17 Jun Buying a Horse: Trust your Trainer
Considering taking the leap and purchasing a horse? For first-time buyers, it can be a daunting prospect, so it makes sense to take advantage of a trainer’s expertise to ensure that the endeavour yields positive results. It is mutually beneficial for trainer and buyer, as the amateur benefits from a professional opinion and the trainer, in turn, is represented in his or her barn by a horse that is a good reflection of the trainer’s horse sense, so to speak.
Purchasing your horse is a process, and a trainer should be considered your guide through an undertaking that is not only an investment but also a commitment — a commitment to the upkeep, training and health of the animal regardless of whether it will be ridden for pleasure or in competition. Those goals, though, will ultimately form the foundation of the search for a prospect. Think of your trainer as a matchmaker; once the two of you have come to an understanding about your budget and objectives, he or she will then be able to find the horse that will be the best fit for you.
The first steps in purchasing your horse involves making a plan with your trainer and that includes creating a calendar for the following 12 months in which you will map out a schedule that encompasses training and possibly travel and competition. Tailoring a schedule to meet the buyers realities is necessary as the commitment required for getting a return on your investment cannot be understated.
With the foundation established, you are ready to start your search for a prospect in earnest. Your trainer can help find the right horse for your skill level or help you find the one that will help you reach your goals. Visiting other barns, possibly traveling to shows and sales, to see prospects can be expected but if you’re lucky, the trainer, who moves in professional circles, may already have a line on prospects suitable for your needs.
A horse is not “one size fits all,” and a professional already familiar with the body type, habits and individual tendencies of the rider can narrow the prospects to the most appropriate choices. If you have a good relationship with your trainer, and your trainer has a good relationship — not to mention a good reputation — with his or her peers in the horse community, the end result will not simply be “a good fit” but “the right fit.”
For those who, for whatever reason, are not quite ready for making the full financial leap it never hurts to ask about opportunities to lease a horse. While there is less of a monetary commitment — a lessee will invest approximately one-third of horse’s value over a 12-month period — the process is just like buying: setting a budget, establishing goals and creating a schedule. And the commitment to the horse’s well-being remains the same.
How long the process takes for finding the right horse varies based on needs and circumstances , but having reasonable expectations and a realistic budget will help the process along. Trusting your trainer to guide you to the horse that is the right fit will ensure a successful search and the happy outcome.