Mistakes People Make Buying Their First Horse

Buying your first horse is incredibly exciting, but it’s easy to get caught up in the physical beauty of a horse and end up with an animal that can land you in the hospital. Avoid these common mistakes people make when buying their first horse.


Cheaper isn’t always better. Green or unbroken horses are obviously cheaper than those with extensive training and experience. Since you are inexperienced yourself, you’re not likely to be able to handle a green horse. They’re unreliable. Skip the cheap, green horse and look for one with training that you can enjoy from day one.

Older horses are smart. They’ve been around, so they are what horsemen call “bomb proof,” meaning nothing scares them. They aren’t going to run wild or buck when a car whizzes by. Just make sure the older horse is medically sound, and the horse should be fine for you. A horse that is in its late teens or early twenties is ideal, but we’d pass on one that is heading toward thirty years old.

Young horses for children. The romantic idea that your children can grow up with the horse may sound sweet, but isn’t the safest bet. An untrained horse can accidentally hurt your child. Go with a horse that has already been trained, preferably one that has been around children.

Auction horses. Like car salesmen, horse traders have a reputation. This is a case of uber buyer beware. Horses at auctions might be cheaper, but you don’t really know what you’re getting. Some horse traders drug their “difficult” horses to make them calm, or to mask health issues. You won’t be able to test ride a horse at the auction, either. For experienced horsemen, that’s okay, but for the first time buyer, it’s trouble.

Love at first sight. Hogwash. Don’t buy a horse without doing your homework. Ride the beast, a lot. Ask a lot of questions about its training, history, health, vet records, etc. Then go home and sleep on it. Look at other horses and compare them not by their coloring, but by how they rode and acted toward you. Some horses prefer men, some women.
Buying the color. You’ve got your heart set on a Palomino or solid blanket Appaloosa and nothing else will do. You won’t even look at brown horses. You might see a bright red car that is beautiful, but ends up being a gas guzzler that’s uncomfortable to drive and is always at the mechanic’s shop. You can’t drive a color, and the same principle applies to horses. You can find a good beginner horse that is also the coloring you want, but keep your priorities straight.

Buying more horse than you need. It’s kind of like buying a super macho, six inch lifted 4 wheel drive truck, because it looked so cool and the salesman convinced you that it would never leave you stranded during off-road driving, when in truth all you need is a 4-door sedan for taking the kids to school and running errands. If you just need a western pleasure horse to ride with friends, then don’t bother with horses that have been trained for jumping concrete culverts in cross country competitions.

Long term commitment. Once you’ve got a horse barn, tack, and the beast itself, you’ll also have long term expenses of feed, riding lessons, vet and farrier bills. Some people neglect to plan for 365 days a year committed to the horse (because they still need care even when you want to go on vacation) and end up unhappy with the whole horse experience.

Horse ownership can be a wonderful experience, and the joy you’ll get out of it is like nothing else. It’s far better than cats and dogs, because of the dynamics of the horse itself. We hope these tips will help you when buying your first horse. Should you need a prefabricated horse barn, give us a call today. We’d be happy to help you and can deliver your new horse barn anywhere in the southeast.