Tips for Purchasing
When looking to buy a gaited horse, you should consider the following:
- Size and conformation
- Manners under saddle
- Smooth gaiting ability
- Training and experience
- Type and talent
While these are all important for any buyer, their order of importance varies from person to person. Someone who doesn’t mind a “hot” horse may be more concerned with the horse’s soundness than with his temperament. A confident, experienced trainer may be more interested in the horse’s innate talent, or the quality of his smooth saddle gaits, than with his current training experience.
Note I place “price” last on the list. Unfortunately, too many people put price as their number one priority. While this is understandable, buying the wrong horse cheaply costs far more in the end–not only in dollars, but in emotional and perhaps physical turmoil. So it is worth stretching your budget or saving up for the right horse. And don’t look down at a lesser priced trail horse either. Some wonderful horses are passed over because they put their value with the price. Just keep an open mind and listen to your gut. We wish you all the best of luck in finding your horse of a lifetime.
When deciding what kind of horse is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my riding up to a quick, agile horse?
- Do I become tense in challenging circumstances?
- Am I comfortable handling a temperamental horse?
- Do I clue in quickly to a horse’s communications, or am I often at a loss?
- Do I prefer a quirky horse with some emotional complexity, or an uncomplicated, easygoing animal?
- Am I experienced, perceptive and patient enough to take things slowly and calmly with a nervous, young, or less experienced horse?
Common Vices to Ask About
- Halter pulling
- Wood chewing
- Stall weaving
- Fence pacing/circling
- Stall kicking
Weight Bearing Capacity
Click here for an informative and easy to understand article about determining a horse’s weight-bearing capacity
If you would like more information about natural gaited horse training (it’s easier than you think!), check out our free gaited horse training library here.