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