Buying the Right Horse: Equine Prepurchase Exam, Part I - YouTube

Equine Prepurchase and “MAT” AssessmentHi, I’m Caroline Rider of Rider Horsemanship. This month’s Holistic Horse “Ask the Expert” Q&A is about the Equine Prepurchase and “MAT” Assessment. This month’s viewer question is about buying, purchasing, a new horse and what areas to look at so she doesn’t buy a physically or mentally challenged horse.I’d like to begin with my MAT Assessment, my own method of evaluating a horse’s emotional and mental well-being and agility. MAT AssessmentI often come across new clients who have purchased their horse without either a physical exam from a vet or a MAT Exam. I’ve produced this video because I want to assist both the new horse owner and the experienced horse owner with evaluating their horse the best way possible – by means of an emotional and mental agility test (MAT). This type of evaluation can save so many of you years of frustration, heartache and accidents.Unfortunately, most of my client’s new horses are purchased with severe mental and emotional issues and challenges. These issues are masked by drugs most of the time, meaning the horses are drugged so they are quiet and relaxed when you come to try them out. These drugs also remain in their system for up to 30 days and when they wear off, you find yourself with a totally different horse.My MAT asks the horse to perform specific exercises and assists you with determining the following. However, if you think your horse is drugged while giving them an evaluation, please ask your vet (not the sellers vet) to draw blood and run a drug test. I. Round Pen: I want to be able to round pen my prospective horse to see what they know and what they don’t know. As a trainer, I come across too many damaged horses from improper round pen techniques. These horses are driven hard and with no purpose, creating very confused, anxious and fearful horses. They either run uncontrollably, are panicked and unable to relax into the movement or they shut down and check out, unable to move at all.What I want to see is a horse that can follow me from the gate to the center of the round pen or corral and be sent out at a walk, then trot and canter and come back to me when I ask. I want to see that they are in control of their emotions and the movement is relaxed and rhythmic.I also want to be able to see how my prospective horse moves at the walk, trot and canter. Here are a few areas I am looking at and looking for before I purchase a horse:- Does my horse have a nice topline and confirmation? Meaning is the top of their neck down through their back and haunches rounded with muscle or concave in areas? Is their wither higher than their rump, indicating a more “uphill” horse and naturally smoother movement.- Self-carriage: does the horse track nicely underneath themselves at the walk, trot and canter. Do they round themselves or hollow out when moving? Is their movement rhythmic and relaxed or inconsistent and tight?- Overall, is their movement fluid and smooth within transitions or do they fall over themselves trying to balance themselves when you slow down and stop or get agitated and speed up when you ask for more movement?II. Lungeing: I want to be able to lunge my horse at the walk, trot and canter and see them in control of their emotions which will show up in a horse that is paying attention to your cues and has a relaxed, rhythmic movement. A horse that is unsure and unconfident will have inconsistent gaits, no rhythm and will not have relaxed movement. The third area I want to assess on my new prospect is riding. I will talk about, and demonstrate, in Part II of this training video what I am looking for when I tack up and ride my prospect. Stay tuned for next month's video: Knowing What You Are Buying: Equine Prepurchase Exam, Part II, RidingCaroline Rider, of Rider Horsemanship, explains further how to develop, train, your new horse and/or restart your new horse in the following training DVD's: more information, please visit: www.riderhorsemanship.com

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