Buying a horse or pony

We've seen you're looking to buy a horse through Gumtree. It's a huge commitment. So here are some tips to help you make the right decision:

Read our tips below...

Start with research

First things first, make sure that a horse is right for you and your lifestyle. Look around online for advice or ask your local vet some questions to find out if owning a horse is right for you. The average life expectancy of a horse is 18 - 22 years. Are you ready to commit to the lifetime of cost and care of keeping a horse?

If you are new to horse riding or ownership, consider loaning a horse first. It will help you see if you have what it takes to become an owner.

Do the maths

Keeping a horse can cost as much as £10,000 per year. As well as livery, feed and hay costs, there will be vet and farrier costs. Plus, you might want to take out third party insurance cover as the horses are powerful animals and can cause considerable damage. Make sure you can really afford to keep a horse for years to come before you consider buying one.

Go and say hello

When you visit a horse, take your time, ask lots of questions and trust your instincts. If you're not an expert, take along someone who is.

Ask about his or her temperament and abilities, health and history and make sure the owner sounds true and honest. Always check the paperwork is in order, such as an equine passport, vaccination certificate, microchip and breed papers.

Visit the horse at least twice to ensure that you are suited and be prepared to wait for the right horse. Don't settle for an animal which you are unsuited to and that you may be forced to part with after only a short time together.

Remember, you'll need a vet to check the horse is healthy and fit before you take it home.

Can you keep a horse happy and healthy?

A horse needs the right living environment, a suitable diet and exercise facilities - such as a paddock to allow your horse to roam in during the day. So before you buy a horse, make sure you have secured the right facilities where your new horse will be kept and where you will have the support of knowledgeable people.

To the rescue

Before you buy a horse on Gumtree, consider contacting your local animal rescue centre. There are many horses and ponies across the UK that need a new home.

Our Partners

At Gumtree we take animal welfare very seriously.

We work with a number of animal welfare charities, including the RSPCA, and we are an active member of the Pets Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG). PAAG is made up of animal welfare groups, vets and online classified sites, all working together to promote responsible pet advertising. Our shared goal is that all animals advertised for sale online are advertised legally and ethically.

For more information on PAAG or advice on buying a pet online, you can visit their site:

A fresh start in life

There are thousands of wonderful animals in the UK looking for a new start. A number of charities advertise these pets on Gumtree, but you can also visit PAAG member sites directly.