in the future.

  1. When you are looking for a pony for sale the first top tip would be DON’T TAKE YOUR CHILD WITH YOU.  Otherwise in no time at all the heart will be ruling the head and you may have made an awful mistake.
  2. Make a short list of possibilities and then go and visit them, preferably with someone who is very experienced and able to judge the suitability of a pony for your child, before taking your child to see the very best of your short list.
  3. The pony must be 100% quiet at all times, safe from the ground and when being ridden.
  4. Make sure you see the pony being led by a child to asses the relationship.
  5. Watch a child riding on and off the lead rein.
  6. If possible watch an experienced rider on the pony to asses its way of going.
  7. Make sure the pony is comfortable to sit on.  Wide but not too wide.
  8. Make sure the pony is a good size. Not too big and not too small, although small is definitely preferable to too big.
  9. Find out if the pony suffers from conditions like sweet itch and laminitis.  These need not necessarily preclude a sale (or loan) but they need managing, so make sure you know what this involves.
  10. Think about what is going to happen to the pony when your child has grown out of it.

That aside those top ten tips what other considerations do you need in order to make the right decision?

Even though you may have had a wonderful experience with your own first pony, you have probably come across many people who have been bitten, kicked, or ones with “runaway pony” stories. Most of these people either no longer ride, or are reluctant to ride because of the bad experiences they had as a child.

Finding a trainer for your pony and for your child:  Whilst experienced trainers who are small enough to ride your childs first pony are thinner on the ground than others it is worth taking the time to find the right trainer.  As your child progresses from his first pony or even onto his third and starts competing then it is important that your instructor can help with schooling and correcting any issues that arise with the pony.

Children are generally small and inexperienced and need someone to help keep everything on the straight and narrow. One way to do this is to ensure that the pony has enough exercise and is schooled regularly.

Enjoy your child’s delight in their first pony and I hope that this venture into the world of horses is a positive one.

 

 

 

 

 

Top Tips for a match made in heaven

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Top Tips for Buying a Horse

1. Think carefully before buying a horse – do you really have time?

2. Before committing to buy, make sure you try the horse in several situations

3. Always arrange your own vetting with a vet you trust

4. Don’t be afraid to look at a dealer’s horses, but do seek a trial period

5. Ask private sellers to sign a ‘Sale Agreement’ that details the purpose for which you want the horse

6. Speak to your insurer to get a quote before purchasing a new horse and find out their vetting requirements

7. Take your time when trialling a horse – don’t feel rushed into a decision

Horse Scout has some lovely horses listed on the Horse for Sale pages; desirable dressage doyennes, sensible show jumpers, sensational show horses, happy hackers, amazing all rounders, and even elevating eventing elegance; happy hunting!!!!

 

Here are a few of the horses on sale listed on Horse Scout

Karina in Hampshire

Dark bay Hanoverian mare 16hh born 2005

Karina is by Sunny Boy (Sandro Hit) and has been trained and competed as a dressage horse. Sadly we have come to the conclusion that she is not temperamentally cut out to be a dressage horse and I am seeking to rehome her either as a brood mare or a surrogate (recipient) mare. She is good to handle but is not a confident horse and so has never taken to hacking though I think she would with time and patience. Correct home is more important than price.

A lovely All-rounder, the perfect Mother Daughter combination, SOX Chestnut Irish Sports Horse gelding 15.1hh born 2005 £15,000. He has evented up to BE100 +, with numerous placing’s and wins However his potential lies in show jumping and dressage – nearly always in the 20?s at BE, even achieved a 19.5, 21.5 and a 23 last year. jumps 1.20m at home easily.  Would suit a confident teenager who wants to compete competitively in show jumping or dressage Good to shoe, clip, load, traffic, hack, handle at home and shows Will live in or out This talented horse’s potential is unlimited to the right rider. Sox can be seen in Buckinghamshire

 

 

Top Tips for bonding with your new horse.

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You’ve checked out Horse Scouts Horses for sale pages and fond the perfect match  are you on the a mission to buy a new horse.  Looking for the right horse for sale can be stressful, although undoubtedly exciting.  With lots of people trying him out and disrupting his daily routine it can also be stressful for the horse who is for sale. It does not stop there though , your new horse is then moved from the familiar and is faced with getting used to new people and new surroundings to get used to. A good bonding exercise and one which will help your horse feel that he has a true friend is to spend time grooming him and this also helps you to get to know him too..  Here are some top tips to try out on your new horse.

