Horse shopping can be daunting, and weeding out the good from the bad is sometimes a difficult task.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s the more you ask, the more you know!
To help your search here are 101 Questions to Ask When Buying a Horse:
1. How long have you owned this horse?
2. What is the reason for selling?
3. Do they have any vices or bad habits?
4. Are they submissive or dominant?
5. Are they registered?
6. What are their personality quirks?
7. Are they friendly or shy?
8. Do you know their history?
9. Where did you buy them from?
10. Do they have any conformation flaws?
11. Who is their sire and dam?
12. Have you leased this horse out?
13. Have they ever had an injury?
14. Have they ever been ill?
15. Have you ever vetted the horse?
16. Do they receive yearly vaccinations?
17. Which vaccinations do you use?
18. Have they been dewormed regularly?
19. Which dewormers do you use and how often?
20 When did this horse last see the vet?
21. Who is your vet?
22. Have they ever had colic?
23. Are there any ongoing or undiagnosed health concerns?
24. Have they ever been abused or neglected?
25. What level rider do they need?
26. How often is the horse ridden?
27. When was the horse last ridden?
28. Have they been shown?
29. What are their competition results?
30. Which discipline are they best suited for?
31. What is the horse like to take out?
32. Do they cross natural obstacles?
33. Are they safe in traffic?
34. Has the horse ever bucked, bolted or reared?
35. What type of bit do you ride in?
36. Have they ever jumped?
37. Does the horse go out alone and in company?
38. Who has ridden them?
39. Who has been involved in the training?
40. Have they had any training issues?
41. Have they been ridden indoors?
42. Do they require strong aids?
43. Is it difficult to find a saddle that fits?
44. Do they require any special tack?
45. Does the horse load easily?
46. What types of trailers have they been in?
47. Are they easy to catch?
48. How much ground work have they done?
49. Do they require a firm handler?
50. Have they been lunged?
51. Have they worked in side reins or other training devices?
52. How do they respond to corrections?
53. Have they done any Natural Horsemanship training?
54. What areas of the horses training are lacking and need work?
55. How does the horse handle pressure?
56. What could the horse to do surprise me?
57. Is the horse herd bound?
58. What type of halter do you use?
59. What is their current living situation?
60. Do they get along with other horses?
61. Have they ever worn a blanket?
62. When were their teeth last floated?
63. Have they ever been clipped?
64. Are they easy to bath?
65. Is the horse allergic to anything?
66. How large is their turnout space?
67. Have they been around other livestock?
68. Will they stand to have their mane pulled/braided?
69. How do they handle a new environment?
70. Do they stand quietly while tied?
71. What climate are they accustomed to?
72. How do they handle fly spray?
73. What feed and supplements is the horse on now?
74. Is it difficult for them to maintain weight?
75. Do they eat alone or in a herd?
76. Are they turned out on pasture?
77. How often are they fed?
78. What is their feeding routine?
79. What types of feed have they had in the past?
80. Do they have any issues with particular feeds?
81. Have their hooves been trimmed regularly?
82. Do they wear shoes?
83. Have they ever required corrective shoeing?
84. Who is their farrier?
85. Has the horse ever had laminitis?
86. Has the horse ever been lame?
87. Are their feet prone to cracking?
88. Do their hooves require any additional care?
89. Has she ever been bred?
90. Did she have a live foal?
91. Were there any complications?
92. How was she bred?
93. Who was she bred to?
94. Has she had any unsuccessful breedings?
95. Has she had any reproductive health problems?
96. Is she easy to handle during and after foaling?
97. How does she handle weaning?
98. Are her previous foals available to see?
99. Does she have any known genetic issues?
100. Has she been approved for breeding by a registry?
101. Are her foals eligible to be registered?
If you’ve already found your dream horse, check out 1001 Horse Names!
What’s your favorite Question to Ask When Buying a Horse?
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Thank you barnqueen!
We're going to look at a mare today and I will defiantly use this list!!
Good luck 🙂
This list has saved my memory! Looking at a quarter horse today, and youve covered everything and more than I could think of! Thank youuuu!!
I've been wanting a horse for ages now and i've finally gotten a chance to get a horse. What horse breed do you recommend for beginners? I'm super nervous and i could really use some help.
It's a little late, but I would recommend a quarter horse as they can be pretty much used for anything 🙂
Me too. :). Nice article
Every breed has individuals that are suitable beginners and some that are not suitable for beginners. I would strongly recommend taking an experienced horse person along that knows YOUR horse abilities and goals. This horse person can ride the horse first to check out if this is potentially a good match. You should ride the horse a couple of times, trust you gut instincts, and then think long and hard before you make a final decision. Remember most people do not need a $30,000 horse, they need a $1,000 horse and $29,000 in training and riding lessons.
I added how old is the horse to my list
Very helpful! Thanks!
This is going to be so helpful going to look at a quarter horse gelding today!!!!
thanks this helped me a lot
Thank you so much, going to go look at a mare this week, really need this! If we get her she is going to be my barrel racing horse!
Brilliant list…. !!!! Thank youuuuu 🙂
Great list!,, I added Can I contact your your veterinarian and farrier
cool I love horses this will help! 🙂
What kind of bedding? Any breathing issues?
going to look at a horse esh so nervous thanks
I love horses. Always wanted to own one that I could have a special connection with. Do older horses recognize new owners can they make a connection with after a certain age ?