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Buyer beware of buying a horse.
In this area, almost everyone loves horses. Some of the more common reasons to buy a horse include: Performance such as racing, barrels, poles, roping, cutting and team penning; trail rides; western pleasure; breeding and the list could continue forever. Buying a horse can be a tough decision unless you are fully prepared.
You must decide why you want a horse. This decision will determine the type and the cost of the horse. Your riding abilities also play an important part in choosing the horse right for you.
Once you find a horse, several questions come to mind. Is the horse negative for Coggins Disease? The seller should provide a negative Coggins test at the time of purchase. Has the horse been vaccinated? If so, which vaccines were administered? If not, you should update the necessary vaccinations. Has the horse been de-wormed regularly? If so, when? If not, de-worm the horse. What about the horse's medical history? Any surgeries? Any recurrent illnesses such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease? Does the horse have any idiosyncrasies or quirks? All of these questions should be answered before the sale.
Two important words to remember when purchasing a horse, Buyer Beware. Finally, have a veterinarian perform a pre-purchase exam on the horse before any money changes hands. This is the best time to express any concerns you may have about the horse. When you hire a veterinarian to perform a pre-purchase exam, the Vet is working for you and not the party selling the horse. Results of this exam will only be discussed with the buyer.
The right horse will provide years of enjoyment. The wrong horse can be a nightmare. Follow this advice, make informed decisions and remember, Buyer Beware.