Top Tips to make your new horse as sparkly as he can be.

1. Ask your vet about adding vegetable oil or an essential Omega-3 fatty acid supplement to your horse’s well-balanced diet for added shine.

2. Sponging your horse’s face clean after exercise helps prevent fungal hair loss.

3. Keep different sized sponges for different duties (face, body, dock) and remember which is used for each task.

4. Hoof picks are cheap. Always use a sharp one to remove  debris, and replace the pick when it no longer does the job easily.

5. Use a tail bag to keep your horse’s tail thick, long and protected. Make sure to wash, condition, detangle and replait once a week, securing the tail bag below the tailbone.

6. Spend two minutes every two weeks running your clippers over your horse’s whiskers.

7. Hoof oils and dressings for health or show are available. If you have a particular concern in mind, such as hooves that crack easily, ask your farrier for product suggestions.

8. Use a detangler and a wide-toothed comb (or your fingers) to remove any large snarls from mane and tail.

9. Dark coats often fade or bleach in the sunlight, so provide plenty of shade and consider adding a sheet. Sweat in the coat accelerates the fade, so rinse a sweaty horse before allowing him to bask in the sunshine.

10. Wash your horse but don’t overdo it—frequent shampooing may actually dull his coat.

If you are looking for a new horse take a look at the for sale listings on Horse Scout.  Good luck and happy brushing.

The advantages of buying from professional trainers who sell horses

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Do you or don’t you? Don’t dis dealers.

Are you thinking of buying a horse but slightly overwhelmed by the sheer numbers and descriptions of the horses on offer?  There are distinct advantages when buying from a professional, established horse sales business. No door to door when buying from a horse from a Dealer

What classes a person who sells horses as a dealer?

There is no statutory definition of what makes a dealer a dealer, however when someone sells a horse ‘in the course of business’ and sells more than three horses a year they are classed as traders or dealers.

Spoilt for choice

Unlike buying privately, a dealer is likely to have a large selection of horses of all shapes and sizes making it easier for you to find your perfect partner. It is important that you state exactly what you are looking for and be open and honest with your capabilities. When possible get detailed descriptions of the horses you are looking at in writing – asking them to email is an easy way – and ask what trial facilities they have.

Protection when buying

One of the biggest benefits to buying through a trader or dealer is that once you have established that they are selling the horse in the course of business, you will be protected under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. This means that the goods you buy must be reasonably fit for the purpose for which they are intended, however this purpose must be made known to the seller clearly which is why, if you can, you should get the description of the horse in writing. If the horse you purchase is deemed unsuitable, you may have a claim for breach of contract which means you should be able to return your horse and potentially claim further damages if applicable.

Some well established dealers may have their own warranty and terms and conditions of sale, often these can be found on their website. You should always make sure you have read them carefully before buying a horse from them – in the event of a problem it may be deemed that you have read them and they could form as part of the terms of sale.

Our top tips for buying from a dealer or trader

Never buy a horse unseen, you can’t get a true feeling for what you are buying from images and video clips alone. Even if they are a long distance away it is worth travelling to see them to save you the heartache and stress of purchasing an unsuitable horse.

Go to a dealer based on recommendations and word of mouth, not just based on their own testimonials on their website. Look online and in forums to get some real references and if you can chat to previous clients – an honest dealer won’t have a problem with you contacting previous buyers.

Don’t be pressured by the sales person. They may tell you that they have other people coming to see the horse later that day to push for a quick sale. Give yourself time to think and ensure your decision is the right one, don’t feel rushed.

Always take a knowledgeable person with you when you go to view and try a horse, if you are inexperienced take someone who is willing to ride the horse as well to get a better idea of whether it is suitable. If you aren’t confident to try out a horse be honest and say, don’t feel pressured in to it, the seller would rather you were honest than waste their time.

Be wary if the horse is tacked up when you get there, it could be a sign that it is cold backed or difficult to tack up, also look for signs that it has already been ridden that day.

Always see the horse ridden before you get on.

Watch the horse in the stable to check they have no vices such as wind sucking or weaving.

Ask if you can have the horse on trial, or can come back and see the horse on a different day, try first thing in the morning when it could be at its freshest.

