Read This Before You Buy Your First Horse

Buying a horse is a lot like buying a used car. Both take research, experience, and smart buying strategies. Use this guide, developed by equine legal experts, to prepare.
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Read This Before You Buy Your First Horse
Before purchasing a horse, you should make arrangements with the seller to have the horse checked by a veterinarian. | Photo: Kevin Thompson/The Horse

Too many first-time horse owners select a horse that isn’t right for them. Eventually, they get frustrated and give up on horses altogether, forever missing out on the joy of horse ownership. At Equine Legal Solutions, our whole lives are about horses. We want to do everything we can to encourage new horse owners and help them enjoy horses as much as we do. So, we put together this guide to buying your first horse.

Buying a horse is a lot like buying a used car. Both take a lot of research, plus some experience and smart buying strategies, to make a purchase you’ll be happy with. Like used car salesmen, horse sellers have earned a reputation as somewhat shady characters who often downplay flaws and enhance attributes.
With creatures as beautiful and sensitive as horses are, it’s easy to let our hearts rule our heads. But that’s why we wrote this guide–to help first time horse buyers make smart choices.

Not So Fast! Before You Buy a Horse…

As much as we love horses, we know that not everyone should own one. Not even every horse lover should actually own a horse. Horses are a huge time commitment, as well as a huge emotional and financial commitment. Horse ownership is certainly not for the faint of heart (or light of wallet)! Here are some steps we suggest taking before you decide to buy a horse. If you don’t have an instructor (but we highly recommend you do!), rely upon the advice of a trusted friend who is very knowledgeable about horses and has horses whose behavior you admire

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Written by:

Rachel Kosmal McCart is the founder and principal attorney of Equine Legal Solutions, PC (ELS), an equine law firm based near Portland, Ore. McCart is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law and licensed to practice in four states: California, New York, Oregon, and Washington. She is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. ELS represents clients in litigation, helps resolve equine disputes, drafts customized equine contracts, represents clients in horse industry disciplinary hearings, and incorporates equine businesses. Learn more at www.equinelegalsolutions.com.

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