Since forever, it’s been considered a real challenge to buy a perfect horse. Simply because there are no ‘perfect’ horses out there. Buyers, whether amateurs, professionals or dealers find themselves often facing the challenges of poorly structured trade processes, a lack of understanding and experience.
Since Covid-19, the opportunities to travel to Europe and try horses has made it so challenging for international clients to purchases horse in ease, transparency and security. – At least, it was the case before BRIDL.
Today, our team decided to share with you an insider’s perspective to the process of buying a sports horses effectively and how we make your journey as a buyer so much easier.
Where should I start?
Many buyers consider several paths when buying horses, either they find about this one on social media, or through their network. Or they perhaps consider going on the hunt of this champion on their own or with scouter.
Not having the right network, or the right knowledge makes it challenging as you don’t necessarily know who to talk to and how to get going on this path to purchase your new companion.
BRIDL has made this process much easier as we constantly aim to source great quality horses from the right people. Surrounding ourselves by professionals and experts allows us to ensure building a strong helpful network of professionals salesman and riders who will always have great horses for sale. Whenever you’re doubting where to get started, BRIDL knows exactly what to do to help you. Whether we have a horse in our catalog that suits your needs or whether we ask one of our scouts to look for this one, it is always a great idea for you to pass by us as you will be facing a professional team who takes the time to engage with you to understand your needs, while ensuring to find a horse that exactly fits what you’re looking for.
Establishing your Profile and your Needs
The First-Step of the Process is truly based on understanding your needs:
- What are you exactly looking for?
- What level are you looking to compete in?
- What are your objectives with this specific horse?
Understanding your goals and objectives as a buyer can take you a long way while guiding you towards the right horse. The clients that come speak to BRIDL often have their own idea to what would be a suitable horse or operate with the help of a coach who will understand what makes the perfectly suited horse for them.
Our team is fully committed to understanding your characteristics as a buyer, understand what goals you have and how you interact with your horse. The knowledge gathered by our team in the moment of matching a horse to a client truly helps and makes the process of scouting much easier and efficient.
The entire process is made to gather a substantial amount of information on your as a client to help you answer 3 specific questions:
- Is this horse the right horse for me?
- Is this horse healthy and sounds enough for my needs and it’s purpose?
- Are the risks taken acceptable for me and my needs?
We first need to understand your profile as a buyer:
- Are you experienced or Do you need a confidence builder?
- Are you looking to buy a horse that will teach you the job or are you looking to train a horse yourself?
- What are your physical and mental attributes? How does this affect your riding?
- What type of attributes do you like this horse to have? Are you looking for a horse with blood that easily responds to the leg or a relax horse?
Understanding your profile will help narrow down the type of horse which could suit you substantially – it will guide our team towards specific category of horses which we believe could be great for your needs and your goals.
What is your budget?
The second step to the establishment of your profile is very much related to your budget and the price tag associated with this horse.
Horses come in all shapes and prices, it is very important for you as a buyer to know what you’re looking for and to understand what capital wants to be spent on a new companion. It is also very important for you to understand that the heavy budget is not so much the one of purchase but rather the one of maintaining the horse in a great shape, taking him to competition and ensuring to always be at the top of the game. Our team when discussing with one of the best European 5* riders established that a top horse would cost about 40,000€ annually to maintain, which doesn’t consider competition.
It’s very important for you to be transparent with our team on your budget. Based on this information and the established buyer profile that you gave us, we will ensure our best to match a horse to you in the best conditions.
Right now we could divide the profile of horse in 4 categories:
- The high-risk purchase which could generate a highly-rewarding outcome such as the purchase of a youngster below 5 years old. We can consider this high-risk as there is very little amount of information that the purchase decision can be based upon apart from some ‘pedigree analysis’, some young joints overview and some simple medical examinations. At this age, you don’t necessarily know whether the horse is going to be a superstar or your average 1.20 pony that keeps everyone happy but that was paid a fortune for.
- The high-risk purchase which could generate a low-rewards outcome such as the purchase of school master. This one has been ridden by several riders for many years and doesn’t necessarily have a bombproof health. Now it might a great horse to start going up the big classes, but it doesn’t necessarily ensure that this one will be filling your needs for many years.
- The low-risk purchase which could generate a high-rewards outcome such as the purchase of a very talented youngster between 4 to 7 years old with the purpose to be trained by a professional in the best possible conditions. It might not be but in some cases, this represents a great investment. At this age, you can already start considering performance analysis, analysis of the movement on the fences and you can already get an idea of their overall behaviour, soundness and health. Keeping things logical and pragmatic, we’re of course very aware that this could turn out to be a terrible decision, however it is very clear to us why 80% of our clients are scouting great quality youngsters, if you fall on the right one there is a tremendous amount of cash to be generated.
