How to Choose School Horses

Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to start a riding school or a person looking for a good, riding-school safe pony, there are certain characteristics and requirements that you need to assess when choosing horses for a school environment. You'll find out what sorts of thinks to be on the watch for in the following steps.


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    Decide which ponies and horses that you would like to check out. Prepare a list of places where horses or ponies are up for sale that appear to meet your budget and other needs and make appointments to turn up to each place (be sure to leave yourself enough time between visits). Bring a notepad and pencil along, as well as a camera, so that you can document the visits for reflection later.
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    Assess the environment in which the horse is being kept. When you have arrived at the place for each horse, check out the surroundings. Does it look neat, clean, and safe? Are all of the other horses (and other animals) in good condition?
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    When the animal is brought out to you, look at a how it is brought out. Does the owner have to pull hard, slap, or drag it over? Check to see if the owner is too hard on the animal and if the horse looks afraid of the person. Frightened horses are not suitable for school situations.
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    Ask the owner to put it through its paces. The animal should have good, rhythmic paces and should not falter; if it does falter, it could be lame. If the horse goes crazy when the owner even gets in the saddle, something is definitely up.
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    As the owner is riding, ask if it is okay to take pictures. If so, take various pictures at each gait. Make sure that the owner is a good rider and that if the horse is wild, it is not the fault of the owner. Look carefully to see that the horse is not drugged (it will be sleepy looking or unnaturally calm).
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    Take a ride on the horse. The owner should let you do this. Are the gaits smooth, even, and strong? Is the horse calm and steady, yet still alert? Make sure you know what level the horse is at––is it suitable for beginners?
    • Ask the owner if the horse has been ridden by other persons than the owner. If the horse is used to different riders, this is a good indicator for a horse intended for school work.
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    After your ride, look at the horse's hooves. They should be clean and healthy looking. Check the coat and mane/tail. They should look healthy and well-brushed.
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    If all seems well, ask the owner to put the horse on "hold" for you. Get a vet to give the horse an all-over checkup. The vet will tell you everything you need to know about the horse's health.
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    Consider the information you've gathered and the vet's report. After reflection, you'll know whether or not you're making a right choice. If the vet okays everything, and you like the horse's temperament and gaits, etc, go ahead and sign the papers. If the owner has papers proving the breed, etc, take these as well.
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    Arrange for transport. Also prepare ahead, to make sure that your home is ready for the new arrival.
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    Pay the owner as soon as possible. The owner may not allow you to remove the horse until payment has cleared but be sure that you've both signed a sale contract before handing over money.
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    Introduce the horse gradually to other horses. For the first few days, keep it separate until it becomes familiar with you and its surroundings. Make sure your horse is healthy, happy, and safe!


  • Ask the owner if the horse has ever had behavior problems, kicked, bit, or reared. Check if the horse had been on meds, and if it has, what kind?


  • Beware of falsely-extra-calm or non-alert horses! They may be drugged.
  • Make sure you double-check everything!
  • Watch out if an owner is unwilling to let you ride––the horse may be unsafe. Err on the side of not purchasing a horse if this happens.

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Categories: Horse Training