To lend a helping hand in your search for a new horse we asked Badminton winner and all round super star, Sam Griffiths, to put together his top tips for things to look out for when you’re looking at potential horses.
1) Decide what type of horse you are after and stick to it. It’s all too easy to get carried away when you’re looking for a horse, so if you are after a schoolmaster don't come home with a recently broken 3 year old! 2) When I‘m looking for a top level event horse, I will always ask myself "could I see this horse at Badminton?" It really helps me be clear in my head what I am after and not be tempted by something that is very flashy but realistically is not going to have the endurance that I need at 4 star level. 3) Keep a constant eye on the market - The good ones tend to get snapped up very quickly, in the past I’ve seen them on HorseQuest in the morning and sold be lunchtime! 4) Be prepared to take your time finding a horse - sometimes it can be a lengthy and tedious process, if the first horse isn’t right it might be the second, fifth or tenth! 5) I will always try a horse twice - you will pick up on things at a second visit that you missed the first time around. 6) Find out everything about a horse before you visit it - if it has any vices etc, this will save you time and money in the long run. Ask for a video of the horse in action, this can be a great way of telling whether a horse is worth the time and cost of fuel of a viewing. 7) If you arrive and immediately know the horse is not for you then don't be afraid to say so, the seller should appreciate your honesty and this way you won’t be wasting your or their time. 8) I always video the horse - you can watch it again and again which will help you make a decision and similarly, take someone with you that knows your riding - it can be so worthwhile to have another 'pair of eyes' to assess the horse. 9) Ask questions, questions and more questions! Buying a horse is a huge decision and you need to know everything you can about the horse before you commit to buying it. If the seller is genuine they will be able to answer all of them! 10) Get a vet check, but keep it appropriate to the horse. Don't go spending hundreds of pounds with a five star vetting for a horse that will only be required to hack around the village a couple of times a week!