Training and Re-Sale for profit - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-20-2013, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Training and Re-Sale for profit

Has anyone had any luck with training and re-sale projects? Did you break even or make a profit?

I know someone who adopted a Morgan horse from a rescue. The horse is a 4 yr old with maybe 6-10 rides on him. The person who adopted the horse started taking him on trail rides. The first 2-4 rides went okay. The horse trailers well, loads and unloads, is calm in a new environment, and the time I rode with them, he walked the entire hour and a half and didn't spook at anything. He didn't even get upset when the horses in front rode way ahead of him.

The only issue is he is nervous about mounting, and this past ride he reared and fell on landing so the adopter sent him back. I missed this past ride because it was rainy on and off, windy and the temperature had dropped about 25 degrees. From what I was told, the rider was nervous and was pulling on the horse which is why the horse reared.

My personal opinion is that the horse needs more time, and that given how calmly he has handled everything up until this point, he might make a good re-sale project.

The horse does need some weight put on (not starved, just thin, needs muscling on topline). He is just a plain looking bay. No glaring conformational faults, maybe a little straight in the hind end.

My plans would be to use him as a trail horse/possibly start him over small jumps/ground poles. Maybe go to a few horse shows and walk/trot classes. Obviously he is going to need a lot of basic training.

He may be registered, but I would need to find out for certain.

I don't really care about making a profit, I would just like to break-even. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-20-2013, 04:20 PM
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Any horse that would rear and go over on a rider isn't one I'd consider a good choice for a resale project.

The rider may have been nervous and clutching the horse a little too tightly, but most horses won't rear to the point they'll fall over.

That's something you'd be obligated to tell any potential buyer, and as an experienced horse person, I'd never buy an animal like that.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-20-2013, 04:22 PM
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You'll have to check with the rescue, see if you can take him as a re-sale... usually they'll stick a contract on you.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-20-2013, 04:29 PM
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My horse "Buster" is from a Rescue. I need to re-read my agreement with them, but I believe that Rescues require notification if you want to sell said horse bc they like to know that the horse you adopted has a good home. THAT would be a problem.
As far as BUYING a horse to retrain, IMHO run the costs, buy a good candidate and try it out. If you are a good trainer, and you successfully retrain said horse, you'll be doing that horse a favor by making him/her more valuable, and a better chance at a good life.
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-20-2013, 04:45 PM
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With the market the way it is right now, you aren't going to make any money picking up a 'troubled' horse from a rescue and trying to turn him around and make a profit.

Pretty much the only hope of a profit re-sale is a well bred horse with decent training that just needs a bit of handle or experience put on him. And, only then, if you know folks that are looking for a good horse similar to what you're selling.
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-20-2013, 05:01 PM
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I used to do it all of the time. I finally got sick of riding spoiled horses so I started raising all of my training projects. I could keep a barn full of outside horses but resale horses made more money and I could make what I wanted out of them instead of what the owner wanted them to do.

I never bought a horse from a 'rescue'. If I want a cheap horse, I will rescue it myself at one of the local auctions. They all start out worth 'killer price'. I have bought many nice prospects for 1 bid over the slaughter bidder.

If you are going to break even or make a profit you must:

1) know how to train a horse and make it suitable for anyone to ride.

2) Have a good eye for horses and recognize serious conformation and character faults.

3) Leave personal feelings out of your selection. Do not buy 'with your heart' -- buy 'with your head'. If you look at a horse and think 'he is so sweet'; Or 'I feel sorry for him'; you are not ready to buy, train and resell horses.

4) Know when to throw in the towel. If a horse is not training well, or if a horse has soundness problems, or if a horse changes a LOT for the worse as he fattens up, know when to cut your losses and get rid of him. I have bought several horses over the years and 2 weeks or 4 weeks later took them back to the sale. I didn't feel bad about it; they had their chance.

5) Don't do it if you do not have a place to quarantine them. Even if you think they come from a 'good' place, still quarantine them and handle them last.

6) Don't fatten up a horse before you start working it. A thin horse will not die because you work it. Obviously you do not ride it hard or work it into the ground, but a thin horse will take MUCH LESS TIME to establish manners and basics with than one you just fattened up. A horse you 'feed up' may display a LOT more attitude and take a lot more work. I've bought a lot of thin horses, and it did not take me long to figure out I was doing them no favor or me no favor either if I fattened them up before I put them into serious training.

The story of the horse that reared told me that he had been very poorly prepared to be ridden in a group and by a fearful rider. When a horse is green or of unknown background, you just do not want to pull on both reins at the same time to make one stand still. One rein riding is the only way to handle a horse like this until you know just how 'broke' you have him. This horse was 'set up' to rear with a less than confident rider that let him lose forward motion without knowing how he would handle it. Pulling on both reins at the same time and holding a horse in place with them takes a very broke horse and a very experienced rider. A horse needs to have been taught to back up well, taught to drops its head and 'yield ' to bit pressure under all circumstances and taught to give a rider his head whenever something might go wrong. He needs a good 'off button' that he respects.

This horse's next rider needs to put in a lot of time on the ground in driving lines. Any horse that offers to rear should be ground driven, stopped, backed up, driven where they do not want to go, etc. before someone tries to ride them there. They are not going to ride any better under pressure than they drive. Spoiled horses taught me very quickly that I needed to drive EVERY HORSE before I ride it and that I need to put a lot of pressure on them in driving lines.

