Horse-dealers had the reputation that is now associated with used car salespeople. While at Horses Australia, we do our best to ensure that the horses sold are quality animals sold by reliable people, it’s still good to bear a few things in mind when scanning our list of horses for sale.
First of all, consider who you’re buying a horse for and why. Are you looking for a child’s companion animal? Then a Clydesdale draft horse shouldn’t even be considered, even if it is described as an easygoing and bomb-proof animal. Do you want to buy a first horse to learn to ride on? Then an ex-racehorse may be a bit high-strung for a beginner to handle. But that Clydesdale would be perfect for someone wanting a horse to pull a dray or cart. And the ex-racehorse would be an excellent mount for a confident rider looking for a fast horse for the showjumping circuit.
Size counts with horses. If you’ve never bought a horse before, then you may need to know that horses are usually measured in “hands”. A “hand” is 10cm and the horse’s height is measured from the top of the withers (the shoulders or the bumpy bit just below the neck). Technically speaking, horses measure 14 hands or more, while ponies are smaller than this. If you’re scanning our “horses for sale” list to find an all-round animal that all the family can ride, then 13–14 hands is a good all-round size.
If possible, go to see a horse that has been advertised for sale and (literally) try its paces to see if you and it will suit. Horses have a personality, so it’s always wise to see if you suit each other.