Steps to Finding the Right Horse

By Kara L. Stewart | April 2, 2015

You can avoid all the potential mismatch agony by picking the right horse from the beginning. Here are some tips.

  1. Take a trusted and experienced horse trainer or instructor with you to evaluate the horse.
  2. Don’t let emotions rule your decision.
  3. Take your time. Ride the horse several times if possible.
  4. Be ready to walk away.
  5. When buying a horse for a child or a new rider, “Pay way too much for a good horse that is way too old,” says Guy Vernon, a Colorado-based reining horse trainer and National Reining Horse Association judge and board member. His advice is solid: There is no substitute for picking a horse that is safe.
  6. Make a specific list of what you want before you start looking so that emotions don’t get involved. Put the list in priority order from “musts” to “wants,” including breed, size, discipline, training, experience, temperament and physical characteristics.
  7. Don’t settle! There are many well-behaved, well-trained horses for sale. Be willing to put in the time to find the horse that fits you best.

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