In the mid-1980's Anita Marshall and Sue Scott had a partnership called The Santa Barbara Equestrian Exchange. Their focus was to help people buy and sell horses. Like real estate agents they had published listings of horses that were for sale. Clients would come to them looking for a horse, and the SBEE would try to match the right rider with the right horse.
During that time Greg Coulson was teaching an Adult Education course on horse care/horse ownership. He invited Anita and Sue in as guest speakers on the topic of buying a horse. Here is an outline of their talk:
I. You as the horse buyer - questions asked
1. What kind of horse are you trying to find and what will you be using it for?
2. How often will you ride?
3. Physical statistics of rider
5. How much can you spend?
6. Will you take riding lessons?
7. Disposition of the horse
II. Where to go to find your horse
1. Private ownership - classified ads/word of mouth
2. Riding school or boarding stable
3. The professional horseman
4. Horse dealer
5. Breeding farm
6. Auction block
7. Discarded race horses - racetrack
III. Myths of buying a horse
1. Buy a young horse for yourself to grow with 2. Find a good deal at racetrack or auction 3. If you are tall, you need a big horse 4. You should not look a gift horse in the mouth 5. A papered horse is better - purebred 6. Free horses from breeding farms to make a profit 7. Twenty is too old 8. Higher priced horses are better
IV. Trying out your prospective purchase
1. Have an experienced horse person come with you 2. Attitude of saddling/ what kind of bit is used 3. Have the owner ride the horse first 4. Does the horse lunge 5. Check the girth and equipment before you get on 6. Start at a slow easy walk - a few turns - try stopping him 7. Try the horse out 2 or 3 times on different occasions 8. Some people let you try out the horse on a trial basis - sign release 9. Try it out for what you are buying it for 10. Vet exam
Anita and Sue had quite a variety of horses listed with them, and trying out those horses was always a good adventure. Here is an example of one description that was submitted: