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Buying a Gypsy Cob: Some Considerations

Deciding to buy any horse is a significant undertaking. It should be an exciting and positive experience. To reduce the chance of things going wrong it is highly recommended that you have a contract. A contract should clearly set out the expectations of both parties. If in doubt, especially if a significant amount of money is at stake - consult a lawyer!


Here are some things that a contract should include (the age, location/distance of the horse can make a difference - there is more to consider when buying or selling an unknown horse sight unseen, an unweaned foal or a horse that is a considerable distance or time away, in comparison to a known horse a few km’s down the road you can pick up tomorrow):


  • Identity/description and location of the horse

  • Full legal names of vendor and purchaser

  • Agreed price:

    • How much?  

    • When is payment required? 

    • If a deposit is paid, who is then responsible for what? E.g. grazing, trims, vet care. 

    • What happens if payment is unable to be completed after a deposit has been paid?

    • Who pays for insurance? 

    • Who is arranging and paying for transport?

    • When do you get your horse?

    • When is ownership with any societies transferred?

    • What activities are you allowed to undertake before the horse is paid for in full?


  • Are there conditions attached to the sale? E.g. gelding clauses. 

  • Is the horse registered with the NZGCA? If not, it cannot be shown in GC classes and its progeny are also not eligible for registration. We strongly recommend ensuring the horse is NZGCA registered before purchase. Registered horses will have papers, or you can contact the NZGCA registrar or secretary to confirm registration or pending registrations. 

  • Vet check: Do you need to have one done or are you happy to buy without? If the vet check highlights issues, what will you be happy with? Often a horse may fail a high-level flexion test but still be perfectly suitable as a pleasure mount. Are drenching/dental/vaccination/microchip details and other health care information available?


Other things to consider include:

  • Height: If an Estimated Mature Height (EMH) is provided for youngstock, ask for the height of both parents and the grandparents, if known. Look at the height of siblings if possible. Remember that home measures are not necessarily done accurately so a certified measure is always better than someone’s best guess. 

  • Is the horse capable of doing the job that you intend it to do?

  • How much handling has the horse had? Ask for photos or even better, some videos to show handling if you can’t meet the horse yourself.

  • Can you view older siblings or progeny out of that mare or by that stallion, to see what type and height your prospective horse may be?

  • Colour, FIS and PSSM1 testing

  • Feel pressured at all? Take some time to think about it and don't commit to anything you are not truly happy with. Reasonable vendors will accept that choosing a horse to purchase can be a difficult decision. At the same time appreciate that the vendor may have many enquiries, and be prepared for them to ask you questions and ask for references. Don’t ask a lot of questions that take time to answer if you are not serious about potentially purchasing the horse. 


FINALLY: Do you have all the information you need? Have you spoken to others who have purchased from this vendor? Were they happy with their horse and the service they received? 

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