Buying a new horse? Our essential budgeting & health tips


Selecting and buying a new horse is an exciting time. It may be your first, a successor to a much-loved companion, or an addition to your stable and family.

Whatever your situation, there are many key considerations required.

The health of your next horse or pony is one of the most important factors you will probably be concerned about, along with long-term costs.

We’ve asked Dr Jennifer Kasten, Veterinary Adviser at Vetoquinol USA (distributor of equine health products such as Zylkene Equine) to give us her 6 top tips on what to think about and keep an eye out for.

6 top tips on buying a horse

  1. Assess skill levels. Before purchasing a new horse, analyse the abilities and goals of the rider. An upper level performance horse may not be the best suited for a novice rider.
  1. Prepare for costs. Even if the purchase price is reasonable, boarding, feeding, veterinary care, farrier care and training costs are all important things to consider. It’s essential you create a budget and ensure you’re prepared for the total investment.
  1. Check the health of the horse first. Obtain a pre-purchase examination on the horse from an experienced vet or veterinary surgeon familiar with the intended equine discipline.  This provides valuable information on any existing medical problems including the horse’s condition and overall health on the day of the examination. Make sure your new horse is up-to-date on their vaccinations, has a current negative Coggins test, and has a current UK passport.
  1. Ask diet questions. Be sure to ask the seller about the horse’s current diet and supplements so that provisions can be made.
  1. Help your new horse cope with stress. Trailer rides, new stabling situations, changed social dynamics with turn-out groups and new routines that accompany a new ownership are all situations which may prove stressful for your horse.   Added two days before a major move or event, Zylkene Equine helps horses cope with these events. Simply add this natural addition to their feed. Zylkene’s unique, milk-derived ingredient provides Alpha-Casozepine which has calming benefits and helps horses cope with stress
  1. Seek professional advice. A trusted and experienced trainer or instructor can provide additional valuable advice during your search.

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