buying a horseDuring the horse shopping process, if you think you’ve found “the one,” don’t just stop there. Several steps are still necessary to ensure you’re making a sound investment and getting the most for your money.

For instance, take the horse out on trial to be 100 percent certain the two of you are right for each other. This may require a deposit, but try to reach an agreement with the seller to provide a refund if the match doesn’t work out. Have a pre-purchase exam performed on the horse. These can range from very basic to extensive, but typically the more expensive the horse, the more thorough exam you should ask to have done. It will save you from making a much more expensive mistake! Lay down an offer on the horse as soon as possible, before its value increases as it receives more training and experience. Also learn to negotiate – most sellers don’t set their prices low, expecting some negotiation. Finally, ask yourself how much you have to lose if something were to happen to your soon-to-be new horse. Have your horse insured for an amount reasonable for its use. Most people suggest insuring a horse for at least mortality and major medical coverage.

What are your go-to steps on the path to buying a new horse?

**A few readers have suggested I go into more detail regarding lease and ownership options – which I will make sure to do when I offer the full chapter for download on November 6. Next week will also address options for current horse owners looking for ways to reduce their herd either temporarily or permanently. Download this week’s chapter excerpt here.