Who Should I Buy?
Here's my situation:
My parents are currently leasing a horse for me. His name is Skip and he's awesome, a really great horse. However, I'm looking to buy a horse of my own in the next few months. I got a pretty much full-time babysitting job in addition to my other two part-time jobs (just for the record, one doesn't give me any hours and the other only gives me 8 hours a week max - so I'm not as busy as I seem! LOL!) and as long as it continues to work out (which I don't see why it wouldn't) then I should have enough money for some board, tack, and a horse in a few months (or less).
Here's what I'm debating:
A while back, I had leased a different horse named Matt (the one in my avatar). He was a great horse also, although I'm not sure if he's as good as Skip. He is sixteen years old (he might actually be seventeen at this point) and although he doesn't have any health problems now, he's obviously older. I was talking to the owner and she said she'd be willing to sell Matt to me once I had saved my money. She's asking $1500 for him. I couldn't tell you whether that was a reasonable price for him or not, I don't really know. All I know is I personally feel it's a tad bit overpriced, considering how old he is and how I'm supposedly friends with the owner. There's nothing super fantastic about him that I'm aware of. I don't really know to be honest, whether that's a good price or not.
Anyways, I'm debating whether I should save my money and buy Matt, or just look for a different horse completely.
The pros of buying Matt:
-I know the owner and therefore I know he's healthy and I know she wouldn't sell me a sick horse - I know exactly what I'm getting.
-I leased Matt for a short while, so I know what I'm getting into when I buy him. I've ridden him on many occasions and have spent time with him.
-One of the Matt's owner's requirements is that if for some reason I wouldn't be able to keep Matt anymore, that I return him to her. This is a pro for my parents especially, because one of their major concerns is that I won't be able to keep him (let's say because I can't afford board anymore for some reason) and that I'll have trouble finding a new home for him.
-Matt's owner also offered to trailer him over to wherever I'm keeping him, for free. This is a plus.
-Matt's owner is also very close to where I live and where I'll be boarding Matt. I won't have to travel far to get to him.
The cons of buying Matt:
-He's old. Sixteen or seventeen. Although he doesn't have any health issues at the moment, that could change in the blink of an eye. And he's only got so many years left on him. I feel like his health can only really go downhill from here.
-He's kind of expensive. When I buy a horse, I'm probably not looking to spend over $2000. I'm not looking for anything fancy. So for me, $1500 is kind of expensive, on the higher range of what I was looking at.
I would like to know your opinions on this. What should I do? The age is just really getting to me. If he wasn't so old, I probably wouldn't think twice about it. There are a lot of pros to buying him. It's also just so much more convenient, rather than having to go through the process of finding a horse.
I know this was a long post but I would really appreciate anyone who gives me their thoughts as I really don't know what to do. Thank you in advance! :D
Firstly, I am in the process of buying a 17 year old schoolmaster. 17 is NOT too old, so long as you get a pre-purchasse exam. I think, honestly, Matt is what you're wanting, and in my area 1,500 is a great price for what he seems like he is. Could you post confo pictures and more information about him?
Also, I think that you need to factor the PPE into your horse budget. They cost $200-$350 with my vet, depending on radiographs taken. So think of Matt as 1,750 or something like that, which in the scheme of things is not much more, but may make all of the difference.
How are you sure that you can pay for all tack? Fitting tack can be really hard to find, and sometimes more expensive than you are hoping. Could you buy Matt's current tack with him as well? It will push up the purchase price, but then you get fitting tack that you didn't have to shop endlessly for. This is what I'm doing. (I get a custom fitted trilogy, I can't even handle my excitement!:lol:)
I think you have all your bases covered. I would consider feeding senior supplements if Matt will be on harder work, but honestly that isn't for me to say since I do not know the horse. Not every horse needs supplements of some kind.
They are called golden oldies for a reason!! :wink:
I think you should try to talk Matt's owners down, and get them to throw in his tack as well. 16 is not really that old, and it sounds like you already have a bond with him and know him well so you can't go wrong. I agree you should get him vet checked- maybe you could get the cost of that taken off the purchase price? That way if you don't end up buying him the owners have a vet check done on him, anyway. Good luck with whatever you decide!
