Buyers Etiquette and Responsibilities

Buyers Etiquette and Responsibilities

Buyers Etiquette and Responsibilities


 Buyers have an obligation to honestly represent their skill level, the accommodations they can offer a horse, and their intentions. Buyers who don’t take the time and trouble to learn good horsemanship have ruined many horses.  Remember that no horse is ever “finished.” They are sensitive creatures that continue to learn new behaviors throughout their lives.  A novice, or inexperienced, horse person can inadvertently “undo” professional training within a few minutes. 

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Buyers Etiquette and Responsibilities

Buyers Etiquette and Responsibilities


  Our horses will not be allowed to leave same day if not paid in full. We have been taken advantage of in the past and have to have these rules in place. If you want to hold the horse, we require 25% of the purchase price down. The remainder of the balance is due at pick up. If the horse is here over 30 days, you will be required to pay board.

We accept all types of payments including: cash, cleared checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks; PayPal and credit cards. 

With PayPal and credit cards there is a 3% service fee. 

Here are some thoughts about our buyer responsibilities:

  •  If you make an appointment to go look at a horse, don't leave the seller hanging by not showing up.  If you can't make it for some reason, or will be later than scheduled, call your seller.  The seller has made time for you to be there.  
  • If the horse’s price is more than you want to spend, ask the seller whether it’s negotiable before you make an appointment. If the seller says no, you won’t be wasting your time or theirs.
  • Bring your hard hat or helmet, and wear appropriate clothing and shoes for riding. In South Dakota, there is a "ride at your own risk law," which means the farm/ranch is not responsible for accidents. 
  • Ask if it's okay to bring your own saddle.  A seller would need to be sure your saddle is in good repair (intact tree, leather not weak or rotten, etc.), and that it fits the horse you are trying.  This provides two advantages.  You’ll be using tack that’s familiar, and you’ll know whether your saddle fits the horse you’re considering.
  • If you have small children and plan to include them, bring along someone to mind the kids while you concentrate on the horse.  Unattended children with horses can be extremely dangerous. And we are all about keeping everyone safe. 
  • Be honest about your abilities and level of riding.  We want to make sure we pair you with the correct horse. Also, if we feel that you are not a good fit, we have the right to refuse the sale of the horse. 
  • A horse is an individual and frequently develops a relationship with the person who rides/takes care of it most often.  When we ride the horse first and the horse seems very well trained, don't be disappointed if the horse doesn't perform quite as well when you get on.  Even subtle differences in riding technique can produce very different responses from the horse.  It may just be a matter of time and a little professional help before you and your new horse become a team.
  • Don’t be surprised if we want you to begin in a small area, like a paddock or round pen.  We may want to assess your skills, for your own safety and for that of the horse.  After you ride awhile we will offer a larger area once we are comfortable with your abilities. 
  • Ask the seller about the horse’s daily routine and feeding schedule.  A horse that is turned out every day and is eating grass or a little hay could turn into an entirely different horse if you buy it, keep it in a stall and feed it grain.  Ask your seller about the level of activity the horse is accustomed to; is it ridden every day, every week, once a month?  If you buy a horse that has been worked regularly, but you plan to ride once a month, your horse may not be as easy to handle after a month of leisure.  Conversely, if the horse goes from being ridden once a month to your enthusiastic regime of five days a week, the horse may become sore (as you probably will).  You'll go home and relax in your hot tub.  Your new horse might buck, rear, kick, toss its head, or refuse to move because that’s the only way it has to indicate pain.
  • Take note of the bridle and bit used by your seller.  Consider buying something similar if the horse works well and seems relaxed.
  • If you are shopping for a horse for your child, its looks, cosmetic blemishes and color should be the least important factors in choosing.  Look for an older horse, and plan to spend more. 

We may ask you:

  •  Details of your experience with horses
  • Whether you are aware of the monthly cost of owning a horse
  • Where the horse will be housed
  • What sort of support you'll have; for example, a trainer, a very experienced friend, riding lessons, etc.
  • Whether you can provide personal or veterinary references
  • Whether you're willing to sign a "first right of refusal" contract in the event you would need to sell the horse

Please don't be offended.  We care and want our horse to be a good match for you and will also want assurance that the horse is properly looked after.