Always get the horse vetted yourself and don’t accept a vet certificate from the dealer.

If a dealer comes with recommendations and a good reputation then there are many good reasons for looking for a horse being sold by a dealer.  The truth is that whilst the word ‘dealer’ may have unwarranted connotations of dastardly deeds and double dealing, the truth is that dealers are running a business and that a bad reputation is bad for business.

Horse Scout has quite a few listed dealers and the re is bound to be a centre near you.  Take a look at their profiles.

 

Andrea Verdina – Hungerford, Wilts

Oliver Townend – Ellesmere, Shropshire

Aqua Rask – Carrington, Greater Manchester

Peter White – Basingstoke, Hampshire

Lucienne Elms – Romsey, Hampshire

Jess Butler – Melton Mowbray, Leics

Connie Hannaway – Armagh, Armagh

Gregor Knox – Northleach, Gloucestershire

Luis Principe – Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Michelle Walker – Congleton, Cheshire

Lucca Stubington – Antrim, Antrim

 

Don’t chase your tail – try a circle

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A Circle is probably the hardest thing you’ll ever master?  Well possibly! LOL

 

When you are trying out a horse which you are interested in purchasing be sure to test out circles, concentrate on the feel of one circle and then change direction. Does the horse feel different on one rein to the other.  If so when you return to straight line riding change your diagonal from one side to the other and back again.  Does the horse change you onto his more comfortable diagonal? How different is the horse on either side and could this be lack of training or an indication of something else?  Professional trainers will ensure that the horse works towards being supple and in balance on both reins and can help you correct asymmetric muscle strengths. So always take advice from someone who understands the causes of asymmetrical going in a horse before committing to buying as there could be underlying confirmation of injuries causing the noticeable difference in going.

 

What exactly is a circle?

An accurate description of a circle? A circle is a continuous curve where the horse maintains inside bend and energy throughout, with an even arc through the four quarters of the movement and a seamless exit into the next movement

What To Look For

When a horse is on a circle it should be bending into the direction of the circle. Circles help to get the inside hind leg to push through and activate the horse from their hindquarters whilst at the same time encouraging balance, suppleness and rhythm throughout their entire body. Whilst on a circle the horse should remain tracking up, with their head level and not tilting. The horse should have a slight bend to the inside, just enough so that the rider can see the corner of the inner eyelash, as a guide if you can see the whole eye and side of the horses face you have too much bend.

Broadly speaking – Asking For A Circle

To ask a horse to circle will require several aids in varying degrees.

The inside rein asks for a slight amount of bend, to enable the horse to be looking into the direction it is moving in.

Concurrently the outside rein controls how much inside bend you have and it also controls the speed. The outside hand

The riders inside leg should remain on the girth, from here it encourages the horse forwards as well as asking the horse to bend around it.

The riders outside leg moves back one to two inches to be behind the girth, it is the outside leg which helps to prevent the horse from falling out too wide.

The rider should turn through their upper body so that their shoulders follow the horses shoulders and their hips follow their horses hips. This allows the rider to be following through with the horse on the circle.

There are very subtle ancillary movements through the body which all happen together and each one will affect how well the others synchronise.  But if you can tune in to what you are doing, where your weight is, the space you have created up through your body on the inside of the movement which will allow the horse to come up and under you as be bends into the circle movement and the stability of the outside of your body to hold the movement and can feel each part is connected to the other you will be halfway there!

Accurate Riding Of A Circle

To ride an accurate circle takes time and practice. Good judgment of the height and width of the circle you have ridden are essential for assessing accuracy. Start off by placing cones at key points around your circle, imagine your circle as a clock face and place your cones at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock respectively, this will mark out the four main quarter points of your circle, which allows you to curve around them. It is useful to start your circle off at a school marker, this will not only help to prevent drifting off course, but will also give you an exact place to start and finish. Practice different sized circles using the measurements of the school to create exactly accurate circles.

When To Use Circles

Once different sizes of circle have been mastered then you can ride them to balance a horse, prepare a horse for a transition or for some lateral work, help to slow down a horse who is rushing and also ride half circles to change the rein. Half circle exercises include a half 10 or 15 meter circle that returns to the track to change the rein. Two half 10, 15, and 20 meter circle that form a S shape. You can also add circles into the loops of a serpentine, to either end of a five meter loop, and to figure of eights.

