• Erin Long

100 Questions To Ask When Trying A Horse

Professor Sid is here with 100 questions to ask when buying or adopting a horse! It’s always so stressful that sometimes we can forget to ask really important things. So here’s a handy pocket guide for some of the things you can ask, as well as a few you should run away from specific answers. Please note that I know horses are wonderful special individuals but to save space I’m using “it” instead of saying “this horse” 100 times. Be sure to tell me one question I missed in the comments below! GENERAL INFO 1. How old is it? 2. What breed? 3. Height? 4. Weight? 5. Registered? HEALTH 6. What is it eating? 7. How much is it eating? 8. Is it on turnout? 9. Can it go barefoot in an arena? 10. Can it go barefoot on a trail? 11. How often does it need trimmed/shod? 12. Can I have a vet check? (If no - RUN) 13. Can I have X-Rays done? (If no - RUN) 14. Have you ever had soundness issues with it? 15. Does it have any genetic disorders (HYPP, PSSM, etc)? 16. Does it have a current Coggins? OWNERSHIP 17. Do you currently hold its brand inspection and/or registration papers? 18. How many owners has this horse had? 19. Who bred the horse?  20. If you are not the owner, may I speak with the owner before purchasing? (If no - RUN) GROUND MANNERS 21. Does it tie quietly? 22. Is it good for baths? 23. Does it lead well? 24. Is it quiet on the ground in new places? 25. Has this horse ever kicked/bitten/reared/struck at a person? 26. Does it tolerate sprays? 27. Can it be led by children? 28. Does it load well? 29. Does it tolerate injections quietly? 30. Can it be wormed/given oral medication easily? 31. Is it headshy? 32. Is it girthy?  33. Can you handle its feet, legs, tail, and ears easily? GROUND TRAINING 34. Does it lunge both directions W/T/C? 35. Is it quiet to approach? 36. Does it ground tie?  37. Is it quiet about ropes around its feet? 38. Is it quiet about things around its haunches? 39. Does it come when called? 40. Has it been trained under any particular method (If so - Parelli, CA, etc)? 41. Can it be sent over obstacles? 42. Will it lead across water quietly? 43. Can it be ponied off of another horse? 44. Can it yield its hindquarters on the ground? 45. Can it yield its forequarters on the ground? 46. Will it lower its head to be bridled or pet? 47. Can the horse be hobbled? 48. Can it lead by its feet? 49. Has it ever been laid down? 50. Is this horse comfortable working in a round pen? RIDING TRAINING 51. Can this horse W/T/C both directions? 52. At what age was it started? 53. Was it quiet to start? 54. What bit/bitless bridle does it go in? 55. Can it be ridden quietly in different equipment? 56. Has it been hard to fit a saddle to? 57. Has it ever thrown its rider? 58. Has it ever bolted/bucked/reared? 59. Would you feel confident putting a beginner on it? 60. Has it ever been to a show? 61. What is it performance record? 62. How long does it take for it to settle in at new places? 63. How does it handle new riders? 64. What cues does it know for different things undersaddle? 65. What type and level of rider rides it regularly? 66. Does it have a solid stop? 67. Can it back up easily? 68. Will it yield its hindquarters undersaddle? 69. Will it yield its forequarters undersaddle? 70. Will it sidepass? 71. Does it root against the reins? 72. Will it walk quietly over grass? 73. Will it cross water? 74. Has it been exposed to poles/jumps? 75. Has it been exposed to barrels? 76. Has it been exposed to tarps? 77. Has it been exposed to loudspeakers? 78. Has it been exposed to bikes and strollers? 79. How does it ride in a group? 80. How does it ride by itself? 81. Is it gate sour? 82. Is it barn sour?  83. What is the largest arena it has ridden in? 84. Will it trail ride quietly? 85. Can you ride the horse first? (If no - RUN) 86. If a rider were falling off, what would it do? 87. Is it spooked by taking off/adding jackets? 88. Is it spooked by water bottles? 89. Is it tolerant of other horses close behind it? 90. Does it stop to go to the bathroom? 91. Is it comfortable urinating undersaddle? 92. Is it good with cats/dogs? 93. Has it ever been around other livestock? 94. Is it tolerant of loud noises? 95. Will it stand quietly to be mounted from the ground? 96. Will it stand quietly by a mounting block? 97. Does it know any tricks? 98. How often is it worked each week, and for how long? 99. Can you work it less and still have the same horse? 100. Why are you selling it?

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