Is it time to find your dream horse? It can take a lot of time and leg work to find the perfect horse that fits your description of a dream horse. But with patience and persistance, the horse of your dreams can be yours.
Make a List of Qualities You Want
If you are a beginner rider, you will be looking for that dream beginner's horse. Beginner's horses have special qualities that make them safe and fun to learn on. 'Safe to ride and handle' should be the first item on a beginners dream list. If you're a more experienced rider you many have other specific things on your list, depending what your goals are. Once you've determined the basics you can you can add things like height, age, breed, color and the other qualities that you are looking for in your dream horse.
Save Up Enough Money
Horse ownership can be expensive and really good horses are not cheap. The price of horses tends to increase with the amount of time put into training. That's why a horse trainer can buy a horse for $1000, and sell it for $5000 after a summer of training and successful showing. Yes, there are deals to be had, but quite often cheap horses are priced that way for a reason. They may be elderly (which for a beginner or child may not be a bad thing.), unsound, untrained or behave badly. Be prepared to spend money on a really well trained, well behaved horse. It's tempting to compromise to save money. But consider the time and cost this compromise might actually cost you. You might find that it is better to save your money to get just the right horse, rather than spend it on one that you'll make do with--even if it takes another few months.
Check Online Sites, Newspapers and Other Sources
You can begin your search for your dream horse online, in the classified section of newspapers and magazines, on flyers on feed and tack store walls, amongst friends and local stables. Your search doesn't end there though. Buying horses is not like ordering a shirt out of a catalog that can just return if it doesn't fit. Never, ever buy a horse solely on what you see or read online or over the phone.
Ask Lots of Questions
It's important to ask lots of questions when buying your dream horse. This is why it's handy to have someone else with you that can give you good advice. Because you're emotionally involved in this decision, you need someone with a cool head to help you remember what to ask, and listen to the answers.
Meet and Ride the Horse
This is an incredibly important step in finding your dream horse. Again, never buy a horse sight unseen. You must know if you are comfortable riding and handling any horse you are considering. If you're a more advanced rider, you'll want to be sure the horse is capable of all the things you expect it to do.
Take Your Time and Compare Lots of Horses
Don't buy the first horse you try, or the second...try lots. Your dream horse probably won't be the first one you see. Have fun shopping. Try not to be in a rush. It's easy to be beguiled by a pair of big brown eyes. But even if you miss out on one, remember that there are always more horses. Write down the pros and cons of each horse you meet so you can compare them.