Recently someone approached me about selling her lovely children’s pony. This is a great pony and super fun to have the in the barn, but my heart sank at the thought of it. It’s almost impossible to try to sell a horse in New England during the winter. If someone is making a purchase, they’ll likely be shopping and staying down south to immeadiately target towards competition. If you’ve recently put a shopping trip on hold until spring, here are three reasons to consider purchasing a horse during the winter.

Bonding. I believe the sleepy, dark winter up north is the perfect time to build a partnership with a new horse. The coldest weather may force you to only ground days or hours of walking and grooming. If buy a horse with the immediate goal to compete, you loose those potentially vital (though they may be forced) bonding opportunities.

Psychological. The majority of riders don’t purchase horses often, and are making a huge commitment to a new horse both financially and emotionally. Adding the stressor of competition on top of that can be a recipe for disappointment, disillusionment, and just struggle down the road.

Financial. The true cost of a horse isn’t just the purchase price. You’ve got to factor in purchasing new supplies and equipment, increased training expenses, and just general “maintenance” costs. If you add competition expenses on top, you’re going to stretch your budget and potentially cut corners on well fitting equipment or lessons. Those intimate winter months of bonding, saving, and focusing on improving your partnership will pay dividends in the long run.