Tips on Buying a Show Horse


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If you’re looking at horses for sale with the intention of buying a show horse, then you probably have many different horses to choose from. How do you know which horse is right to be your next competition partner? Here are some ways to help narrow the search.

Look for a Horse That Can Compete at Your Level

Before looking at show horses for sale, consider what level you’re currently competing at, and what levels you want your new horse to compete at. Are you looking for a horse that you can bring up through the competition levels yourself, or are you looking for a well-schooled horse who has already competed at the levels and who can help to teach you as you compete?

Consider the Horse’s Age

When looking at show horses for sale, be sure to carefully consider their age. Any horse with a good amount of show experience will naturally be a bit older. It’s important to consider a horse’s age in terms of how it may affect the number of years that he can continue to compete at various levels. An older show horse who has been a top competitor may have limited time at those high levels, but you may decide that the horse is worth it in terms of what he can teach you over the course of a few years.

Look at the Competition History

When buying a show horse, it’s important to carefully consider the horse’s competition history. Ask the seller for a list of the horse’s recent competition history, as well as highlights from his competition career. If you’re planning to show a horse in top-level shows, then the horse should have previously competed successfully at shows of that same caliber. Going over the horse’s competition history can give you a better idea of whether the horse is suitable for your goals.

Watch the Horse in Competition

If you’re looking at a particular horse, it’s a great idea to go see the horse compete if possible. While location and timing don’t always allow for this, if you have the opportunity to watch the horse at a show, then do it. Watching how the horse is before, during, and after his classes will help to give you an idea of what he’s like as a competition partner.

Have a Pre-Purchase Exam Performed

If you’re buying a horse that you have hopes of competing with for years to come, it’s important to have a pre-purchase exam done before agreeing to the sale. Show horses often demand higher prices than your typical riding horse, and you will want to be sure that the horse’s body can withstand the rigors of competition.

Buying a show horse is similar to buying any other horse, but there are some important considerations you’ll want to make when looking for your next competition partner.

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