Sixteen isn't old and PPEs are always at the cost of the buyer, not the seller. The purchase price has nothing to do with whether or not the buyer pays for a PPE, and it shouldn't be lowered just because a buyer decides to have one done. As far as horses getting sick or becoming unrideable, that can happen at any age.
I guess my question to the OP is, do your parents give their blessing on this? Because they'll be the ones responsible for paying the extra for your vet, farrier and boarding when you realize just how much actually owning a horse costs, versus merely leasing one.
Horses are expensive, and until you actually own you have no clue just how expensive they really are. Part time and babysitting jobs aren't going to be enough to properly keep a horse.
Buying a horse is the cheapest part. Its what comes with and after buying that you need to worry about.
As for being 16/17? My mare is 20 and we are JUST starting her in eventing. She easily has another 10 years in her. We have a school master in our program that is 30ish and she still has lots more in her.
You know this horse, you like this horse, his owner is willing to work with you. I think he would be a great choice for a first horse. Your biggest thing is make sure you have money for a PPE, tack, vet costs, farrier, emergency vet... the list goes on.
I was saying that the the OP should pay for the PPE herself. That's why I wanted her to add it on to her list of things to pay for.
Though I commend the OP for trying to support her own horse, I think that her parents also need to be fully on board, for the reasons stated above.
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I know PPEs are normally at the cost of the buyer, which is why I suggested talking to the seller about knocking the price down by that amount. I am assuming her parents are involved since they are leasing a horse for her already. Everyone here had a first horse at some point.
we just bought a 15 year old.. we did do a PPE and let me tell you this guy has LOTS of spunk and is Very healthy.
Matt sounds great
one of the boarders at my barn has a 22 year old ottb that does endurance.
honestly, with horses you can have a horse that gets retired at 15, and others that retire at 35. treat each one as an individual.
take it from someone who has been there, done that, there is HUGE value in having an honest horse you trust. It makes the difference between enjoying your horse and dreading every ride.
17 is old? Tell that to my BO's 33yo gelding that still does rides for his dude string. Heck, the median age of his dude string is 17.
However, not to rain on your parade, but everyone else is right. Buying the horse is the cheap part. I spent more on board and tack in the first six months of owning my horse than I did to actually purchase him (and he cost a little bit more than the guy you're looking at). I work full-time and I've had to cut back in other areas of my life to be able to afford my horse. I don't go out to eat (at least not very much), I don't go to the movies, I don't go on trips anywhere other than to work or to go grocery shopping, I shop at thrift stores on their sale days, I drive an old worn-out car that cost me FAR less than my horse did (1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage I bought for $875 off Craigslist)...I basically have no life so that I can afford to have a horse like I've wanted since I was three. I know this doesn't mean much to you now because you're young and you live with your parents, so your "reality" is a bit skewed (not meaning offense, it's just the truth). But let me tell you this: crap happens that you don't expect. I was a salesperson at my job and making pretty good money, even when I wasn't selling. Then my bosses decided that I wasn't selling enough and I was given the option to quit or go work in the back doing menial labor for minimum wage. I chose the latter because jobs are hard to come by in my area. Then, on Monday, I was in an accident at work involving one of the company cars and now I have to pay a $1000 deductible to get the car fixed, which means $200 coming out of each of my paychecks for the next 2.5 months).
As far as price on the horse, I paid $1600 for my gelding as a 2yo unhandled stud colt, so $1500 for a well-trained 17yo sounds like a heck of a deal to me.
Maybe this will fall on deaf ears, so to speak, but I would hate to see you get this horse and then realize a few months down the road that you can't afford him and have to give him back. I've lost a horse before (he wasn't sold, his owners decided they wanted him back) and it was heart breaking. I don't want anyone to have to go through what I did (I had worked with this horse daily for almost two years and retrained him from the ground to the saddle).
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