How do you go about buying a curly horse?
Evaluate your skills
Look in the mirror...are you a beginner? an advanced beginner? or advanced rider? If you are a beginner, you would need a different horse than an advance rider. Bashkir Curlies are known for their gentle nature, but they are STILL horses. Horses have different training levels and different potentials. Decide on your goals, and then go about finding a horse to fit those goals.
Where do I buy a horse? One of the best places to start is with a reputable breeder. Breeders who have been in business a number of years will have adequate knowledge on which horse will suit you, and often come with a guarantee. Breeders also have a great interest in seeing you succeed with one of their horses, they have a reputation to maintain. Breeders can tell you about different bloodlines, registration requirements, and often have meticulous medical records on your potential horse.
You can also purchase a horse directly from another owner. One word of caution, this type of owner really has nothing to lose if you are not successful with your horse. If you can not visit the horse in person, ask for video and more pics.
Ask questions. There are NO stupid questions.
* what kind of training has this horse had?
* how often has this horse been ridden?
* at what age ( if a youngster ) should this horse be started under saddle ( this opinion varies widely )
* has the horse ever had any health issues?
* Is the registration in the seller's name/hands? which registry? ( there is a lot of "he could be regisitered" going on, esp with the economy tough, but this is a very important issue, and could cost the unsuspecting new owner hundreds of dollars to register the horse )
* does the horse have good ground manners? load, clip, bathe, groom?
* what does this horse eat? what should he not eat?
* why is this horse for sale?
* may I take a look at the contract?
* how will I get my new horse home?
Check out the horse and prepurchase exams.
In a perfect world, we would all have access to any horse we were interested in within a driveable distance...it is simply not the case in the curly world...horses are often a half a world away.....pictures and video are good substitues for a personal visit, and if you can not visit, we strongly suggest you do a prepurchase exam. A vet will conduct the exam, and note things such as lameness, eye/teeth problems, conformation flaws, state of health, and flex tests for potential joint/muscle injuries or problems. If you insist, the vet can also do a height exam, with a measuring stick, to verify what the seller is telling you. Many horse owners do not measure accuratley and curlies frequently "shrink" in transit...if the seller is not using a measuring stick, with the horse on solid footing ( concrete is best ) with a good hoof trim, the height would be considered questionable to us.
Breeders will be able to give you references too, often on a wide variety type of horses ( foals, bred mares, riding horses ).
This all sounds so simple right....
You have found the horse of your dreams....you had him/her checked out and found a way to get him/her home to you...now what?
Lets back up just a minute....did you first ask yourself..."why" why do I want a horse? and what is involved in horse ownership. Here are some thoughts you may want to consider.
* do you want to become a better rider?
* what activities do you want to become involved in?
* how much do you know about riding?
* how much do you know about caring for a horse? ( an animal with a very long life span )
* are you going to be able to work with your horse on a daily/weekly monthly basis?
* are you prepared and capable of caring for a sick or injured horse if this should happen? ( ps. they hardly ever get sick on a weekday during vet hours )
* how much can you afford to spend on care/feed/vet bills/farrier costs/ training cost/lessons/tack/etc.
* where will your horse live?
* do you have an alternate plan if he/she loses his living accomodations?
* will you be able to afford professional training for you? for your horse?
* do you have a vet/farrier/trainer in mind?
* where do you get your feed? hay/grain?
* do you have/ or have need for a horse trailer?
* are you planning to show/compete your horse?
Although these questions sound pretty elementary to experienced horse owners, there are many first time horse owners that are looking for their dream Bashkir Curly.