If you are having problems with circles at home ask your trainer to check your position and way of riding, quite often it is your own mis-balance that causes the horse to fall in (or out) on a circle.  Your trainer can explain how you can ride circles better to help keep your horse in balance.

 

 

Buying perfect horses…

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Buying horses has become accepted to be something of a mine field.

Why the necessity to lie & conceal?
With the increasing necessity for 5stage vetting on every animal irrespective of its £1000 market value… the horse market has obscured over the last decade. Gone are the days of a quick two stage vetting, and a transfer of cash, post hand shake!

Ultimately there is a home for every horse, and a horse is flesh and blood, and never has been mechanical to my knowledge… Contrary to popular opinion splint, lumps, bumps, even asymmetries do not always need to prevent a sale. In addition stable vices do not directly always inhibit performance or resale value provided the horse is reliable/ talented/ produces results/ or can serve the purpose for which it has been bought.

11 Top Tips – Focus list for buying your horse

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You know what you want….So keep focused when buying your horse.

You’ve made a decision and you are going to buy a horse.  My advice? …Make a shopping list first.

List everything that you want your horse to be, his minimum level of experience, how you are going to fit on him and what you want to do with him.  You can make it more detailed with specifics like age, breed, build, bone etc but promise yourself that if you write it down then you will stick to it.  So put a lot of thought into this preparatory step before even pressing a horses for sale link!

Shopping list sorted and your ready to start looking so here is a handy focus list for you to help keep you on track.

  1. Decide what type of horse you are after and stick to it. It’s all too easy to get carried away when you’re looking for a horse, so If you are after a schoolmaster don’t come home with a recently broken 3 year old!
  2. Ask yourself will this horse do the job I want him for?  “Could I see this horse in the arena, x country, hunting all day etc ?” It really helps to keep a clear picture of what you are looking for.  It is so easy to get side tracked and buy on impulse based on nothing more than the colour of a horses coat.
  3. Keep a constant eye on the market – The good ones tend to get snapped up very quickly, in the past I’ve seen them on Horse Scout in the morning and sold be lunchtime!
  4. Be prepared to take your time finding a horse – sometimes it can be a lengthy and tedious process, if the first horse isn’t right it might be the second, fifth or tenth!  And always try a horse twice – you will pick up on things at a second visit that you missed the first time around
  5. Make a list of questions and make sure you get an answer to every one before hanging up.  Let the seller talk, often as you chat you can pick up things that are not written in the ad.  E.g. “Is he quiet in the stable?” “Oh yes, burble on a bit…” followed by “of course if you wave your arms around he can throw up his head” no this might describe the horse exactly or it could be a way of saying you have to be very quiet around the horse as it spooks easily in its stable.  Bear this in mind when you visit the horse.  Don’t go mad but just see what the seller means.
  6. Ask direct questions about vices etc like weaving or windsucking, cold back etc by specifically asking the question. Technically a seller is oblisged to come clean but if he hesitates or changes the subject be wary. If this happens go aware to the visit if you still want to go ahead, this will save you time and money in the long run. Ask for a video of the horse inaction, this can be a great way of telling whether a horse is worth the time and cost of fuel of a viewing.
  7. Don’t waste peoples time If you arrive and immediately know the horse is not for you then don’t be afraid to say so, the seller should appreciate your honesty and this way you won’t be wasting your time either.  It can be difficult to be blunt but better for all concerned in the long run.  You may well make friends with the seller but they are not, at this point, your friend and will not mind your honesty.
  8. If you can then video the horse – you can watch it again and again which will help you make a decision and similarly, take someone with you that knows your riding – it can be so worthwhile to have another ‘pair of eyes’ to assess the horse
  9. Ask questions, questions and more questions! Buying a horse is a huge decision and you need to know everything you can about the horse before you commit to buying it. If the seller is genuine they will be able to answer all of them!
  10. Sleep on it.  The seller is keen to make a sale but you must be certain that this is the right horse for you.  After all you will have a huge time, money and resources tied up in your equine partner so make sure you are making a decision based on all the things that are on your shopping list and not on an impulse.
  11. Having made a decision it is advisable to get a vet check, but keep it appropriate you don’t need a 5* vetting if you are not expecting to seriously compete on your horse.  However, your vet will be able to advise you if you tell him what you want to use the horse for.

