Letting a Buyer Test Ride Your Horse


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When you list your horse for sale, you will likely receive calls from potential buyers who want to come see, and possibly ride, your horse. The test ride is an important part of selling a horse, but you need to make sure that you keep both the buyer and your horse safe in the situation.

Make Sure You’re Covered

Before you sell your horse, be sure that you have personal liability coverage to protect you in case a buyer should be injured while viewing or test riding your horse. Explain to the agistment owner that you will be selling your horse and get permission to bring potential buyers onto the property and let them ride. The agistment owner may have a release that he or she wants potential buyers to sign before mounting up.

Know Your Horse

Before you sell your horse, it’s very important that you are aware of your horse’s behavior and quirks. Does your horse require a strong rider? Does he have dangerous habits, like rearing or bolting, that could injure a rider? Or is he a calm, easygoing type who could be ridden by almost anyone? Having a thorough understanding of what type of rider would be needed to ride your horse safely will help you to make the decision of who you allow to test ride your horse.

Evaluate the Rider’s Skill

When you’re first contacted by a potential buyer, you should ask them a bit about their riding background and experience. Your goal is to determine whether the horse and rider could be a good match. If your horse seems like he could work for the rider, but you think he’s probably a little strong, ask the rider if he or she will be working with a trainer.

When the rider comes out to visit your horse, carefully watch how he or she interacts with your horse. Look for signs that the rider is experienced with horses – or not. Ask the rider some more questions about his or her experience to help determine if it would be safe to let the rider mount up for a test ride.

Ride Your Horse First

Even if you feel that a rider is more than competent to handle your horse, you should always be the first one to mount up. Doing so will help your horse to settle in, keeping the test rider safe, and will also give the rider a chance to see your horse moving under saddle.

Test rides are a standard part of any horse sale. Take precautions to keep everyone safe during the ride.

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