The first horse

There are several ways to buy the first horse or any other horse.

Private seller

Can be found in local papers, local stores such as pet shops, tack shops or online, just Google horses for sale.

Auction sale

The date can be found in the Horse and Hound, newspapers or online.

Horses and ponies are much cheaper to buy at auction; however, you do not get the same opportunities to try the horse out as with a private or dealer sale.


Most dealers have a good name and should you decide that the horse is not the one for you, you should be able to exchange him for a more suitable one.

Usually this involves parting with more money.

"Dodgy Back Street Dealer"

Yes you really do need to be aware, and know what to look out for, so click on "Dodgy Back Street Dealer" at the bottom of this page.

My advice would be to try to find a horse that is local to your area or one that has been recommended to you.

There are always a few people who will know the horse or pony and give you feedback.

Remember, it is ILLEGAL to buy or sell horses without equine passports.

So do not buy a horse, pony or donkey without one, no matter what story the seller tells you.

The person trying to sell it, is committing an offence and you will be too, if you purchase a horse without a passport.

Equine passports are a way of identifying horses, and prevents the sale of a stolen horses.

The first horse

A new owner has 30 days to register their ownership as the keeper and update the passport.

All previous owners should be listed along with details of your horse.




Age – date of birth if known

Breed or type – if known

Microchip number 


The passport is also there for you to trace the horse’s history and find out more information.

There will be a sketch map of his body and a written description, signed and stamped by a veterinary surgeon.

Whorls are changes in the direction of hair, which vary slightly in every horse.

When you are thinking of buying horse, take a close look at the passport.

Check to see if the markings and whorls on the sketch ,correspond with the horse you want to buy.

If you are approached and ask to present your passport for inspection, you will have 3 hours in which to comply.

In the event of the death of your horse, the passport should be returned to the governing body with a cover note explaining the return.

Equine passports must be stamped “deceased “to prevent it getting into the wrong hands and fraudulently used again.

Yes it’s true!

Certain people will reuse the passport of a deceased horse. These types of people are usually the “Back street dealers”.

Horse passports must also be produced when any horse is presented for slaughter.

The Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) enforce all checks carried out at slaughterhouses.

Did you make a mistake buying a horse?

Did you end up buying the wrong horse? Share your story with others!

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Scroll down from where to buy horse, for more information on buying horse.

Buying the first horse and selling

For more information and how to apply for an equine passport click here

The First Horse > > Home

Questions to ask when purchasing a horse

Viewing a horse for sale

Where to buy the first horse from?

Dodgy horse selling tricks

Information on how to sell a horse

Which horse should I buy?

Leasing a horse

How to measure a horse

Marking and whorls - A horse can be identified within the passport.