When selling your horse, you will want to make sure that any potential buyer can provide a safe and appropriate home for your horse.
Selling your horse is, in a way, a leap of faith. You're trusting that the buyer is being genuine about their intentions for your horse, and that they are someone who is kind to animals. You're trusting that the buyer will care for your horse well, and that your horse will have a good future with this person.
But you shouldn't always leave things entirely up to chance when it comes to selling your horse. Check out the following tips which can help you to evaluate a potential buyer before you agree to sell your horse to them.
Ask About Their Plans
Before letting a buyer come out to visit and test ride your horse, ask them very clearly about their riding plans. Ask the buyer about the type of riding that they'll be using your horse for, and what level they'll expect your horse to be able to perform at.
Consider whether the buyer's plans for your horse are in line with his physical capabilities.
Find out What Experience They Have
Ask the buyer about their riding experience, as well as their horse care experience. Find out how long the buyer has been riding for, whether they've worked or are working with a trainer, and if they have ever owned or cared for a horse before.
If you suspect that the buyer does not have enough experience to ride your horse safely, then it is best to politely tell them that you don't feel the horse is a good fit for them.
Ask Where the Horse Will Be Kept
Ask about where your horse will be living. Will the buyer be boarding him at a reputable stable, or will they be taking him home to their own backyard barn?
If the buyer will be taking care of your horse at their own home, then it's very important that you check references on how they have previously cared for horses.
Request and Check References
Ask the buyer for references, including a vet and farrier reference. You may also wish to ask for a trainer reference. Then, take the time to call each reference.
Ask about the level of care that the buyer provides to his or her horses, and whether the reference would advise that the buyer be sold a new horse.
Observe How the Buyer Works with Your Horse
When it comes time for the buyer to test ride your horse, watch how well they work together. It should be fairly evident if your horse doesn't take to the buyer, and if you see undesirable riding such as sawing on the horse's mouth or aggressive spur use, then you may want to call off the sale.
Search the Internet
Lastly, before you agree to sell your horse to a buyer, take a few minutes and search their name and/or telephone number and email address online. A basic online search can bring up negative reviews or past horse care history that may alert you to a potential issue with the buyer.
When selling your horse, remember that you don't have to agree to every sale. Your priority should be to find your horse a good home, so don't be afraid to wait until the right buyer comes along.