First Horse

When it comes to horse buying, don't buy the first horse you see, take your time and get it right!

When you want to buy a horse, you need to ask lots of questions if not already written in the advert.

This might seem like an awful lot to take in if you are new to horse buying, especially if you are a beginner and this is your first pony or horse.

Remember you should always take someone with you who does have horse experience, or you could end up being taken advantage of and buying the wrong horse.

What questions should I ask when buying the first pony or horse?

Some of these questions may be relevant and some not necessary to ask as, it all depends on what job you want the horse or pony to do.

My first horse


Is he easy to catch in a field?

If you are buying a child’s first pony, then the pony should be expected to come to call and it is important that you see the pony coming in from the field when you view it.

All horses get days when they don’t come to call.

In this situation a child should be able to walk up to the pony, put a head collar on him and bring him in.

Is he good in the company of other horses in the field?

Does he mind being turned out in a field on his own? (some horses are very stressed when they cannot see another horse).

If you’re planning on keeping him in a field on his own, you need to find out how he would react.

Horses are social animals and like the company of others.

First horse

Some horses are not bothered, but others get very stressed without company.

Sometimes you can get away with this if the horse can see others in a bordering field.

Can you remember your First Horse or first pony ? Share your story here!


Is he good to load on and off a trailer or horsebox?

Some horses are a nightmare to load and it takes a lot of patients and knowledge to get them on the box.

Could you deal with a situation like this every time you want to go somewhere!

Does the horse travel ok?

Will he travel alone?

When he travels in company, does he stand quietly when you take the other horse off?

Some horses get extremely stressed and start neighing and pawing the floor constantly or try to rear in the box.


Is he quiet to handle and easy to tack up? (Again a must for the first pony)

Is he easy to handle at a show?

Most horses are just the same to handle at a show; however a few can get stressed and excited, making them difficult to manage as they concentrate on other things.


Does he stand quietly to be groomed?

You would expect a child’s first pony to stand perfectly still when tied up. The first pony should be calm and quiet.

A first pony should give a child confidence, not dent it.

Some horses will display their anger by swishing their tails, putting their ears flat back and even trying to bite you.

Will he allow you to pick up his feet?

You should be able to lift up all four feet without any problems.

Is he good with the farrier?

Is he well behaved, when you take him away from home? For example, a fun ride with lots of other horses around.

Some horses get very excited and worked up so much that they won’t stand still or relax.

They will constantly put their head down and pull the reins from your hands, pushing you forward.

This type of horse or pony is not what you are looking for in the first horse or first pony.

My first horse


Is he good in traffic? You need to find out what type of traffic he has seen.

If the horse you are looking for needs to be good in heavy traffic, then it would be worthwhile viewing him being ridden on a busy main road at rush hour time.

He should not be bothered by, hgv lorries, cars buses, machinery, road works, fast traffic travelling close to you, busses, car horns, bicycles, motor bikes, quads, tractors, dogs barking, umbrellas’, etc.

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Does the horse suffer from any known allergies?

Sweet itch can go undetected in the winter months, as it is a summer complaint.

If the horse suffers from severe sweet itch they are usually hogged, (mane shaved off) to improve the appearance.

Head shaking

Again this allergy can go undetected in the winter months and will take effect in the summer when the temperature rises considerably. 

Has the pony ever suffered from Laminitis

This is a painful disease commonly found in ponies but also horses.

Changes can be seen in the shape of the feet if he is a sufferer.

This will not be noticeable if the animal has had only a mild bout of laminitis.

Does he have any Vices?
You need to be made aware before you decide to purchase a horse, if he has a stable vice or any other problem behaviour such as napping.



Many horses will spook frequently when out on the roads.

It may be a plastic bag flying around, the crafty dog that suddenly starts barking, pedestrian with a large umbrella or road works etc.

For the experienced rider this will not be a problem, but for the novice rider it will be a major issue and will not be suitable for you. 


Is he ok to bath? If you are buying a grey horse, he will need frequent washing for shows.

Some horses love to be washed while others will protest and will not  stand still. Bathing this type of horse can be very stressful. 

Buy horse that is sound!

You don’t want to purchase a lame horse or a horse with reoccurring problems.

It is always wise to get a vet to inspect the horse.

Getting a horse vetted is a good investment, as a problem horse will cost much more to keep than a healthy one.

There are many different types of vetting available, and which one you choose will depend on a number of factors and what you want the horse to do.


Is he happy to be clipped? Some horses will not tolerate clipping and need to be twitched or sedated by a vet.

Sometimes passports can be mixed up, so ask to look at the passport. Make sure that it belongs to the horse or pony you are viewing.

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Horse buying -Viewing the horse

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Passport information for horse buying

Horse selling tricks of the trade - Horse buying info

Information on how to sell your first pony or horse

Horse buying - Which horse to buy

Leasing a horse
Horse buying - How to measure a horse

Can you remember your First Horse?

Do you have a funny story to tell or one that other fellow horsey people can learn from?

Whatever the story, please share it!