Should You Let Your Horse for Sale Go on Trial?


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When you advertise your horse for sale, you may have some interested buyers ask if they can take your horse on a trial. The decision of whether or not to let your horse go out on a trial is up to you, but you’ll want to weigh the following factors as you decide.

The Buyer’s Experience

Ask detailed questions about the buyer’s experience before you send your horse out on trial. You will want to make sure that the buyer has the riding and horse care experience necessary to keep your horse safe during the trial. Poor riding can undo some of the training that you’ve accomplished, so make sure that the buyer is riding at a level appropriate for the horse that you’re selling.

Where Your Horse Will Be Located

You will also need to consider where the horse will be located during the trial. Will the horse be kept in a boarding stable, or will he be in a stable in the buyer’s own yard? How far away will the horse be located, and can you easily stop in a few days a week to check on the horse’s wellbeing?

A Trainer’s Involvement

Ask about whether the buyer will be supervised by a trainer during the trial. Adult, accomplished riders may be perfectly capable of evaluating the horse on their own, but if the buyer is a younger, less experienced rider, then a trainer’s supervision may be necessary in keeping the horse safe. Ask the buyer about their trainer, whether they will be involved, and how often the trainer will be around when they ride the horse.

The Length of the Trial

Many horse trials last for two weeks, but there is no set duration that you need to adhere to. You may feel more comfortable sending your horse on a one-week trial, so remember that you have the ability to dictate the terms of the trial.

Buyer Interest In Your Horse

Don’t forget to consider how much interest you’ve had in your horse so far. If your horse goes out on trial and is returned in two weeks, that will mean that you won’t have been able to show your horse to other potential buyers during that time. Sending a horse out on trial when you have lots of interest in him means that you might miss out on a sale. But if there’s been less interest in your horse and you think the buyer would be a good fit, then sending your horse on a trial might lead to a sale.

Ultimately, you have to decide whether it’s in your best interest to send your horse for sale out on trial. If you do send the horse on trial, be sure to have a detailed contract outlining the exact terms of the trial, as well as who is responsible if the horse is injured while in the buyer’s care.

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