I recommend asking all the following Q’s Buyer beware! I also strongly recommend have the horse vet checked.
This will establish his age is correct if he does not have papers.
If a gelding has his penis hanging out he may have been doped, be very aware.
Try this website for lots of horses for sale http://www.petlink.com.au/Horses/Classifieds/ Age (under 7 can mean it is green (inexperienced) so it may be nervous on a ride) Over 14 means it is aged) Breed (Thoroughbred, Warmblood and Standardbred cost a lot to feed and can have health issues especially if raced, or show jumped, QH are generally fairly quiet but expensive, Stock horse are quite hardy, pinto are very hardy, Arab can be highly strung) Registered or not? Colour (greys have a higher tendency of developing cancer) Temperament, where does it fit in the pecking order? (Alpha mares are aggressive, a horse at the top of the pecking order can mean an aggressive dangerous horse, ask what it does in a herd situation) Does it like human attention or put its ears back when groomed or saddled? (If the horse has white marks on it’s saddle area an ill fitting saddle may have caused the horse to look threatening when being saddled as it associates this with pain.
Care must be taken with these horses in case they bite when saddled, or buck due to soreness) Soft or hard mouth Avoid a hard mouthed horse if possible.
What experience does the horse have? Pony club (may have been a kids horse, so may have some bad habits, walks off when mounted, hard mouthed, maybe hard to catch) Jumping (look for leg injuries, and back injuries) Showing Trail riding (would be an advantage as it will have had some desensitisation to traffic, dogs, bikes, etc) Good in traffic (essential for a trail rider) Is it Easy to catch (a real benefit, I wouldn’t have it any other way personally) Does it Pick up its feet easily (if not it can be taught by a confident owner, but not good for your first horse) How long has the previous owner owned it? (If less than a year be very suspicious and ask why?) Why are you selling it? Who did you buy it from, how long did they own it? (why did they sell it to the previous owner, get as much history on the horse as you can to create a picture) Has it ever had rain scold or Queensland itch or any skin problems? (really important about the Qld itch, as this will cost you another $200 per year in cotton rugs at least, and maybe more in sprays, creams etc) We will be performing a Vet check on purchase is that O.K with you? (At this point the seller will usually tell you what is physically wrong with the horse.
Do not purchase if the horse has an eye or leg injury, heart condition, wind sucks, colic sufferer, laminitis, big head, cancer (lumps and bumps) or bad feet, crooked legs etc) What veterinary attention has it had whilst you have owned it? (Ever had colic?) How often has it been lame? (Avoid horses that go lame) Does it need shoes? (if the horse is shod presume it needs to continue to be shod, at $100 a go every 7 weeks) What vices does it have? (does it buck, rear, kick, bite, hard to catch, run off floats, not stand for the farrier, dangerous at feed time) Does the horse Zig zag or weave (when ridden away from home) Does it have a high head carriage when ridden? When a horse gets above the bit it is hard to control, and probably hard mouthed.
How does it go on a float? (will it walk on easily or need coaxing, this determines if it has been well trained.
Will it fly off the float backwards when being taken off or during going on?) Is it a Scrambler (kicks the sides of the float, and can fall onto it’s knees) Does it travel well with another horse in a float? (Scramblers have to travel alone) If a mare has it ever been serviced by a stallion? Has it ever foaled? Does it have a full mane & tail? (if part of the mane is missing it probably rubs it out on trees, if it has a bottle brush at the top of it’s tail it is also a problem, as this means it has Qld itch) What are you feeding it presently and what sort of pasture is it on? (to find out if it is a good doer you need to establish a few things.
If it is on good pasture, and not in heavy work but they are feeding it daily, it must require a lot of food and therefore not be a good doer.
Ask if it Is a good doer or not? Feed is a major expense, some horses are really cheap to feed and some are really expensive. Has it ever foundered? (laminitis is not curable, small fat ponies are at a real risk and need to be kept slimmed down and exercised a lot) Has it ever had “Big Head” (calcium deficiency common in S.E Qld, this is curable if it has a mild dose, but you would want veterinary advice and a large reduction in price) Is it head shy at all? (if the answer is yes this can mean difficulty catching, worming, and treating head wounds, and means the horse has been abused at some stage in it’s life and never recovered, so it will be a nervous horse) Is the horses wither an average size, small or high withered? (small will mean difficulty getting a saddle to stay put, which means getting off the horse regularly to push the saddle back and tighten the girth again, especially in hilly areas.
High means making sure you have a saddle that fits properly or you can have all sorts of problems) Has it had girth galls? (if there are gall scars they will never go, and will cause further problems which will prevent you from riding your horse till they are healed again) Does it have any turned out feet, sickle hocks or pigeon toes (Conformation problems are best avoided as they can cause lameness) Will you let it go on a 3 weeks trial? (gauge by their answer whether there is something they are not telling you) Are you negotiable? (Best time to ask is now, as they will be less negotiable if you have seen the horse and they know you like it)
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