ARE YOU ABOUT TO BUY A HORSE? - Behavioural check list

Assessing your potential purchase's personality and behaviour is something you should do as well as having him vetted, not instead of.
 
Have you really carried out all the checks necessary to make sure he is the best horse for you and your discipline? 
 
You may have decided that you want a show jumper, an eventer or simply a horse that you can enjoy hacking out on. No matter what your aspirations are, it is essential that you do more than just ensure the horse is up to doing the physical job required of him.
Regardless of how talented a horse is physically, if he has behavioural issues, such as bullying or is difficult to be handled whether that be by you, a farrier or even the dentist - the relationship can turn sour very quickly. You may even find that your colleagues at the yard start too resent him being around - and instead of having a horse you can enjoy, you find yourself having to deal with problems on a daily basis.
 
Behavioural problems can manifest, becoming so severe that to solve them you have to get the assistance of a qualified behaviourist.
 
Be prepared to assess the horses' behaviour prior to purchasing with these quick tips
 
> Ask the current owner probing questions
> Visit the horse at his existing home at least five times - going only once or twice will not give you the time to gain a
complete picture and insight into his personality and behaviour.
> Divide the horses behaviour into 5 clear areas
 
1. Behaviour around other horses
2. Behaviour when interacting with you and other people
3. Behaviour when in his stable, yard, paddock and strange environment
4. Behaviour when loading
5. Behaviour when mounting and when being ridden
 
In each of these areas prepare a further list of questions, the answers of which can only be found with a combination of your own observations and the inside knowledge of the current owner - If you do not believe you are confident enough in assessing the behaviour or the answers you are getting take somebody who has better knowledge, but get a second opinion.
If the owner is not forth right or even refuses help, walk away. Such a refusal could be an attempt to hide any behavioural problems and the owner obviously does not have the horse's best interest at heart.

For more horse related behavioural problems-  read more   
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