When buying a horse, you want to make sure your horse has been well taken care of and can do everything you set out to do. Although most breeders and owners will be upfront about any concerning factors, some people are not as honest and may try to hide poor qualities in order to get a sale. If you see one of the following red flags, be sure to take it into consideration when making a decision.
Signs of Illness
A horse that is visibly ill or showing unusual behavior could have several issues that may cause concern for a horse buyer. The horse may actually be ill, have an injury, or be drugged to prevent it from behaving as it normally would. In any case, having a vet look over the horse should be a necessity. If the owner does not want to have a vet look at the horse, do not buy, as there is likely a major issue that is being covered up.
When buying a horse, you most likely will want to spend some time physically around it, as well as riding it. An owner who prevents you from doing either is almost certainly covering up something they do not want you to find. The horse may have a bad temperament, or it may not ride well. It could have an injury, too. Regardless, you should not trust that the horse is fine, and instead, should look elsewhere.
Pressuring to Buy
Just as a shady used car salesman pressures someone to buy a lemon, a horse owner who pressures you to buy their horse is likely doing so out of desperation. There are several reasons why this could be the case. The horse could have a problem, similar to the points above. The owner could also be tight on money. Really consider why the owner is looking to sell, and do not be afraid to call out their tactics. If they act defensively at any suggestion of pressuring, you should not trust that they have your best interests at heart.
Buying a horse is not always an easy task. You may have few options near you, which might cause you to want to settle even if you see red flags. Instead, be sure to consider the long-term consequences of purchasing the wrong horse. Waiting a few more months is better than buying a horse you cannot care for.