Preparing to buy an Andalusian horse?
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 you.
Think about what is important to you…
- Good movements and performance? (Are you more into dressage and performance than safe hacks around the country side?)
- Safety? (Do you want your horse to be a release of stress or do you need a challenge in life?)
- 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 but he might also be a handful and not turn out to become as wonderfully trained as you dreamed. 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?)
2. Don’t be too critical.
This is an important point.
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. The decision.
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 know. 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 or she is the one (we have had many success stories 🙂 without meeting him or her in real life. Those people trust my judgement of the horses character and type and buy the horses on my recommendation. It is understandable that we all are different and that you as the buyer should never let anybody convince you to buy a certain horse… OR…. for that matter talk you out of a horse that you feel connected to.
4. Preparation and homecoming.
Make sure that the transition from Spain to your country becomes as natural as possible for your Andalusian horse.
- Avoid changing his routines. (Make sure that you find out as much of his normal day to day life as possible before you bring him home and try to keep his old routines for a while until you get to know him.)
- Look into his feeding status. (The nutritional value in Spanish food is not as high as in Northern Europe or the USA, so make sure that you get him used to his new hay and food slowly and don’t over feed him on nor hay or hard-feed)
- Is he a stallion? (Make sure he knows the rules around the yard from the absolute first moment you get him home. 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.)
- Hoof care. (Spanish horses have taller heels than other breeds. They are not always wrongly shod, it’s the basic conformation of the hoof. Make sure your farrier knows this and deals with his shoeing accordingly.)
- Give the horse 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 things of him.)