Online equine forums are rich with tales of woe from unhappy horse buyers.   Often, someone will post that horse sales are “buyer beware.” However, this is simply not true—horse sellers have a legal obligation to disclose every fact reasonably likely to influence the buyer’s decision and/or the horse’s fair market value.

Here are some examples of common conditions horse sellers must disclose, and why. Please note this list is for illustrative purposes only and isn’t intended to be all-inclusive.

Behavioral Issues

Rearing  

Why horse sellers should disclose: Rearing is one of the most dangerous behaviors a horse can exhibit. A rearing horse can fall over backwards and crush its rider, or otherwise cause the rider to fall off and be seriously injured or even killed. Horses that have developed a habit of rearing are also notoriously difficult to train not to rear. Even if the horse hasn’t reared in a long time, the behavior may come back if the horse is in a new setting, has a new rider, etc.  

Bucking  

Why horse sellers should disclose:   Bucking is dangerous because it can cause a rider to fall off and be seriously injured or even killed.   And the severity of bucking is relative. For example, one rider’s “crow hop” is another rider’s rodeo. Even if the horse hasn’t bucked in a long time, the behavior might come back if the horse eats a higher energy diet, has a different rider, receives less exercise, ha