Buying an allrounder horse - what to look for


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Temperament is a vital characteristic of a good all-rounder. Temperament is a vital characteristic of a good all-rounder.
Are you in the market for your next all-rounder horse? Buying an all-rounder horse is more difficult than finding a horse suited to one specific discipline. Thankfully there are many all-rounders for sale. Think carefully about what characteristics your horse will need to make sure that you buy the right all-rounder horse. Temperament: Temperament is important in any horse, but it’s a vital characteristic of a good all-rounder. Your horse will be asked to take on many new challenges – sometimes multiple challenges at the same time – so look for a horse who is cool, calm, and collected. A horse who can take changes in stride, and who looks forward to change and new challenges, will go far as an all-rounder. Remember, though, that while a laid-back temperament is important, you’ll still need a horse with some energy and response. An all-rounder needs to have good forward motion, and respond easily to your aides. You will want to avoid overly reactive horses, but also avoid horses who are dead to the leg or rein aids.
Versatility: An all-rounder will need more versatility than any other horse. When looking at an all-rounder for sale find out how the horse reacts to change. Has he been ridden both English and Western? Has he jumped? The horse’s experience can give a good indication of his versatility, and if a horse has been exposed to many things and handled them in stride, then chances are he will continue to do so and could make a great mount. Foundation A good foundation is important to any horse, but it’s even more valuable to an all-rounder. Has the horse been properly started by a professional trainer, and does he have a thorough understanding of the basic cues? A bit of a background in dressage can be an asset, as it translates across any discipline and can teach your horse to balance and carry himself properly, making him a stronger all-rounder mount.
He can be your partner for many years to come. He can be your partner for many years to come.
Conformation: When buying an all-rounder horse, look for a horse with good conformation and a sturdy build. The horse should travel well and carry himself in a balanced, relaxed form. While small conformation faults will not be as significant in an all-rounder as they would be in a single-discipline horse, be on the lookout for any significant conformation issues such as lameness and previous leg injuries or conformation faults. Have your veterinarian examine the horse before you purchase it, and speak with him or her about your plans for the horse. Your veterinarian can identify which conformation issues might most affect the horse as an all-rounder. Willingness When looking at an all-rounder for sale, try to gauge the horse’s willingness in new situations. Ask if you can watch his reaction to new things, such as encountering a new piece of foreign machinery or plastic sheeting in the arena, or being mounted from the right side instead of the left. If you can try the horse out on an unfamiliar trail or change up his routine, that can also help you to gauge how willing he is when faced with change. Buying an all-rounder horse can take a bit of time, but once you find a great all-rounder he can be your partner for many years to come.
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