This blog was republished with permission from Athletux.
Selling and buying horses can be one of the most enjoyable or one of the most frustrating processes. Shannon Riley knows this all too well. She has developed her sales business, Infinity Sport Horse, in Aiken, SC, and sells upwards of over 50 horses per year. She prides herself on making the perfect match between horse and rider, and put together some tips to help you on your next horse shopping adventure. It isn’t easy sometimes, but you will find your dream ride!
- Make a list of priorities when horse shopping and stick to it! Sometimes it can be hard if all of a sudden you see a great horse but maybe it has a few of the items on your no-can-do list like being a mare versus a gelding. Decide what you can and can’t live with beforehand so you aren’t doing it on the fly!
- Be realistic about vettings, and your long-term expectations. Be prepared to see “something” on a vetting, and be prepared to maintain a horse that’s had a solid career. Injections are very routine in this day and age, and can help your new horse be that much happier! Horses are horses, and if we x-ray every single joint, there will be questions inevitably. But rarely is it the findings on a PPE that end a career. Ride the horse, not the x-rays, and remember there’s rarely a “failed” vetting, simply findings that you can or can’t live with.
- If you have special accommodations you need, i.e. a trial, your trainer trying it three times, needing to see it off property, communicate that upfront with the seller! It is so much easier to address this and plan for it ahead of time for both parties if everyone is open and upfront.
- Be honest about your budget, and what that might need to reflect. If you want the Novice packer of the world, it may not also take you to Intermediate. If you want an upper-level horse with all the lovely movement, brain, skills, and talent, it might not be $5,000. It makes it much harder when you sit on a horse you love only to find out he is five times over budget.
- Be honest with a seller — if you don’t like a horse after five minutes, don’t ride it! None of us like wasting our time and if the horse isn’t for you, then you don’t need to create unnecessary stress either. Not everyone gets along with every horse and that is OK. Sometimes it takes patience to find your unicorn.