Are you intending to purchase a Quarter Horse? You might have heard of or already know and love the characteristics of Quarter Horses and now you are trying to find a quarter horse that is perfect for you. Here are some facts to consider when you are looking for Quarter Horses for sale.
Quarter horses are a very versatile breed. They hold characteristics which allow them to excel in virtually all equestrian activities. This is what has made the American Quarter Horse the most widespread breed in the United States. More than 5 million American Quarter Horses have been registered worldwide, making it one of the most populous breeds in present times. And for a good reason.
Since this breed is so versatile, bloodlines are built with certain tasks in mind when producing the offspring.
Quarter Horses consist of two core body types – the "stock" type, which is lively, yet shorter and more compact, stockier, and well-muscled. And the "running" type which, is bred for sprinting, has longer legs and is lighter. There are many variations of these two types that stress the attributes required to compete in each sports. Here are some examples; Halter horses are judged on conformation and outward show and the halter bloodlines yield gorgeous massively muscled eye-catching Quarter Horses; Cutting horses are required to be cat quick and get low to the ground to be eye-to-eye with the calf they are keeping out of the herd, so they are bred to be smaller and to have long forearms, short cannons, and powerful low hocks that provide a fulcrum to make lightening quick changes of direction. Reining horses have similar requirements and so the bloodlines of cutting horses and reining horses are closely related. English Pleasure horses and western pleasure horses are judged on their looks and capability to move smoothly and instantly modify gaits at a slow controlled speed, so their bloodlines focus on level top-lines, taller longer leaner bodies and the long legs capable of producing the desired sweeping smooth gait. Luckily there are breeders who are
raising first-rate all-around type Quarter Horses that successfully compete in a variety of events.
Common to the whole Quarter Horse breed is speed, stamina, power, and an inherent motivation to please. They are really good looking working horses and are generally calm and easy to conduct.
The main consideration for a prospective buyer ought to be an evaluation of their individualy level of expertise. A beginner should seek the help of an expert to locate and examine the Quarter Horses for sale. They ought to seek a more experienced horse that has had years of riding and has been exposed to nearly all situations that the buyer is likely to meet. In one word – they need a horse that is “bomb-proof”. An intermediate-level rider could consider a younger or less experienced horse but should, again, have a expert on hand to provide them guidance and advice.
The next question is: what is the best type of quarter horse for your needs or intentions?
- Do you need a cattle horse for ranch labor?
- Are you looking for a horse to compete with at rodeos or horse shows?
- Is it going to be a horse for your children?
- Do you need a horse that can handle rocky territory and obstacles for trail riding?
- Do you want to get a horse for racing?
- Are you interested in raising a foal?
You can also acquaint yourself with the American Quarter Horse Association publications to help you determine which bloodlines would match your needs, or look for a breeder of the all-around type of Quarter Horse. Once you have determined which bloodline has the traits you are looking for, then you can research to find a good and honest Quarter Horse breeder.
If you visit a horse breeder that offers quarter horses for sale, here are a few things to check:
- Legs and Hooves
Check the horse’s legs and hooves well. Inquire about any abnormalities that you observe. The seller should allow you to have a vet check of the horse for soundness before you buy it.
- Overall health
Similarly, check the eyesight, teeth and overall appearance. Again, the seller should be happy to allow you to have a vet check any abnormalities you observe on the horse before you buy it
- Size Compatibility
Try to get a horse that is a good fit for your height and body weight. A very tall person may find a taller horse is a better fit than a 14.2 hand horse, while a very short person might be more comfortable with the shorter blood lines and in both cases present a more balanced look. Quarter horses are able of carrying heavy weights but very heavy persons should look for a stronger and stouter type of horse that can more comfortably accommodate them.
- Color and Looks
If you are looking for a quarter horse to participate in horse shows or for breeding then the attractive conformation and color of the horse can be as valuable as the horse’s character and other assets.
Look for a calm, mild tempered horse, with a willing attitude. A well trained horse will be alert, not fearful; responsive to your attention, not avoid
it; respect your space, not invade it; stand waiting calmly not be uneasy, paw the ground and pull on the lead-rope or reins; quickly obey your commands, not ignore your cues and try to travel at its own desired pace and direction.
- Verification of Bloodline
If your plan is to purchase a horse to breed with, check the pedigree on the registration documents. Are there any champions or point earners in the pedigree? Buying a quarter horse that is originating from a family of champions can add to the value of your horse tremendously if you want to sell it again some day.
- Hygiene of Facility / Horse Care
Consider the facility where the horses are kept. Are the horses in an environment similar to your facilities? A horse that has been kept in a stall may need a supervised transitional phase to safely adjust to a life in the pasture with other horses and vise-versa. Also ask for their worming and vaccinating policy.
- Imprinting and Training
If buying a youngster, you’ll want to know how it has been raised. Was it imprinted or regularly handled from birth, or, barely handled recently and to what extent? A juvenile horse that has been exposed to human attention since its birth is likely to make a more dependable, willing partner for the rest of its life. Observe whether the horse comes to the holder and accepts haltering or does it avoid their attention? What training does the foal have? You’ll need to know in advance if the foal has been prepared for what you intend to do… or if you’ll need to give it more schooling.
And of course it’s always a good idea to have a horse examined by a vet prior to purchase if possible.
Armed with this checklist you should be able to find the perfect quarter horse for you.
Author: Kristi Lacy, American Quarter Horse breeder for more than twenty years. Our farm has Quarter Horses for sale of many ages. Visit us at www.LacyQuarterHorses.com to see which Quarter Horses are available at this time or read the touching story of "Thug", who has turned out to become our finest Quarter Horse broodmare.