Don’t go off track, pick the perfect horse for you.  Good luck with your search and let us know how you get on.

Top Tips for Buying your First Horse

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You’ve made up your mind,  you are going to buy a horse…

You know what your looking for; well roughly!  You are trying not to think of the cold winter rainy evenings and are focusing on the sunny balmy summer rides. You have sat down and done your sums and you have a budget and a sum you can ring fence every month to keep him and a savings account to pay into for emergencies and all those things you never thought that you would ever need.

Importantly you have worked out what size, shape, sex, ability, colour, age, confirmation, temperament, your budget and where you are going to look……yes! You have to know these things before you set out….well not the colour obviously because if you are thinking straight that is right sown at the bottom of your list –  NO? If it happens to be in your top three cross it out.  I promise colour is the least important thing on your shopping list, that and its name; although how many white socks it has and if it has a blaze can be important considerations-more on that later.

Where do I start? Top Technical Tips

Tipping the Scales – What size?

Lets work out roughly what size horse you are looking for -

  1. Add up the total weight of the horse, rider, and tack. Our eg: Horse (15.2 allrounder at 400 kg) + rider (Jo average 5’.4” and 70KG) + tack= 507kg (convert to lbs=1188lbs)
  2. Measure the circumference of the cannon bone midway between the knee and fetlock. Our example: 7.5 inches
  3. Divide the total weight by the circumference. Our example: 1188 / 7.5 = 158.4
  4. Divide the result by two. Our example: 158.4 / 2 = 79.2

 

You know exactly how tall you are and how much you weigh (methinks!) Here’s an average horse weight chart

Height (hh) Weight Range (kg)
9-9.3 – Shetland 200- 240
10-10.3 240-280
12 – 12.3 200-300
13-13.3 230-370
14-14.3 290-390
15-15.1 360-550
15.2-153 400-510
16-16.1 470-550
16.2-16.3 490-650
17.2-17.3 640-900
17.2-17.3 – Shire 850-950


…but…..and there is always a but! Some breeds have denser bones e.g. Arabs and Icelandic and New Forest Ponies which means they are able to carry heavier weights than others of a similar height and build.

Horses can be separated by build (height weight ratio) into light, middle and heavy weight and in the case of show horses “small” as well. This is not meant to be an indication of their present dieting regime but describes their build, and confusingly, this is relative to their breed types in most cases.  So, for instance, a light weight hunter (usually a ¾ or 7/8th Thoroughbred) is a well built, elegant horse of around 16-16.2hh capable of carrying around 12st.7lbs (177lbs/80kgs) including all tack and a bone size of around 8 inches. A middleweight hunter may be around 16.2hh, so slightly taller and have a deeper girth and a heavier build with a bone size of around 9 inches.

New Forest Pony breed guide says that a new forest is capable of carrying a stone for every hand and Shetlands are capable of an even greater height weight ratio.  However, if you are tall riding a small pony is not always very comfortable or elegant.

I think the point I am making is that TOP TIP One is buy a horse to make you happy and TOP TIP TWO is buy a horse that fits.  More pointers In TOP TIP THREE.

 

 

Matching the horse and rider

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Finding the perfect horse, the mine field…

“the blind leading the blind”

They say that horse dealers are worse than car dealers; and it could be said that in general one has to be careful when purchasing an animal and not a machine, owing to the nature of a creature driven by memory and instinct.

In spite of all the advice out there, time after time we still see bad matches between the novice rider and novice horse. The experience of an animal will ultimately dictate its stability, a novice rider should seek experience in the horse they buy, to draw confidence for them selves from that animal , not purchase a blank canvass which can be easily imprinted, scared, and ultimately dangerous, and become a situation whereby the blind is sadly leading the blind!

There are always exceptions to the rule, granted some young horses are stable, relaxed, adaptable, and safe. To increase the likely hood of a good experience however, the novice rider should buy an experienced horse that has already been routinely exposed to the tasks: cross country, dressage, heavy traffic hacking etc that they the rider shall wish to peruse.

Horse Scout offers a diverse range of schoolmasters. The schoolmaster will inherently be a horse over 7yrs, with a proven track record, often an affiliated record to give actual evidence for the experience therefore justifying its title. A schoolmaster should be a horse you can learn from, which responds independently and confidently when jumping, or performing dressage moves for example, the horse recognises its job.