BUYER BEWARE Buyer Beware. Those words should strike fear in the hearts of every new horse owner. Because unfortunately our horse market is very similar to the used car business, a new sucker is born every 15 minutes! There are many unscrupulous horse owners just waiting to pounce on an infatuated new mini person, fleecing the sale with promises of a registerable horse when nothing could be further from the truth. No one hears more of these tales of woe, than the AMHA Registration Supervisor, Pam Pruitt. Having worked in the registration department for over 10 years she has ample bad situations to choose from, but she shares some of the most common scenarios of new horse owner versus seller who just dumped an unregistered foal. “It saddens us to hear the foal owner's disappointment when we have to tell them we have no record of a foal by that name, nor do we have any registered foals born that year out of that mare or by that stallion”. Pam shares, “Typically it is the domino effect, the seller breeds his mares to one of his stallions, and then either forgets to file the stallion report or doesn't want to pay the late penalty.” And so the situation worsens. By the time the foal is born, there is no record at AMHA of the breeding, and more than likely there will be other problems by this time. An issue that is easy to sweep under the rug and catches many people off guard is the rule that both the sire and the dam MUST BE DNA TESTED, if they are breeding animals and are producing foals. Add to this the possibility the sire and dam may also be 5 years of age by now, in which case they must be brought to permanent status. If this is confusing to a breeder who has been involved with minis for some time, you can imagine the frustration of the new foal owner! What can a “Newbie” do to avoid being “ripped off”? When buying an already registered horse, here is what you must have when you are about to sign on the dotted line…. STOP! And be sure this is what you are getting: MUST HAVES: An ORIGINAL certificate. Original certificates have original photos of the horse on the back. Look closely and be sure it is the horse you are buying. An ORIGINAL ownership transfer form with all the blanks filled in. The horse's current height must be listed no matter the age of the horse. Make sure the last recorded owner listed on the back of the certificate is the one who signs the seller section of the transfer form. Current photos must be submitted to send in with the transfer and certificate in order to transfer the horse into your name. For information on how to submit those please see our Photo Submission information. Don't forget that all AMHA horses must be brought permanent by the age of three (36 months). If the horse you are purchasing is older than 36 months, it may be brought permanent at the same time you do the transfer. You can tell by looking at an Original Registration Certificate whether or not your horse has been brought permanent. If the certificate is white, that is a Temporary Certificate and the horse has not been brought permanent. If the certificate is brown, the horse has been brought permanent. Is the certificate blue? If so, read on!