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How to Find Horses for Sale in the UK

Buying a horse is a big decision and there are many considerations you need to make. Owning a horse is an ongoing commitment and can be a serious financial and time-consuming investment. Therefore, it is important to take your time in deciding whether you’re ready to buy a horse and look after the properly.

However, if you do come to the decision to buy a horse, it can be difficult knowing where to start. So, I thought I would write this article to give you all the information about purchasing a horse in one place. Below is my advice, some key considerations, and where to find horses for sale in the UK.

How to Find Horses for Sale in the UK

Finding horses for sale and the right horse for you can be a time-consuming business. However, by following the tips I’ve outlined below, it should help streamline the process for you and avoid any waste journeys. Below are the best ways to find horses for sale in the UK:

  • Advertisements in local papers or equestrian magazines
  • Horses for sale on internet web pages.
  • Word-of-mouth through friends, family members or equestrian clubs
  • Notice boards in local tack and feed shops
  • Equine welfare charities often have horses for sale and can match a horse to a potential keeper with ease.

It may sound like a simple point but read each advert thoroughly and sift through to ensure you don’t miss anything. After all, there is no point wasting time ringing owners about horses that simply aren’t suitable. When you find a horse you like the look of, note down any questions you would like to ask the seller before giving them a ring or hopping in your car.

There are also a number of considerations to take into account before buying a horse and I have listed them below.

Choose the Perfect Horse for You

Every horse is different and when buying a horse, it is important to choose the perfect horse for you and your requirements. No two horses are the same in type, shape or temperament, and the same is true for riders. However, finding a horse that is perfectly suited to you can be difficult. So, how do you decide?

Consider the Advice of Your Instructor

If you are a regular rider and are taking horse riding lessons, it can be helpful to get objective help and advice from your instructor regarding the purchase of a horse. After all, your height, weight, fitness level, riding ability, and riding ambitions all play a significant part in finding the type of horse most suited to you. Therefore, having the opinion and advise of your riding instructor can be very beneficial.

Consider Your Horse Care Knowledge and Riding Experience

When buying a horse, it is important to ensure you are realistic about having a horse that suits your ability as a rider. Otherwise, you’re in danger of becoming ‘over-horsed’. Just as a rider looking to improve their riding skills shouldn’t choose an inexperienced horse, an inexperienced rider shouldn’t choose an older horse with limited ability.

A potential first-time horse buyer should always ensure they know how to properly care for a horse before purchasing one. If you want to ensure you’re properly prepared, you can attend a horse care course to help prepare you for such a big decision.

Use of the Horse and Activities

When purchasing a horse, it is important to consider what you will use the horse for. If you’re just going to be going out for leisure rides on the weekends, you will require a horse with a quiet temperament. However, if you want a horse that can compete professionally in races and other competitive equestrian events, the horse will need to be mentally and physically suited to these activities.

Therefore, it is essential to take into account a number of things, including the age, temperament, level of training, experience, and breed of the horse and whether they would be suitable to your needs as the rider.

Be Realistic about the Size of the Horse

When buying a horse, it is important to be realistic about the size of the horse you require. This may seem like an odd point, however the rider must be able to easily mount unaided from the ground and, once mounted, the rider’s feet should be now lower than the horse’s elbows. If your horse is bigger or smaller than this, it is not the right horse for you.

Are Your Finances in Order?

Buying a horse is a significant financial investment and careful consideration should always be taken to provide a suitable living situation and standard of care. Factors such as the care regime of your horse and affording feed, medical bills, and effective stabling. You need to be able to meet the needs of your horse and this does require a lot from you financially.

The Best Horse to Buy

The best and most reliable horse to buy is an older horse as these are usually the most reliable choice for riders and a great pleasure to own, being very reliable and safe to ride. It is always advantageous to choose a horse that is described as a good all-rounder. Such horses are able to perform reasonably well in any area of equestrianism. An all-rounder horse will give you, the rider, an opportunity to try out a variety of equestrian activities.

Find Out More About Purchasing a Horse

I hope this article has given you a good idea of what buying a horse looks like and the considerations you need to make. If you would like more information, you can read my article on what you need to know when you buy your first horse for all the details. For further horse care advice and information, please do not hesitate to check out the Prime Stables blog.

Sarah Macey is the owner of Prime Stables, a family-run company who manufacture and install equestrian buildings throughout the UK and parts of Europe. Read more here.