Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Blue Cross’s top tips for buying a horse

Blue Cross has produced initial recommendations on how the UK’s horse industry can make a start in addressing some of the potential welfare concerns with buying horses.


1.  Research – horses are a huge commitment, so it is really important to think carefully about whether you have the time, dedication, requisite knowledge and money to care for a horse properly. If you do decide to become a horse owner, really take the time to consider the right horse for your circumstances and experience. First think about what you want to do with your horse, the best breeds for your chosen equestrian pursuits, the age and experience of the horse that you feel you will be most comfortable with and your budget. Taking the time at this stage can help you pick the most suitable horse for you to give you the best chance of a happy future together. Don’t rule out rehoming from a welfare charity. We have some wonderful horses searching for homes.

2. Be rigorous – Once you have identified a potentially suitable horse to visit, ask questions, as many questions as you can. Make use of that initial call and set expectations of what you will want to see the horse do. Trust your gut and remember you are in control; it is your decision. Never purchase a horse without seeing it first and try not to be led with your heart rather than your head. You are better to walk away if unsure, but if you are concerned about a horse’s health or welfare then contact a horse charity for advice.

3. Set them up for the future – once you have purchased your horse, give him or her time. Let them settle and ask the previous owner as much about their current management as possible. A new environment can be stressful for a horse so keeping parts of their routine the same might help them settle. If you have concerns about your new horse, it may be helpful to contact the owner again  to ask for some advice. You could also speak to a reputable behaviourist. Many unwanted behaviours displayed by a horse might be down to unsuitable management, or pain, so these things need to be ruled out before any improvements can take place.

For more information on purchasing a horse please visit https://www.bluecross.org.uk/onlinehorsesales

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