When you sell a horse, you want him to go to the best home possible. But once you sell your horse, you lose control over how he’s treated and cared for. Here are some tips to check ahead of the final sale.
1. Ask Questions About the Buyer’s Intentions
Before you allow a buyer to come test ride your horse, have a discussion about their intended use for your horse. If you know that your horse needs a quiet home where he will only be lightly ridden, then it’s important to make sure that a buyer doesn’t have plans for a competition career for him. Chat with the buyer to find out what their goals are for your horse. If they’re not appropriate, let them know that your horse might not be the right fit.
2. Carefully Watch the Test Ride
You can learn a lot by watching a potential buyer test ride your horse. Pay attention to how well the horse and rider get along. Is the rider’s style and approach kind and fair? Also make sure that the rider seems to be a safe match with your horse – are the rider’s skills strong enough so that he or she can ride the horse safely?
3. Request Vet and Trainer References
It’s always a good idea to request vet and trainer references from an interested buyer. Once you have the references’ contact information, give them a call and talk for a few minutes. Ask them how long they have known the buyer, what their relationship with the buyer has been, and how they would assess the buyer’s riding skill and horse care practices. References can give you valuable insight to a buyer’s past history.
4. Ask to See the Buyer’s Barn
Some sellers prefer to visit the barn where their sale horse will be kept in his new home. Whether or not you can make this request will depend on whether the buyer is local. If you can’t visit the barn in person, you might ask to see photos of the barn, as well as stalls and turnout areas.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Turn Down a Sale
Ultimately, you need to be able to listen to your gut feeling when deciding whether to let your horse go to a new home. If you feel that a particular buyer is unsuitable for your horse, then don’t be afraid to turn down the sale. You will know the right buyer when they come along, and can feel good about the fact that you are sending your horse to a great new home.