When you are looking to buy and have bought a Spanish horse there are a few things worth thinking about.
1. Be selective and critical. Take your time in choosing the horse. Look at several horses and weigh their positive and negatives against each other. Don’t chose a horse because you feel sorry for him. Don’t chose a horse that is beautiful but a bit too strong in his character for your liking, ie. don’t be vain.
Think about what is important to you…
Good movements or a soft character. Are you more into dressage and performance or safe hacks around the country side?
Beauty or intelligence. A cooperative hard working horse or one that is lazy but beautiful?
Age and sex. A young stallion might be unspoiled and don’t have any previous injuries etc. but he might also be a hand full and not turn out to become as wonderfully trained as you dreamt about. Are you competent enough to take on a young horse? Can you handle a stallion? Would you maybe be better of with an older professionally trained horse that already is all you wanted – but obviously he won’t be with you as long time as a youngster.
2. Don’t be too critical, be happy about the horse that you chose! Obviously you want to find all that you are looking for rolled into one, but no-one is perfect – so when choosing you must be prepared to compromise, especially if you are within a certain price bracket. Regardless of where, you are looking for a horse “it’s a jungle out there” and the only one, really able to chose is you. So maybe you have to make do with a little dishing, a slightly too big head or a bit of a thinner mane. But owning, caring and riding the Spanish horse is a joy – so be happy in it! See the positive instead of the negative – and your horse will love you for it and give back ten fold. When you are happy with your horse he is happy with you.
3. Andalusitano don’t recommend buying a horse unseen in real life – that is a risk regardless of how many videos and pictures you have on the horse. Not until you, yourself meet him in real life you can decide whether you like him or not. It’s a spiritual thing. However some people have a strong intuition and can see the soul of the horse through a picture and know he is the one (we have had a few success stories). But those are very special people and not among most of us mortals, but they do exist! The point of that was – don’t let anybody else convince you to buy, or talk you out of buying the horse that you feel or not feel you are connected to.
4. Prepare for the home coming of your Spanish horse. Make sure that his transition from Spain to northern Europe becomes as natural as possible. Be careful with changing his ways of living and handling too soon, as he must be given the time to accustomise to the new life. A stallion that has always been handled with respect and dominance might not take lightly to suddenly be handled like a cuddly toy. He then becomes a dangerous animal and you must geld him. The dream of the Spanish stallion then becomes the dream of the Spanish gelding – which is just as good, but if you wanted the stallion – you must handle him like one.
Make sure you have the kind of food home that the horse has been fed in Spain.
Don’t change the hoof angle to quickly, get a real hoof professional in to deal with the shoeing of your Spanish horse. In many places in Spain it is namely custom to have very high hooves that has to be changed gradually.
Don’t let him out to graze directly in the spring – there is a risk of too much green grass, that is nonexistent in Spain.
5.When he is home – give him time to settle. It is always in the first week of moving a horse to a new place that the most accidents happen. For the first week don’t ride him, just take him out and lunge him and get used to him. And let him get used to you. It takes about 6 months for a horse to truly settle into a new place. Think about that when you train him and demand stuff of him.
We are sure there are more things to think about but these are a few to start with..
Happy horse hunting!