Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Take Your Time When Inspecting Hunter Jumper Horses For Sale

By Frances Keith

When looking at advertisements for hunter jumper horses for sale, give careful consideration to the type of horse you wish to buy. Quality horses of this type are expensive. It may be difficult to recoup your purchase money if you find you have bought an unsuitable mount.

You may wish to exhibit your hunter jumper in the show-ring. Some classes are judged on the flat and the horse is not shown over hurdles. If your new mount isn't required to jump, it will be sufficient if he has good paces and manners, and is strong and well-conformed. If you plan to enter classes requiring jumping, you will need to ensure that he jumps well. He still needs to be well-conformed and eye-catching.

In the show-ring, conformation is extremely important. A horse cannot perform well if he is badly put together. He must stand in a balanced manner with his four legs evenly spaced. An attractive head with large, friendly eyes will draw the judge's attention. The horse should be broad between the eyes with a straight or concave profile.

There should be a nice arch to the neck. A sloping shoulder and well-defined wither are preferable. A horse with a straight shoulder will have a short, choppy stride and will be uncomfortable to ride. Strong, muscular hindquarters enable the horse to jump well. A back that is too long will be weak. A broad chest allows plenty of room for the heart and lungs. Well-sprung ribs are important too.

A horse with faulty legs will never succeed in the show-ring. The legs should be straight. The bone must be hard and strong with no blemishes such as splints or spavins. The hooves should not point in or out. The front hooves are often more oval in shape than the back hooves but each pair must be matching. Sloping pasterns are important as they take the shock of landing after a jump.

When you go to view a horse, inspect it first when it is standing quietly. Look at it from every angle. Ask the owner to walk and trot the horse away from you then straight back towards you. Look for straight action without excessive throwing of the feet to the sides. Then stand to one side and have the horse trotted past. The steps should be even with the hind feet stepping past the imprint made by the forefeet.

Check that it allow all four feet to be picked up one by one. Ask the owner to ride the horse before riding it yourself. It should stand quietly to be saddled and bridled. The owner should be able to mount without the horse moving off before being told to. Ask the owner to demonstrate its jumping ability if this is important.

After seeing the horse ridden, you can ask to try it yourself. Be content to walk it around for a while first. It should feel as though it is stepping in a regular rhythm. It must be obedient to your commands. And don't forget, when viewing hunter jumper horses for sale, the colour of the horse is the least important factor.

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