Thought It Would be An Interesting Discussion - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 06-12-2014, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thought It Would be An Interesting Discussion

So I thought this would be an interesting discussion.

This article came across my Facebook news feed today and I can't help but think it a bit too true.

One Big Reason Horse Sports Will Decline In Favor | Horse Collaborative

I know I've been there especially when I was younger. I used to get discouraged because I thought that the only way to make it to the "big shows" was to buy/own an overpriced hay burner on legs. Not saying that some high priced horses aren't worth it and in reality a horse (or anything really) is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it.

What the article is trying to get at is that we may see a decline in horse sport favor because young talented riders get to as far as they can go and then when they want to move up most of the horses that meet their criteria are well above their price range. And I know the article focuses on mainly English but I've seen it in Western types of riding as well.

My thing is how many possibly amazing equestrian riders take a huge fall due to not being able to afford the best of the best horse? Or even sometimes the next level up? I've seen prices vary between divisions like you wouldn't believe. At least around my way.

Why do most top rated shows have famous horses/bloodlines in them?

Do judges discriminate so bad that people feel the need to find/buy specific types of horses?

Why can't someone on a $1,000 Mr. No Papered No Well Known Mamma or Pappa compete against the big guys if they have the talent?

It's not just the horses it's entry fees, you "need" the best of the best saddle, bridle, saddle pad, riding outfit, etc. Say I showed up at a High Rated show in $20 breeches and a $30 riding jacket would I be discriminated against?

I mean I know the people that own the venues have to make a living as well.

Just hypothetical no-need-answer-thinking questions.

And then almost 20 minutes after seeing that article I found this one. I love these kind of "rags to riches" stories. This girl found herself an amazing little diamond in the rough. Who's to say someone who wanted to ride with the "big dogs" couldn't do that as well.
How a $600 rescue horse became my winning Adult Jumper

This thread is just merely a product of my mind going a bajillion miles a minute haha. This is what happens when I either can't sleep or have very little to no sleep. In this case it's both.

Not meant to be a heated debate in any way, shape, or form just a nice, friendly, (hopefully) informative discussion.

~ Hope is never light years away ~
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post #2 of 21 Old 06-12-2014, 09:46 PM
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I totally agree. I have been looking at a ton of horses for around 600-800 dollars that have the talent! Just not the rider. Its crazy how everyone automatically assumes that the more money it costs the better. Its one of those things that humans do I guess. I have a pretty lazy horse that once I fix up might do great in western pleasure. I don't know his mama or his daddy. i dont really know if anyone does actually :p haha. I have though a lot about what you are saying before this thread and I 100 % agree. Some of the best horses are the cheapest. Hidden behind a not so well groomed coat and and a scar on their stomach.
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post #3 of 21 Old 06-12-2014, 09:56 PM
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Just off the cuff and not putting a lot of thought into it, I am going to say as whole that maybe true but not completely.

Look at California Chrome... cheap mare, cheap stud fee to make a Triple Crown contender.(in this days racing)

I know a guy that is a cowhorse trainer showing in the open classes against Ted Robinson and the like of Bob Avila on a grade horse-placing and winning money.

Charmayne James and Scamper is another example.

I realize those are favorable 'under dog" stories and they seem few and far in between but they do happen.

I can see the other side where sports have become so competitive and so elite that it requires the best of the best and those that can afford it can compete. On that note I have seen some pretty untalented riders spend a lot of money on horses, tack, training and still couldn't show their way out of a wet paper sack....

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post #4 of 21 Old 06-13-2014, 07:28 AM
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A horse can have all the talent in the world, but without good training, it doesn't go very far. Winning in the upper ranges is a happy "accident" of the right talent, the right training, the right rider and the right time.
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post #5 of 21 Old 06-13-2014, 02:32 PM
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For me, the real question would be why all the emphasis on competing (and winning, naturally), rather than just going out to have fun? Not just equestrian sports, either, but anything. As for instance, I enjoy biking, and even pushing myself to lower my times for given rides, but I'd never sign up for an actual race, much less spend $10K on a high-end racing bike.
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post #6 of 21 Old 06-13-2014, 02:43 PM
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Why can't someone on a $1000 horse compete? They CAN. I did. Unless you leave the price tag on, nobody knows what you paid, for anything.

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post #7 of 21 Old 06-13-2014, 04:17 PM
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Maybe, maybe not. I do endurance, and MOST of the horses competing and completing cost anything from FREE to about $2k. There are certainly higher end horses and no limit to the amount that someone can spend on trucks, trailers, tack and feeds, but when it comes down to it, that doesn't matter much. Most people around me are riding $500 "just want a good home" horses and competing well.
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post #8 of 21 Old 06-13-2014, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
For me, the real question would be why all the emphasis on competing (and winning, naturally), rather than just going out to have fun? Not just equestrian sports, either, but anything. As for instance, I enjoy biking, and even pushing myself to lower my times for given rides, but I'd never sign up for an actual race, much less spend $10K on a high-end racing bike.
James, we're on the same page with this.

As I grow older (and wiser I hope) I find that competition leads to a lot of issues.

I don't mind a timed event so much as the rider breaks the laser beam and the timer starts.....break it again and the timer stops. Quickest time wins. Pretty simple and not much way to cheat.

It's the subjective events that I find troubling. Buddy Buddy stuff, high dollar equipment etc. Lots of room for fudging the scores. Just look at the last Olympics and figure skating....

Often competition turns into a battle of equipment and the guy/gal who's willing to spend the most money has an advantage.

This is a very competitive world and the last thing I want to do when I get home and off work is compete. Heck, I don't want my horse to be perfect....just sane and willing.

I don't want to live my life beating other people at something. Been there, done that, wore out the tee shirt. Life is challenging enough.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-13-2014, 05:00 PM
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IMO when I buy a horse or anyone buys a horse for that matter are buying the training not the horse. Now I know this isn't how they are priced but as a buyer it's the determining factor on how much I'll actually pay for any given horse. I expect a $5000 horse to have more training than a $500 horse. But this doesn't mean the $500 horse doesn't have the potential to be worth $5000. Grade or fancy pedigree aside people pay money for well trained horses. The more training the more $$$. Anyone with proper training skills can turn a $500 into a $5000. Problem is that it takes more than $5000 in personal time and other training costs to be worth it to a trainer. Its easier to sell and let someone else do the work. More profitable in the long run. Hence why not very many people can make a living solely in training. I got distracted with my kids and lost my point lol oops
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post #10 of 21 Old 06-13-2014, 05:26 PM
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I think this has been happening for a while now. I know it's happening around here with dressage. Show prices are so high that most people can't afford to go (me included).
I was told that my first recognized dressage show could cost around $900-$1,000 (with all the membership fees included in this, as well as tack), and all of the others after that would end up costing me $400 (that doesn't include your hotel or meals) for one weekend. That is completely preposterous! And the attendance at the shows is proving it. A recent recognized show only yielded 17 riders! Another show, that's taking place tomorrow, extended their entry deadline until today because they didn't have enough participants. When are they going to get the picture?

I hear of all these younger riders competing and doing well, and I can't help but envy them! I'd love to be in their shoes! But alas, I don't come from a family of successful, wealthy riders.
My first million will definitely be "wasted" on horses though!
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