A Realistic Budget
After yesterdays post where we discussed deciding exactly what you want in a horse, there are some other questions we want to answer before we dive head first into the for sale ads.
Your trainer should be able to tell you whether or not your budget should be able to get you the horse you need. Be honest with yourself about your budget. It isn’t fair to the sellers of the horses to spend there valuable time looking at horses you can’t afford.
Yes, most people price their horses a little higher than what they are actually willing to take. Sometimes the ads will say firm, or best offer. Giving you an idea if their will be wiggle room on the price.
Horses are no different than anything else you buy. In most cases, you get what you pay for. That doesn’t mean if you don’t have a stellar budget that you won’t be able to find your perfect horse. It may just take a little longer. From personal experience I know that sometimes people get into situations where they have to sell as soon as possible, meaning the price is probably going to be more flexible. Also, sometimes you find someone that just wants a good home for their horse as the top priority, not the money. In that situation, it also may get a great price on a horse that might be great for you.
The Horse It’s Self Is Not The Expensive Part
If you have been in the horse world long enough to consider buying your own horse, you probably have heard a million times that the cheapest part of ownership is the purchase of the horse. It’s true.
Once you buy a horse where will you keep it? Do you ride at a place that offers horse boarding? If not you need to find a place to keep the horse that you can afford. As well, as a place that offers what you need and want.
If you can’t board where your instructor works, will the new place let you bring in a outside trainer? Are their trails to ride? Will there be any expenses besides the monthly fee? For example, blanketing, feeding supplements… some barns charge for these what seem to be small things. It is because it is just one more thing that takes time for the barn workers to do.
You should find a vet and farrier before you get your horse. A vet because you may want to do a pre-purchase exam ( we will talk more about that later) on the horse you are considering buying. Not to mention you don’t want to have an emergency with your new horse and have to waste time calling a zillion numbers to find someone.
As far as the farrier goes, the barn you chose to board at probably has a regular farrier on board. If each owner at the farm uses their own farrier, asking around for recommendations is also a good way to find someone!
How Far Are You Willing To Travel?
Once you start sorting through the horse ads, it will be overwhelming! One question you can ask is how far are you willing to travel to try a horse? Depending on where you live of course has a lot to do with this.
Even with the ability, we have now to send pictures and videos, it is still quite common to see those things and really like a horse. Then see it in person and not like it at all.
I would recommend starting out with horses within 1-2 hours, if in your area that allows you some options of where to look. If you need to make it further than that because of where you live that makes perfect sense too.
Generally, I say start close to home and as you continue to look without any great prospects, then consider traveling farther.
Whose Helping You?
We talked a lot about this yesterday, but now that you are getting closer to starting to actually look you need to know who is helping you evaluate all the prospects.
A more experienced friend is great. Sometimes it works well to take your first look with a friend. A friend that rides is especially going to be helpful, that way they can hop on and tell you what they think. That way you can narrow it down first and then involve your trainer when you have more solid prospects nailed down.
If your trainer is doing the searching for you, make sure you understand exactly what will happen when they find a prospect for you. Will they go with you to see it or will you go on your own? Will you make the contact with the horse owner or will they?
Lastly, if they charge for their horse shopping help, what is the cost? And when do they expect to get paid?
See, There Is A Lot To This And You Haven’t Even Started Trying Horses Yet!
It probably seems like a lot, but it will really be helpful that you figured all these details out in the beginning.
Coming Up Next
Sorting through horse for sale ads. See this is getting more fun as we go!