Jos Sevriens, a Dutch dressage trainer based out of the Stables at Blalock Lakes in Georgia, is an expert in helping people find the right horses. His top tips for matching the perfect horse and rider combination are three-fold.
"First of all, you need to have a good agent, trainer or someone knowledgeable involved where you have mutual respect on both sides. Then, the most important things are that the horse has to fit physically, mentally and financially," Sevriens said. "Also, the balance of the horse and the quality of the horse needs to be based on the rider's ability."
He cautioned that over and over he sees people choose horses that are not suited for them and gave the example of one of his clients who was horse shopping.
"We had found her a good horse in the past and she did very well," he said. "Then, she wanted another horse. Long story short, I found a very good horse for her. Then, the people showed her a 3-year-old, a beautiful animal that was still a stallion and she wanted to buy it. I told her, 'No, this is not the right horse for you.'
"The bottom line is the horse has to have the ability to perform to the level the rider wants to perform," he continued. "The horse has to have a very good disposition but once again it has to match. This is why MatchnRide.com is such a good site."
Sevriens explained that MatchnRide is an ideal stepping-stone for starting the search, giving shoppers the ability to match the horses' characteristics and training with the riders' abilities and goals. He added that that MnR is a great way for the buyer to gain confidence that the horse may be a suitable match when the horse buying process is begun.
He said he believes that after the potential buyer finds a good match on the website, it's essential that an in-person visit is next on the purchasing agenda.
"The MatchnRide.com website is a good start, still, the riders need to feel the horse and not just look at it," he said. "They need to sit on it to learn whether or not they are comfortable."
Of course, a pre-purchase exam by a qualified veterinarian is also essential. The ideal situation is to have your veterinarian preform the exam, however, if the horse is not in your area it'’s important that the vet you choose works in conjunction with your personal vet. Sevriens said that, although there is no such thing as a perfect horse, buyers should know where a potential riding partner fits within a normal scale.
Sevriens believes that potential buyers should take their time to make sure the horse is truly the perfect fit.
"It's an ongoing situation in this horse world and people get very anxious to do something when it's not always healthy," he cautioned. "Sometimes people get too emotional and in a hurry and they sabotage themselves. But in the end, the whole point is the horse has to be suitable for the rider."
Jos Sevriens is an expert in helping match people to their ideal horse partners both in the U.S. and abroad. Whether it's a European shopping spree or shopping closer to home, his reputation for successfully finding the right horse to match the rider's ability and goals speaks for itself. You can reach him at (404) 643-7523 or firstname.lastname@example.org.