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There’s more to buying a horse than picking a pretty or flashy horse.
Of course we all want the dream of a beautiful horse with a long flowing mane and
tail but what do we really need?
First, figure out where you will be riding the horse? Is this arena only? Trail?
Jumping? Dressage? Endurance?
Then find out where you will be keeping the horse? Will you be boarding? Will you
have the help of a trainer? Will you be boarding where there is no help? Can you
afford a trainer on top of the board?
Will you have the horse at your house? Most people who have their horses at their
house do not ride very often. They are short on time due to the care and
maintenance of their horses and land.
Many have nowhere to ride except pasture. Few have others to ride with, unless
they trailer out. Once your tired it’s very easy to say oh I will ride tomorrow, but of
all the owners I spoke with about this, some ride once a week and many only ride 1-
2 times a month.
How much money can you spend? Keep in mind not only the cost of the horse, but
the cost of a vet check, possible x-rays, cost of shipping the horse.
Now ask yourself, how well do I ride? What can I handle on my best day and what
can I handle on my worst day, when I am tired and not feeling well. You will have
many days you are tired if you work full time.
If you have a trainer and your smart you will say help me find something that I can
ride now. Something that will help me to learn. Something that will save me when I
make a mistake. Something that will give me confidence. I don’t care what it looks
like, it does not have to last forever, and it just has to be safe.
If you are going on your own, don’t go for color or looks. Find something safe, that
maybe your even a little bored on. Something that does not need to get out every
day to stay sane. Something that is not very competitive. Tell the seller the answer
to all the above questions.
I see over and over again, people buying horses that are not right for them. They
blame the sellers but most people are not truthful with themselves or the seller.
They say they can handle something that they really cannot. They say they will get a
trainer to help but they do not. They say they are confident when they are really
They say they will ride more then they will. They say they have someone to help but
most the time that person is not around to help enough and then it all goes south.
Get a trainer or a friend who will be truthful, to go with you and let them find you
the safe horse that will give you confidence. Something that will keep you safe and
allow you to have fun. Even calm horses will get amped up if not getting out enough.
Take lessons first, especially if you are getting back into horses. Things change
physically as well as our balance and confidence as we get older. It’s best to know
that going in and not find that out when you fall off opening a gate or fall off getting
on your horse.
You do not need pretty or something you feel a connection with. You will get the
connection you seek over time. Every safe horse is beautiful.
You do need safe and something you can handle when you are all alone. Be truthful
to yourself and to the seller, you won’t regret having a safe horse. You will regret a
pretty horse you cannot ride though.
Gaye DeRusso

Gaye DeRusso
Published on 17-09-2019
Gaye is a lifelong equestrian of varying disciplines, Gaye DeRusso moved from her home on the east coast and moved to the west coast in 2000. She previously had shown and trained in the Hunter/Jumper Discipline before going back to school to become an Orthopedic Physician Assistant. She became interested in Gaited horses after moving to California and realizing how spectacular they were to ride on the trail. With their calm temperaments and smooth gaits, they won her over. She enjoys helping others to improve their horse's gaits and also teaches Gaited horses to canter. She is a great problem solver and has a unique ability to convey knowledge to others.