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post #7 of 17 Old 02-20-2013, 05:08 PM
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In my opinion, if you are trying to buy and sell horses to make a profit (or at least break even) you need to:
1) Only deal with registered horses. I'm not say that grade horses can't pull their weight, but when it comes to resale value, registered is worth more.
2) Problem horses will always have that problem. Yes, you can train it out of them. But if you sell to a rider that doesn't understand that, the problem will come back. And word of mouth is very, very important.

When I graduated from high school about 8 years ago, I trained horses for 2 summers for something extra to do, while I helped my parents on the farm/ranch. I might have done about 8 horses for people, or so.

But during that time, I also purchased 3 horses to train, and then sell.

One was a 2-yr-old I bought at an auction. Bred exceptionally well, put together perfect (although a little small), had only had the saddle laid on her back "supposedly". Bought her for $300. Ended up the sellers lied to me, she'd already been to the trainers, and the trainer kept getting bucked off. I ended up cutting my losses on her, and resold her (thankfully) for $300 to a lady who was 100% aware of her background, but wanted to take a shot at it anyway. So that one didn't pan out.

Another was a 2-yr-old I bought sight unseen. Bred decent, put together okay, but literally nothing more than barely halter broke. Bought her for $700. And the first week, I thought I had made a terrible mistake, because I could barely halter her in the corral she fought me so much with it. Then all of a sudden after that hell week, we "clicked." And she was one of my most favorite horses I ever worked with. Nothing spooked her. She had the sweetest and friendliest personality. And the absolute SMOOTHEST trot and lope you could ask for. I placed well in western pleasure with her at local shows, and I know very little about training for western pleasure. She was just a natural. For some reason, it took a long time to sell her, but I believe she was a late 3-yr-old when I finally sold her for $1,800. So a decent turn around, but I also had her for well over a year.

And the last horse I purchased was a beautiful big boned quarter horse, 5 years old. It was a court-ordered divorce case so I didn't get a great background on her, but she supposedly was never trained to ride. We paid $800 for her, as we also bought a horse for my mother who was a 3/4 sister (broke to ride and older). To this day, I wish I would have been able to keep her. She was one of those horses. She must have had training in the past, because within only 30 days of riding, I had her doing flying lead changes, neck reining, cattle sorting, loping the barrels, and just about anything you would do on an older seasoned horse ... no one could believe she was only 5. Pleasant minded, smart, and fun to ride. I eventually sold her a couple months later for a barrel/roping prospect and I got $2,800 for her. And she was worth every single penny, if not more.

So out of the 3 horses I bought to train and re-sell for a profit, one was a lemon. One was "okay" (mostly because it took so long to find a buyer). And one was an exceptional turnaround.

Goes to show how up-and-down doing that is. There is certainly no guarantee you'll break even. But the bottom line is that you have to start with a good quality horse to expect to get a decent price.

Plus, this was 8 years ago or so I did this. The market has gotten far worse since then. It's really hard to get a good price for a horse, unless they've got some sort of world caliber appeal. I would really not be apt to get into that business now, of trying to buy and sell for profit. It would be awful hard to break even.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-20-2013, 05:45 PM
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I don't think I've EVER made money off a re-sale haha!!

My first will be the two four year olds I'm breaking this winter... but only because I got them for free
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-20-2013, 06:22 PM
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You can still make money training and selling them today. I would still be doing it if I could still ride. I just can't.

You need a plan for any horse. If you can finish a horse on cattle, look for cow-bred horses that have flunked out of cutting training but are sound. The team sorters are a very good market. They need to be Reg. AQHA or APHA registered.

If you can make a really broke horse that has a lot of handle, the cowboy mounted shooting people are buying them. Registered is better but not absolutely necessary.

If you can make a really solid trail horse that goes anywhere you point its head with others and by itself, you can sell them anywhere, with or without papers. Papered horses always sell higher.

If you can start a horse Hunt Seat, get it really broke and get it started over fences, it will always sell.

Youth horses sell. They must be solid, older and really 'tuned up'.

Really broke ponies always sell. The Oklahoma Horse Fair was a couple of weeks ago. They sold several $2000.00 + ponies at the pony auction. The high selling pony was 13 hands, not registered and brought $3300.00.

It is much harder to do now (with the depressed market and high feed prices) to take un-broke horses and keep them long enough to be finished and worth very much. This is a really tough game right now.

It is much, MUCH easier to take mature, broke horses that need more training, straightened out, tuned up and re-sold pretty quickly. I cannot even think of how many $500.00 horses like this I used to ride for 3 months, pushed hard, worked on cattle, and sold for $3000.00 or more. I could do the same thing today if I could still ride.

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post #10 of 17 Old 02-20-2013, 07:19 PM
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I'm just starting to do this myself. A well broke all around paint (registered or not) can get 5k+ around here right now..

I'm not looking to make profit yet, I'm just trying to get my name out there and get people asking about me. I'll be happy enough if I break even, and ecstatic if I make a profit. Board for me is $110 for pasture (which is all I'm interested in) and an extra hundred for stall with turnout.

I'm not paying much more than I would if I had my own property, so it's not overly expensive to board.

In a few months when I get a raise I'll be saving for a registered QH or Paint mare to either breed (have a few studs in mind) for a show colt/filly to sell or turn into an all arounder with focus on team penning and rodeo.

In a few years I intend to make profit from it (as well as hopefully have training horses in), but right now it's all about the cheap horses to break/restart/finish and get my name out.
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