Before enquiring about a horse advertised for sale make a list of questions to ask the seller and have this list to hand together with a pen to write down the answers when calling about the horse.  Our guide provides a checklist of questions to ask.

The advert for the horse should normally include details of the horse's height, breed, age, sex, colour and price but if any of these details are missing ask the seller these questions when making an enquiry about the horse.

Other questions to ask the seller about the horse are:

The horse's health

  • Has the horse ever suffered any injuries or illnesses?
  • Are the horse's flu and tetanus vaccinations up-to-date?
  • Has the horse been wormed regularly?
  • When was the last time the horse had its teeth checked by a vet or dentist?
  • When was the last time the horse was seen by the farrier?
  • Has the horse ever been checked by an equine osteopatch, chiropractor and/or physiotherapist?
  • Has the horse been known to exhibit any vices (eg weaving, crib-biting, windsucking or box walking)?

The horse's temperament

  • What is the horse's temperament like generally?
  • Does the horse ever get excitable and if so, in what circumstances?
  • Is the horse good to catch?
  • Is the horse good to load in a lorry and trailer?
  • Is the horse good to clip?
  • Is the horse good with the farrier?
  • Is the horse good with the dentist?
  • Is the horse good to worm?
  • Does the horse get on well with other horses when turned out and when being ridden in company?

The horse's routine care

  • Is the horse normally kept at grass or stabled?
  • Is the horse turned out alone, with other horses in single sex or mixed sex herds?
  • Is the horse clipped?
  • Is the horse rugged?
  • Is the horse shod?
  • What and how much is the horse fed?
  • Does the horse tend to lose weight or put on weight easily?
  • Does the horse have any special care requirements?

Riding the horse

  • When was the horse backed?
  • How experienced is the horse?
  • What tack and bit is the horse ridden in?
  • What is the horse like to ride? Is it forward going, excitable, strong or quiet, calm, sensible, etc?
  • Does the horse ever nap?
  • Has the horse been known to buck, bolt or rear?
  • Would the seller describe the horse as suitable for a novice or experienced rider?


  • Is the horse well behaved when hacking out?
  • Does the horse hack out happily alone as well as in the company of other horses?
  • Is the horse good in traffic?
  • Is the horse easily spooked?
  • How often is the horse hacked out at present and is this alone or in company?


  • How much schooling has the horse had?
  • How often is the horse schooled at present?

Competition record

  • What disciplines has the horse competed in and at what level?
  • How many times has the horse competed and how recently?
  • How many horses were entered in each class and did the horse get placed?

The price

  • Does the price include any tack? If not, is the tack available to buy separately?
  • Does the price include any rugs and other equipment? If not, is this available to buy separately?
  • Is the price negotiable?

Other questions

  • How long has the seller had the horse?
  • Why is the seller selling the horse?
  • Is the horse freeze marked or microchipped?
  • Does the horse have a passport? (It is illegal to sell a horse over 6 months of age without a passport.)
  • What is the horse's breeding?
  • Would the seller be prepared to offer the horse on a trial period?

Take time to review the answers to the questions before deciding if the horse sounds suitable enough to ring back and arrange a viewing.