How much does a horses value drop as they age? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 10-22-2013, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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How much does a horses value drop as they age?

I am curious to know what people think about a horses value as they age. For example I am looking at a lovely arab x mare who is perfect for me. She is now 15 years old and the current owner brought her 5 years ago as a 10 year old. She paid $7000 then and is asking $6000. The mare is a very calm, well behaved mount, pretty much bombproof and is a horse that be trusted to carry beginners. I know that horses like this are hard to come by and the owner is not willing to budge on price, providing she checks out with her vet check I would like to buy her but do wonder if she might be over-priced. Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 30 Old 10-22-2013, 10:00 PM
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Depending on what the horse can do, she may absolutely be worth it. I personally would definitely not pay that much for a horse that was only kid/beginner safe, but couldn't do much more than plain ol' w/t/c around an arena. However, a talented beginner horse is viewed by some to be worth their weight in gold. 15 would probably be my cutoff age to pay that much for ANY horse, regardless of talent and kid safeness. Even then, the horse would have to be pretty awesome.
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post #3 of 30 Old 10-22-2013, 10:02 PM
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Age doesn't necessarily cause a horse to drop in value. Does she have any formal training in a discipline or any show experience? What about trail experience? Does she load/unload well?

She sounds like a horse I would consider to be overpriced if your post reflects all of her abilities.
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post #4 of 30 Old 10-22-2013, 10:21 PM
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I think that's a bit much for a 15 year old horse. But a horse is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, so it's really what you value the horse at. Is the horse worth it to YOU? If so, and it will safely carry you and make you happy, then it may not be overpriced. What price can you put on happiness and safety?

That being said, for a 15 year old horse to be worth that much I would think either:

a) it has some great showing experience and training for someone who is into that sort of thing (like a horse to help them move up in their showing career)

or b) a horse that is valuable as a breeding animal

You can get horses that are beginner safe with no other special qualities in my area for $500-$2000. It's a buyer's market right now.

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post #5 of 30 Old 10-22-2013, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DancingArabian View Post
Age doesn't necessarily cause a horse to drop in value.
Not necessarily. For instance, by the time a horse reaches their mid 20's they are pretty much worthless monetarily. Priceless to their owners.....but not worth much money if anything at all.

So somewhere between 15 and 25 that horse is loosing value. Personally, I wouldn't pay a ton of money for a horse over 15. 15 is a GREAT age, really they are perfect at that age! But by the time they get to 20 and 25 they are over-the-hill for really heavy work. I will ride a horse till it's 30 if it's able, it's good for them. But I won't expect them to be doing as hard of work as a younger animal.

Two of my current horses are 19 and 20. So I am realistic in that they are VERY valuable members of horse society, and they can still do hard trail rides at this age. But I won't expect them to be doing it for a whole lot more years. Light riding, yes. Heavy riding, no.

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post #6 of 30 Old 10-22-2013, 10:32 PM
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Ah, I just so the original poster is in New Zealand! (You would have thought "kiwi" was a big hint ). I have no idea what the horse market is like in New Zealand.

I can only speak for my little neck of the woods in the United States.
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post #7 of 30 Old 10-22-2013, 10:37 PM
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A horse's value tends to go up as it ages as long as it's still considered young enough to be a "prospect" for a specific discipline (say... until it's 5) and then may continue to go up if it gets specialized training in a discipline and acquires a decent show record (possibly up to ~15 years, depending on how much wear and tear the discipline puts on the horse). After 15 it starts to become harder to sell the horse as people start to worry about health issues, and the value goes down UNLESS the horse is very talented at its discipline and is still in very good health. A schoolmaster might retain its value (but probably wouldn't go up) into its 20's.

I agree that the horse as you describe her sounds overpriced unless she has some specialized training and a show record to back it up (and you're looking for a show horse).
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post #8 of 30 Old 10-22-2013, 10:42 PM
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As a horse ages they lose value on their age but can gain value from education and experience. Like for example, you might buy a green five year old for $5000. In five years if the horse has done nothing you might only get $1500 for it because of age depreciation. If you've done trails, pony club, basic competition and the horse is super quiet you might still get $5000 because of experience. If the horse has been well trained and show that they can compete successfully in a discipline, then you might get more - $10,000 or who knows.

However, once you get over around 12 people start considering the age of the horse, not so much for their usefulness but also the resale they get. If they have the horse for three years a 15 year old is much harder to sell. The value does drop for older horses and a lot of owners are unwilling to buy.

So I guess in your situation you need to consider a few things. Do you plan to sell on this horse later on? How long to you expect to ride this horse for, and can you afford the increased costs of an older horse?

If this horse isn't educated or competed, regardless of how quiet they are I think $6000 is a lot of money. I don't know what it's like in NZ but here (Australia) you can get a darn good, quiet horse for $6000.

The best thing to do is go online and search horses for sale in your area and see what's being sold for what much. Take about 20% off advertised price maybe , that's probably what they'll be selling for. See how this horse stacks up.
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post #9 of 30 Old 10-22-2013, 11:19 PM
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If you are looking for a show horse, that is absolutely reasonable. However, 15 is kind of pushing it...I don't know how I feel about that unless you are guaranteed some wins with it.

As just a safe pleasure mount? I wouldn't pay that much.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #10 of 30 Old 10-23-2013, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input

Yes, I am in New Zealand and prices do generally seem to be almost double to what I see advertised say in the states - unless you are wanting a TB, if they haven't been trained in SJ or dressage then they are dirt cheap.

I know that with the owner that had her before the current lady she did dressage so she is trained in that discipline but I'm not sure what else she has done. I don't think the current owner has put any additional training into her, she has regular lessons on her, hacks, road rides and takes her to ribbon days. She is a good little jumper but I don't jump much these days.

For me she will just be a pleasure hack and I really do love the fact that she is the exact size I want and has no spook which is a huge thing for me. Has more whoa than go which I am fine with but is still responsive with a lovely soft mouth. Floats well, no vices at all, great feet and has been very well looked after.
Looking online at similar horses has been a little hard as they tend to get snapped up pretty quickly but I have seen a few that were priced around the same - some for more although they were a couple of years younger. I have seen older schoolmaster types advertised for around $4-5000.
The owner also would like her saddle to go with her as she has a hard to fit back so that would be an additional $800 for her saddle, bridle and cover.
Its a tough call for me to make, I could pass on her and keep looking but I know I will probably be waiting awhile for something similar to come up and quite often they get brought by the first person that views them.
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