Buying a new horse? 5 tips to reduce the risk.

We are regularly instructed by both buyers and sellers who become involved in a dispute following the purchase of a horse. We set out here 5 key tips to reduce the risk when buying a horse.

  1. Be clear and honest about your requirements and capabilities. There should be no doubt between the buyer and seller about the suitability of the horse.
  2. Ask questions, and keep a record of the answers. You may wish to use our free Pre-Purchase Questionnaire. If you would like a copy, send an e-mail to
  3. Know who you are buying from and what your legal rights will be. If you are buying from a dealer or trader, you will have more implied legal rights than if you are buying from a private individual.
  4. Consider whether you require a bespoke contract of sale. An “off the shelf” contract can sometimes cause more harm than good, because it will not be drafted with your specific interests in mind. If you are buying a valuable horse, or have a very specific set of requirements, you should always consider protecting your position by entering into a written contract of sale.
  5. If something does “go wrong”, ensure that you act calmly. Never communicate in anger or frustration. Remember that your messages or comments could be referred to in any legal proceedings which may follow.
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