When buying a horse, what should you really be focusing on, what is the best way to approach it? Emma Butchard and Andre Nagata run Leatherstocking Farm and Nagata Sport Horses. It’s one business based on two farms, in Panningen in The Netherlands and in Wellington, Florida. Emma and Andre source horses for clients all over Europe and the United states.
Emma says she sees more breeding and more horses in Europe. She said, “In the U.S. a lot of the horses have come from Europe, they generally have nicer quality and also a higher price because someone has already found them in Europe and paid for the expensive flight over.”
Andre and Emma buy young horses, ponies and projects with potential which they train and sell on. They find these horses from videos, from sales barns, private sellers and breeders.
Dealers can be viewed suspiciously, but the ones with the best reputations are genuine and truthful and want to find the right horse for the right rider. Emma said, “We approach selling horses to clients in an honest way, showing the horse as he or she is, and making sure it is a good fit for the client. We hope that the client is happy with the horse they bought and will want to come back to us for more horses in the future. We give as many options as we have in our barn or know from other connections, this way the client has a larger chance of finding the perfect horse for them.”
Emma advises potential buyers to have an open mind especially when it comes to colour or gender. She said, “I think it is good to know what you want as a buyer, most people have a certain type they like or get along best with. Being too picky makes it more difficult to find the right horse.”
For Emma when she is selling a horse, she thinks, being a good rider, even with years of experience, is to be humble and know that you never stop learning with horses. She suggests potential buyers should bring their trainer, to make sure they’re buying a something suitable for their ability.
As a professional dealer she has these final words of advice. “A buyer should really be focused on the feeling they have riding the horse. They should feel comfortable and try the horse over two different days with one day at a new venue so you can see how the horse reacts. It is important you know your budget, and what details you want about the horse such as age, height, and type. You should try to find the records, and any show videos you can find online to see how the horse is on the good days and the bad days.”
History of the horse is valuable information for both the buyer and the seller as it’s in everyone’s interest, especially that of the horse – for the right home to be found, for all concerned.