You Don’t Have To Get On….
It probably sounds like a strange thing to say with a title that clearly says it is your turn to try a ride! The reason that I say this is because when you go to see a prospective horse, you may feel pressure from the owner. It probably isn’t intentional, they are just excited at the prospect of a buyer.
That being said. If you watched the horse owner ride the horse and you liked what you saw then of course go ahead and get on. I’m just saying if you weren’t comfortable with what you saw. If the horse misbehaved in a way that you don’t feel like you can handle or it did anything that makes you nervous it is okay to say you don’t feel comfortable to ride it.
An owner would rather you say you aren’t comfortable than to get on and have something happen and have you get hurt.
Hopefully, the horse looks like a good prospect and you are excited to get on. Just know, that if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to say no thanks. The owner should understand, every horse isn’t right for every rider. That is why horse shopping is such a big deal.
What To Do Once Your On
Even though the horse is already warmed up from the demonstration rider on it, you should still get on and take it easy at first.
Ride the horse through the sort of warm up that you are used to doing. By sticking with your comfortable routine hopefully it will allow you to really pay attention to how you feel on the horse and how it responds to your aids.
You want to walk, trot and canter the horse. Notice how it responds to your aids. Are the horses gaits comfortable? Does he seem to stay focused easily? Or is it hard to keep his attention? Does he feel tense or relaxed? How do you feel on the horse? Are you tense or relaxed?
Have Someone Take Video And Pictures
Lots of videos and pictures. Sometimes things feel different than they look. I promise you will find it helpful to be able to go back and watch your ride on the horse. It is a great thing to have if your trainer wasn’t with you when you saw the horse. It is also cool to have once you have been in the process of horse shopping for a while, to be able to compare your rides on the different prospects.
After You Ride…
You may have come up with some questions while you were riding. Ask away! Remember, you want as much information as you can about all your prospects so that you can make the right decision.
If you felt encouraged about the horse, try and schedule another ride. If the farm will allow, maybe your trainer could come give you a lesson on the horse.
A second ride is a totally reasonable thing to ask for when trying horses. It is a big decision and you want to do everything you can to make the right one.
Confirm The Price
Before you leave, confirm what the owner is asking for the horse. You will probably get a feel for is the price is firm or open to offers. Which may effect your decision making process. So it is important to find out, and totally something the owner will be expecting to discuss with you.
No Matter What…
No matter how much you love the horse and think it’s so perfect for you. Don’t make an offer on the spot. It is a big deal to buy a horse, it is a decision that you should definitely take time to consider. Not to mention that you want to look at more than one horse so you have something to compare to!!
Say Thank You And That You Will Be In Touch
It is respectful to let the owner know once you have an idea if their horse is still on your prospect list or not. That way they know where they stand with trying to sell their horse.
They shouldn’t be offended if you tell them the horse isn’t right for you. Owners want their horses to go to the perfect riders. Sellers know that they may have to show their horse to multiple riders before they find the perfect home. If the first person that comes isn’t a good fit. There are just as many riders looking for horses as there are horses for sale.
That not so perfect horse for you, will be perfect for someone else. Don’t get frustrated your horse is out there, and you will find it!
Coming Up Next..
More horse shopping tidbits to mention as you are checking out more prospects. Comparing prospects…making decisions. I told you there is a lot to this whole horse shopping thing!