Owner & Riders Ability | Horse Ownership

Buying a horse that does not match your capabilities may not prove to be an enjoyable partnership and can end in a lot of heartache as well as being potentially unsafe.

If you are buying a child’s pony it is particularly important to ensure the pony is safe and suitable.

The Animal Welfare Act (2006) and Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 state that a child under the age of 16 years cannot be held responsible for an animal. Therefore, the parent/guardian will be legally responsible for the welfare of the horse or pony and must be competent and knowledgeable regarding the care and management that will be required. The BHS offers Horse Owner's Certificates which will provide a sound foundation for how to care for a horse.

Creating a list of what your ideal horse would be and the activities you would like to do (dressage, hacking, Riding Club competitions for instance) is sensible before viewing any horses. Considerations include:

  • Height range
  • Age range
  • Breed
  • Sex
  • Competition ability/history
  • Are you willing to take on a young or difficult horse or would you prefer an experienced schoolmaster?

Finding the right horse takes time and in many cases you will see a number of horses before you find the one that is truly right for you.

Don’t fall into the trap of being pressurised by the seller, take your time and be confident that you have made the right decision.

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