- Finally, we’re looking at the horse from 9 to 10 years old who represent a mid-risk for a mid-rewards. At this age, there is already plenty of data to be analysed, and a full health check that can be undertaken to help you in your decision process.
Before moving onto the other steps of this process, it is very important for you to know whether you’re looking at the purchase of a horse as an investment or whether you’re looking at this one as an enjoyment. The leverage of risk and the way in which you should analyse horses for both categories are very different.
Equestrian sports is already sufficiently expensive so it’s important for you to know where you’re spending your money and why.
Once I like a horse, what processes should I follow?
Now that you have a horse that appears to fit your needs we have many things required when it comes to completing your purchase decision.
One, are you going to go try this horse? Are you going to buy this horse on video?
We understand that sometimes it is not possible to go try horses especially since the beginning of Covid-19 everything has been very challenging for international buyers wanting to horse shop in Europe, however our team high recommends everyone buying a horse to try this one or send someone to do so. It is very important to get a feel of what it’s like to be one this horse, it is very important to get idea of how this horse interacts with the riders, how does the mouth feel? is he spooky? is he confident as he approaches the fences?
It’s very important for a buyer to establish an outline of what this horse is like. It’s also important to remember that with a great buyer on their back, it’s easy to make a horse look very good.
At BRIDL we’re really here to support you in this step of the process. Whether it is with the organisation of a scouting trip, a trial or whether it is through a remote purchase we do everything that is in our power to ensure that everything is as transparent as possible. Many of the sales that we did since the launch of our operations in February have been on video, however we know that these sales come at a risk. Buyers are responsible of their choices and the risks they’re willing to take while a seller should be responsible for providing the right information with their clients.
Our team tries to always provide the best advice to both parties to ensure that every single one of our sales goes in the best conditions possible. We match you to potential suited horses, help you organise your trials, and ensure that as much information can be shared between parties.
Once a trial is successful or you decide that ‘this horse’ is the right one for you, we ensure that you do not neglect the veterinary process.
What is the veterinary protocol?
The veterinary protocol, also known as ‘vet-check’ or ‘pre-purchase’ examination is a necessary step of any purchase operation. It allows to outline whether or not a horse is sound, healthy and worth purchasing. It’s often advised by professionals not to fall in love until the full vet check as been approved as more often than not this one comes out disappointing.
It’s important to go through this process in the most rational and objective way possible.
The first part of the vet-check can be considered as the examination phase: the veterinarian will examine the horse, evaluate its soundness, undertake flexion tests and analyse the horse in a dynamic motion. In this phase, the vet will also analyse the conformation of the horse and will make any potential critic on the obvious respiratory, muscular and cardiac health of this one.
This crucial step will be followed with the testing phase, ensuring to get a great overview of the horse’s bones structure through the x-rays.
Note that our team helps our client undertake the analysis of the x-rays through the expertise of professional clinics if these ones do not have any trusted vet that could help in this process.
The set of x-rays requested by the buyer really depends on the future purpose of the horse and on how much capital the client wants to invest in the examination of the horse.
During the examination phase, the veterinarian will also undertake blood tests to establish whether or not the horse holds any disease. In the case of exporting a horse to the USA, there are several tests to undertake, among them is the famous piroplasmosis test. Depending on your needs, our team will be fully available to help you organise a vet-check.
The Examination phase could involve many others phases – everything is relative to the future use of the horse and what the buyer is looking to investigate and how data is needed.
With all the data obtained with the x-rays, the examination phase and the potential medical history of the horses; the buyer will have a sufficient amount of information to make a purchase decision on the horse.
What happens next?
Upon a successful purchase decision, the team will ensure to help you with the organisation of the payment for the same horse and the details related to the export of this one towards his new location. To give a concrete example, in the case of the sale of Blue Cass de Walyro our team fully advised the buyers on the organisation of the transport through the help of one of their chosen transporters.
Our team doesn’t have the responsibility to organise everything for our clients when it comes to the transport, we however do everything in our power to best advice and ensure everything is done in the best possible conditions. It means a lot to us to keep a 100% customer satisfaction on every single purchase. So far our client recognised that working with BRIDL made their trade process much more effective and organised.
We believe that buying a horse should be a pure pleasure – for this reason we do everything in our power every-time to ensure that the highest quality of service is provided.
If you want our team to organise your scouting trip or help you find a horse that suits – we’re reachable via whatsapp on +447537141705.