Tips for Test Riding Horses for Sale


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When buying a horse, you will probably test ride a number of different horses for sale. It’s important that you have a chance to ride a horse before you buy him to make sure that you and the horse are a good match. Test riding horses is an excellent way to get a feel for how different horses move and behave under saddle. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when test riding horses.

Observe a Ride

Before you test ride any horse, you should watch the horse’s current owner or rider ride the horse first. Watching the horse being ridden will let you get a sense for his way of moving and responses to the rider’s cues. This will also let you watch for any signs of lameness or other physical issues.

Most importantly, watching a horse being ridden by another person can provide you with insight to the horse’s temperament and behavior. If you discover that a horse is unruly and highly reactive with his current owner, you might feel that it is not safe for you to test ride him at all. This could save you from potential injury.

Start with the Basics

When you do mount up to test ride a horse for sale, start each ride slowly and go back to the basics. Watch how the horse respects your cues. While just at the walk you can get a good sense for how much leg a horse requires, and how soft his mouth is. The horse’s rider may provide some insight into particular cues or commands that the horse has been taught, but you should also be able to work with the horse a bit to find out if your riding styles mesh.

Perform Expected Movements

If the horse you are trying out is already trained in the discipline in which you will be riding, try out some of the particularly movements that you will be asking of him. If you are looking for a jumper, then jump him over a few small fences. If you’re looking for a dressage horse, then find out what movements he is currently schooling and ask him to perform a few of them. These movements might not be perfect, since you and the horse are still getting to know each other, but you can at least get a sense of where the horse is in developing them.

Test riding horses is a great way to find out if you and one of the many horses for sale might be a good match. It’s important to make the right choice when buying a horse, so always test ride horses for sale whenever possible.

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