I had the same “issue” when buying my first horse, I found it helpful to bring someone (horse person or not) and have them video your ride, and then send it around to your horse friends/trainers you know and have them watch it without giving them too much of the horses info, and after they give you their opinion then tell them more about the horse
Any experienced person that has tried out alot of horses, and knows what you are looking for as a rider
Well I've been riding since before I could walk. When I go to look at horses it's important to know everything you can. Always take a good look at the horse and ask questions. Such as: Age? Breed? Ect. One of my personal horses is a rescue that I got straight out of her neglective home. When I went to look at her for the first time, I began to ask questions and all they could tell me was that she was an American Quarter horse which wound up being wrong.
Worse case scenario you can’t bring anyone horsey, bring a friend anyway to video you. Then when you leave you can watch the videos back to see anything you may have missed when riding (ie tail swishing, crossed jaw). If you want to proceed with the said horse I always do 2 things: Turn up unannounced/early so that the owners don’t have time to lunge the horse/Bute/put on walker and you can see the horse before it’s been polished to sell. Also ask the owner to ride the horse away from its current yard. Even a field down the road just to see how the horse reacts to leaving the yard and working elsewhere. It’s also a good chance to see the horse load and travel. If your still happy I would 10000% recommend a vetting. If the owner is unhappy with this or says you can only use a certain vet they probably have something to hide so I would walk away. Depending on what your horse will be used for and the extent of your budget, I’d always have bloods taken and x-rays if the horse was to be competed at a high level. I’d also ask for the passport to see the age of the horse and see if the vet’s guess roughly matches
If you are by yourself or not it is always good to get a vet check done before you make your dicison.
I would recommend bringing someone (maybe a friend) who has more experience than you. I would also highly recommend that you have a vet check done, even if the dealer says that the horse has clear x-rays. Better safe than sorry.
If you are going by yourself then you should do your research on what to look for when buying or leasing a horse for your discipline. :)
Since you will probably be going by your self, then definetly get a vet check on the horse you want to buy. Also, try as many horses as you can and try and get a return policy on th horse you want. This will help if you don’t like the horse you can return it and get your money back. When you go and visit the horses try and go early in the morning and then stay late at night so that you can spend the whole day with it and get to know it properly, all it’s little flaws etc... you maybe could just bring a close friend or your mum with you to try the horses, anyone who has a little bit of horse knowledge.
my advice would to be if you could have some sort of "return policy" on the horse. Work with it for about 2 weeks or so and see if you and the horse really bond
My advice would be to try as many horses as possible. This way by riding so many you can figure out what you really want in a horse.
If you are buying a showjumping horse check the results of the horse because most of the countries for example France has a data system for it. So you can understand if it is a stopper or injured etc. If you see a horse with good result for a year and dissapeared after that you cam guess that it had an injury etc. Find a reliable dealer, try the horse by yourself for sure, feeling changes everything. Control the xray and blood test for sure.
Make someone ride before you try and see the horses behaviour first. Good luck with it. As I am also a lawyer, I was dealing with selling problems so I can give you some advice if you have any trouble
100% get the horse vetted. A simple vetting could've saved me thousands of pounds and years of heartbreak- definitely learned my lesson!
Otherwise just ensure you feel safe and try the horse in many different situations to see how he reacts, some are fine in a school and turn into a nutcase out hacking.
Another thing is to look out for any red flags whilst the horse is being shown to you, for example giving it treats as a rider gets on or the seller not wanting to jump the horse infront of you
Get the horse vetted. Put money aside to get the horse vetted so you know there are no problems. With no offense don't take the owners word as they will do any to sell.
And if you are going to be competitive check records at shows to see how the horse has placed.
Depends on your level, but if it's a horse that's going to be your next riding horse, make sure you're 100% comfortable with it while riding and handling.
Think about what you do at home and see if this horse will fit in the criteria - don't buy the first one you see, unless of course it IS actually perfect.
Check the conformation, is he even and straight, and sound! Whether you get a vet check or not you do not want to buy a lame horse. You're welcome to send me photos or I'm sure if you posted on forums, you can get loads of advice.
Temperament. Presuming you'll be viewing this horse at his home, he'll be comfortable and very used to the arena, so take not on his personality and general vibe. If he's spooking at something, he's probably going to be worse at a show, but if you don't care about spooking or he got over it really quickly and you want to pursue him then that's a risk you take.
When finding horses to look at, think outside the box, you may want say a hunter jumper, there may be a horse advertised as a dressage horse that can jump, which would more than likely be a perfect hunter jumper.
Dependant on the situation, you can get the owner/rider to ride first, or you can get on first, just ask and ask them 101 questions about the horse, how is he around feed? Aggressive in the paddock? How is he to catch? Unless of course you don't care about any of that.
You can also hire people/trainers to come with you.