Tips For Buying a Horse Online

More and more folks are looking to the Internet to find their next cat, dog or horse. While this offers a convenient solution and broader selection outside of ones locality, it can be fraught with unseen expenses and potential heartache. It seems inevitable that buying horses online will become more the norm than the exception as the Internet grows. With that in mind, following is a short list of what one should do when looking to purchase their horse through an online source.

1. Call the seller - don't just email. You'd be surprised at how many folks have never spoken a word with the seller until after the money changed hands.

2. Ask for a recent video. Most Internet-savvy sellers already have videos on hand and will have no problem with that request. Some sellers will not have access to a video camera, and in that case, you need to try to find someone who can go to where the horse is and check him out, or, better yet, go yourself if possible. Of course, your requirements in a horse and budget will determine if it is worth all the time and money spent making sure the horse is what you want. A $1500 animal might not warrant a $300 plane ticket plus other expenses. It would really be best to look more local for your next equine friend in that case.

3. If you seem fairly certain that the horse is for you, hire a local vet to go over and give a check to your prospective horse. If one doesn't do anything else here, hiring a vet should be the minimum that is done when buying a horse online. Just doing the standard Coggins and general overview for transportation purposes won't cut the mustard. Have the vet look over the teeth, eyes, hooves, muscle condition and coat condition. A horse is finely attuned to everything in and about it - if anything is wrong it usually shows up in the eyes or coat at the very minimum. Ask the vet for an objective opinion as to if the horse is sound and easy to manage. A vet chose their field because they had an extraordinary affinity towards animals - they have more skills than just their medical knowledge when it comes to animals, or in this case, horses - make use of them.

4. Ask for references for previous horse buyers from the seller. If this is a one-time sale with no other references available - then depend on a phone interview with pre-determined questions. A caring, honest seller will gladly answer your questions as well as ask you plenty too.

5. Make sure you have insurance coverage for the transport. Most commercial horse transporters will carry a certain degree of insurance to cover accidents and mishaps, however, it would behoove you to carry extra insurance on your horse, especially in the event he/she falls ill during or after the transport.

6. The very best advice is for a potential owner to make the trip themselves, inspect the horse personally, bring in a local vet for checks, and spend time communicating with the horse to assure him/her that everything will be fine once they arrive to their new home. Making the trip with your horse will help them to become accustomed to you as their one constant and will pave the way for a much smoother homecoming.

This is but a short list of what one should be looking at when buying a horse online. You may get lucky and hook up with a seller who has all of the above and more ready for your look-see, but just to be on the safe side, it's best to know at least some of the minimums that need to be addressed. Always keep the horses well-being in mind when deciding that you just have to get that beautiful looking Paint horse who happens to be 2000 miles away. If the horse isn't feeling 100% in the first place, and you put him through the stress of an uncomfortable long haul, you may be doing some major harm to the frightened horse that could end up being a heartbreak for all concerned.

Cris Mandelin-Wood owns several websites covering pets. Animal welfare issues are of special interest.

In The News:

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Telehealth for sick foster pets available now  CBC.caVolunteers fostering sick pets for the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society can now connect with a Telehealth-like video conferencing *service*.
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Salma Hayek reveals she has adopted an pet OWL  Daily MailSalma Hayek revealed she had added to her animal brood on Thursday as she posed with an adorable pet owl.
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Best custom gift ever? Cuddle clones pet replica slippers  TODAYCuddle Clones makes products that look so much like real-life pets, it's scary — yet adorable.
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Does Texas allow tigers as pets?  KHOU.comIn Texas, where they're allowed depends on where you are.
Pet safety: How to keep dogs, cats safe in extreme winter weather  USA TODAYWith much of the nation in the grips of an Arctic blast that's dropping temperatures well below freezing, experts offer tips on keeping pets safe.
Beware of coyotes: Humane society warns mating season puts pets at higher risk  WTVD-TVBeware of coyotes--that's the warning from the Humane Society of Granville County.
CVAS Pets of the Week: Cochise and Renner  Carlisle SentinelCochise was brought into the shelter as a stray, so we know very little about his past. He's a 3-year-old terrier mix who can be a little needy at time,
3 Financial Planning Tips For Pets Owners  ForbesAre you a pet lover? Should you buy pet insurance? What will happen to your dogs when you pass away? We share 3 financial tips for pet owners and ...
Texas' exotic pet laws: The furry friends you can't have in Houston  KTRK-TVCats are okay, but a tiger may be a problem in Houston city limits.
Pet Doc with Nikki Burdine: Valentine's day can be dangerous, even deadly for your pet  WKRN News 2Did you get candy for Valentine's Day? If you have a lot of great chocolate around the house right now keep it away from your dog. Nikki Burdine talks with Dr.
Pets with Potential: Meet Sally  WCAXThis playful southern belle is the perfect companion for the active Vermonter!
Tips to keep your pets safe from frostbite, boredom during cold snap  CBC.caThe coldest days of winter have plagued Albertans since the start of February, leaving plenty of people and their pets stuck inside.
11 Pets You Should Keep Away From Your Face  Reader's DigestKeep these pets—and your hands after touching the animals—away from your mouth! Otherwise, you could risk catching a serious disease.
Benefit set for Kane man who lost home, pets in fire  Bradford EraA fire tore through this local man's home, stripping him of his belongings and even taking his two beloved pets. His dog, Abby and his cat, Marley were both lost ...
Central Phoenix News MCACC offering 50% off pet adoptions for Valentine's Day!  ABC15 ArizonaLooking for the love of your life? It might have paw pads, a wet nose and tail!
Pet of the Week  KRQE News 13Pet of the Week goes to Daphne, a goofy, loving Pit Bull mix who is approximately 2-years-old.

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