Common Questions About Buying a Horse


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Buying a horse and looking at horses for sale for the first time can be a whole new world. Have questions? We’ll try to answer some of the most common for you.

A horse is out of my budget. Do I still have a shot?

Possibly. You can always make an offer, but if an offer is significantly less than a seller’s asking price, they are likely to say no. A seller may be willing to work with you on a horse’s price, though, if they are in a hurry to sell the horse or if the horse has been advertised for sale for a long time with limited interest.

Will I be able to test ride the horse?

Generally, yes. Most sellers will allow you to test ride the horse, providing the horse is sound and trained to be ridden. A seller can decide to not have you ride the horse based on their evaluation of your riding ability. If a seller does this, it is usually with your safety in mind. If a seller refuses to let you test out the horse for some other reason, that should be a big warning sign.

Do I have to do a pre-purchase exam?

No. Whether or not you have a pre-purchase exam performed on a horse is entirely up to you. A pre-purchase exam can expose underlying physical issues a horse for sale has, but it also costs you money each time you have a pre-purchase exam performed.

Who transports the horse?

Generally it is the buyer’s responsibility to provide transportation for the horse to his new home. Sometimes sellers will transport the horse up to a certain distance, either for free or for a fee. If you don’t yet own a horse float of your own, you can usually arrange to have the horse transported by a livery service. Or, you can always start looking at horse floats for sale and buy a horse float of your own.

Can I pay with cash or a check?

That’s a question for you to ask the seller, since everyone has their own approach. Many sellers request cash, since it’s easy to deal with and you don’t have to wait for a check to clear. If a seller allows you to pay with a check, they may require that the horse remains on their property until that check has cleared.

Can a seller refuse to sell me a horse?

Yes. Many sellers will turn away potential buyers who they feel would be a poor match for the horse, either in terms of experience, goals, or personality. A seller wants their horse to go to a good home, so it’s up to them whether or not they decide to sell you their horse.

Hopefully we’ve cleared up some of your questions about looking at horses for sale. Good luck with your search for a new horse.

TOPHORSE–browse horses for sale or place an ad to sell horses

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