Buying a new horse is an exciting time, and it can be easy to get caught up in the moment and forget about the key steps you should take before and immediately after bringing your new horse home.
After agreeing to purchase the horse you should seek out insurance. As a minimum you should opt for public liability cover, as this will protect you if your horse is involved in an accident and someone else suffers as a result. However, having found your dream horse there’s little excuse needed to take out full cover. I can’t recommend an insurer, however, personally I use E&L.
Depending on your horse’s history, bringing them to a new yard is likely to induce mild distress at first. For this reason it’s important you make their new stable as inviting as possible, and keep some continuity between their old yard and your own – such as diet and feeding times. It’s also common for owners to keep new horses in (not turned out) for the first couple of days after they arrive to help them familiarise themselves.
Some times it’s not new horses that you should be concerned with, but old-familiars of the yard who can be protective, or simply overly inquisitive. Although there’s usually nothing to worry about, keep an eye on your horse’s neighbours for the first couple of weeks.
Without a doubt, the most important thing is to develop trust as quickly as possible. Once your horse trusts you the hard part is over, and you can work as a team rather than as individuals. So, make sure you set aside some time for groundwork.
Ultimately, so much depends on the horse in question, and only you can judge what the right steps are to take for your horse. However, always take into consideration comments made by the previous owner to come to a well-rounded conclusion.
If things don’t go to plan don’t be afraid to reach out to the seller to discuss the problems that you’re having. You can also seek advice from trainers or yard managers.