Questions to Ask When Looking at Jumpers for Sale

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Are you in the market for a showjumper? There are some very specific questions you should be sure to ask when you’re looking at showjumpers for sale. We’ve begun a list of a few of them to help get you started.

Does the horse jump willingly and eagerly?

A horse’s temperament can make a big difference when it comes to competition. You will want a horse who thoroughly enjoys his job. Ask his current owner what the horse’s temperament is like. If the horse has to be encouraged to jump, you probably won’t be taking him into the upper levels of competition.

Has the horse been professionally trained?

A horse can make it into the lower levels of showjumping with some basic training on him, but a horse that has been started by professionals will have an obvious advantage. Ask who started the horse and what the person’s background was. Don’t forget to ask how long the horse was in professional training, too. If a horse has a good foundation of professional training, then you will be able to continue to advance with him. But if the horse has holes in his training, you will have to go back to basics to fix those before you can advance.

How old was the horse when he started jumping?

Jumping is a physical activity that can be hard on your horse’s body. Horses that start jumping when they’re young can sustain physical injuries that don’t show themselves until the horse is older. Jumping a horse over any height at ages two to three is unadvisable, since the horse’s body is still growing and developing. For this reason, many trainers prefer to wait until a horse is four or five before training it to jump.

What is the horse’s competition experience?

Ask about the shows a horse has competed in, and at what levels. You should also request a list of the highlights of the horse’s winnings. A look at a horse’s competition history over the past few years will give you a good sense of what levels he’s strongly competitive at, and whether he could potentially move up in competition.

How frequently does the horse compete?

A horse who competes every few weeks will have more strain placed on his body than does a horse who competes on a less frequent basis. Remember that jumping is strenuous on a horse’s body, and the more frequently a horse is jumped, the more at risk he is for injury and the development of conditions like arthritis.

When looking at showjumpers for sale, be sure to ask questions specific to the horses’ jumping careers. Good luck in your search for a new showjumper.

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