A horse is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. However, there are suckers born every minute.
A stable that my wife worked for, paid around $50,000 for a warmblood from Czech. An awesome looking and huge horse. He bucked the owner off once and then he was left alone the rest of the time he was there. They finally sent him off to training but decided to donate him to a university.
Just because a horse is expensive does not mean s/he performs for everyone. And just because someone has money doesn't mean s/he can ride.
When you pay that kind of money for a horse, it's usually for talent and the potential to go far in the show world. But that does not mean an expensive horse will automatically carry you to glory. Many talented horses are not easy to ride, think of Hickstead who was known to be notoriously difficult.
Don't know the people, so I can't judge, but they might have better invested in riding lessons from a good coach who knows European horses, rather than sending the horse to training.
We have a similar divide between urban and rural areas when it comes to horses. I always thought it was cause of the difference in people's lifestyle. In rural areas here, people often have horses "on the side", they have a big field where the horses live year-round and sometimes get ridden. In urban areas however, many people make a very concious choice to have horses and it's a time- and cost-intensive hobby. It's just a different attitude. In the end, I always feel like no matter if someone pays $300 or $3000 for the horse, it doesn't really matter all that much. In the light of how much it costs to properly keep a horse, the purchase price doesn't make all that big a difference. Posted via Mobile Device