how much do you pay for a trained horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 60 Old 05-10-2020, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2019
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@Interstellar I know, that's why I don't own one now. I want to make sure I have enough savings first. I was just thinking that all the stuff that other people of my age do and brag about on social media is just not what I really want... Sure I would like to travel, but what makes me really happy is being around animals... I used to breed rodents as a kid. Birds and tropic fish as a teenager and I always kept pets. I know they are costly... I owned a dog and several cats but those costs are nothing compared to a horse. My family (grandpa) used to own horses, he hunted and did dressage (my family forbade me to ride as a kid so I started only now) and two of my friends do too. One of them works with horses professionally, the other one is a close friend of me and a great horse trainer. She trained her horse from 0. We talk alot about horses and prices so I know how it is... But still... :) I just want to die old and tell myself that I gave my life meaning and I did what I really wanted to do with all my heart. So the dream is still there.
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The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #12 of 60 Old 05-10-2020, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Well, since many of us are in different countries, I think we should first specify which currency we are using. @Jolien , were the numbers you gave initially in USD?

Here in Canada, well, in Eastern Canada anyway, we pay around 3-4000$ Canadian (so around 2-3000 USD) for a trained horse. Papers matter less than training around here since our shows are almost never breed shows, so whether you're a reiner, a jumper, or a dressage rider, you can enter regardless of whether your horse has papers or not. It only matters if you want to breed your horse. Now, if you want to buy a fully trained jumper, hunter, or eventer, you're going to pay a little more, around the 6000$ mark (again, this is in Canadian dollars). Or if you are ok with a greenie, you might get lucky and find one under 3000$ (I only paid 2500$ for Rusty because while he was trained, he was still very green with only 10 or so rides on him, and he doesn't have very advanced training in anything).

The purchase price is the cheapest part though. I keep all three horses at home, so no boarding costs, but in a year, I spend close to 10 000$ just on feed, vet bills (if nothing serious happens to them - just vaccinations and teeth), and very basic necessities like bedding. And I'd say that's in the cheaper range. If you are boarding, you'll pay a lot more than that. And I'm leaving out the fact that I built a barn, created pastures, fences, have to constantly improve and re-seed those pastures, etc. etc. I'm also not talking about lessons or competing in shows (which I don't do, but my daughter does). Or the cost of a horse trailer.

Sadly, to have horses, you have to have a good income. That's just the reality of having such large animals. But I seem to recall that you are still young. I will be 50 this year, and while I had horses when I was a child and teenager, as an adult, I had to wait until my mid-forties to afford horses again. Maybe that seems very far away to you now, but time flies, and I do not regret waiting. I did a lot of other things in the meantime, and now I can afford to have my horses and keep them without cutting too many corners. Don't give up on your dream, but be patient. It will take time to get there, but it will be so worth it!
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post #13 of 60 Old 05-10-2020, 03:22 PM
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How do we afford it...
Well, most of my equipment is from many years ago before anything "horsey" went crazy in prices.
My Hermes saddle...when I bought it was $2,750 cost to the tack shop.
My friends owned the shop and I paid cost.
Today that same saddle is over $6,000 easily, probably more. That saddle is now almost 40 years old...and because it is taken good care of still ride-able and usable daily if I wanted to do so.
I could not afford it otherwise, not then and not now.
I bought it when I did not have other bills, my salary was mine to spend and I worked for a independent very wealthy boss/family who treated me well for my dedication to the family horses in my care.
I was treated as one of his children and he often gifted me very nice equipment and I also learned when working in the upper level barns of the "rich-kids" to dumpster shop.
To me dumpster shopping is when the poor little rich kid can't be bothered cleaning so throws away dirty and mommy buys them a new of this or that...that is how I acquired much of my very expensive tack otherwise I would not have.
I was not born to a wealthy family, but as a kid my horse lived in a old converted section of a chicken coop with a attached paddock.. It was home, horse was safe, dry and all mine.
Once I started working some things did change but not my fear of working hard and earning everything I have on my own sweat equity.

I did not own my own horses on Long Island once I moved on from working the show barn scene simply because they were no longer a perk of my employment and at one time 2 horses cost me $300 a month total..
I could not afford board, all the other farrier and vet expenses and incidentals once I was on the outside looking in..
Part of my jobs were showing for sale some very nice animals I could of never rode nor owned so had my horsey fix.
I was paid to ride and show animals for sale to prospective clients, hence my attire had to be classic in looks, complimentary to the animals I sat astride and better be just right in appearances.
Mt farrier was a childhood best friend and he shod my horses when I had them for a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies...honest.
My vet, I paid the cost of the vaccines, any tests needing done cause it was me who assisted the vet when he was doing routine work in the barn of 30+ horses, we got it done in a my annual vaccinations bill was about $40 whatever coggins cost.
Yea, it can be done to this day but you have to be willing to give up the chic clothes, going out with the friends, vacations...what was that?
Last time I had one of those was called my honeymoon, a loooong time ago!

In Florida and the way the economy has been in this nation...
I could buy a nice horse to ride on trails, do very limited showing with at the local level and not spend more than $2,000 to have that horse be mine. Even less if I wanted to truly put sweat equity in for a few months, probably could have a nice horse for $1,000 or so.
You need to have some knowledge, take some risk and know when to walk away, when to grab the bridle and run with your diamond needing polished and know when presented with "should I sell..." the opportunity may never present again quite that way so make the choice you must live with.
For someone without my experience level it will cost you more, period.

I can go buy a really nice used saddle, bridle and all my equipment needed for the horse for around $600...that is a leather saddle by-the-way.
You can do your own vaccinations...only thing I must have a vet for is mandated coggins which is at most $35 a year. And add dental work as needed, when needed.
Farrier, learn to do yourself. My farrier is $35 a horse, a cup of coffee or less if you drink some of that expensive stuff from the corner store.
If you are not referring to competing at the elite levels, well then you also aren't usually facing extraordinary expenses for maintaining a horse who has such wear & tear to their body.

It is possible, absolutely in certain areas yet to buy and own your own.
You must though make decisions and trade-off for the pleasure of owning...choices.
Sometimes, those choices stink when you want but can't and because of it you are faced with euthanasia as the best you can do for your animal...and that is OK too.
Choices, we all must live within our means and by how we spend our money or the debt we want to carry.

I haven't bought equipment to speak of in about 8+ years...
I have and make do with what is in my arsenal and actually there is absolutely nothing being marketed that entices me to spend oodles of money to impress anyone.
Once you get to be a adult, you aren't so impressed with what is seen but more with what your actions speak of, your quiet knowledge knows and how you don't need to impress anyone, your just get it done attitude speaks volumes to those who truly know you have your experience...and you also are open to others ways of doing, expanding your knowledge base not shoving yours down others throats...comfortable/secure in your skin is one way it was told to me.
That to me is impressive...what I just wrote although all truth is not impressive to me in what I've got..
Impressive is how I worked my tail off to earn the right to say it is mine.
Do not despair...your dreams are all attainable. Save a bit every week, even if just a dollar.
Over time, it adds up and becomes quite a nest-egg to spend on our wishes and hearts desire.
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #14 of 60 Old 05-10-2020, 03:32 PM
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I will add that my daughter's show horse is 21. We bought him when he was 16 for 4000$. And he is worth every last penny. A lot of people won't look at an older horse, but these days, horses live a very long time if they have good care, and the advantage is that they have a lot more experience. When we bought him, he had just won a championship at a provincial dressage show. My daughter has shown him in hunters and jumpers, and brought home tons of ribbons including several division championships and year-end high points in intro hunter for the province. He has ALL the buttons. She is doing more and more dressage with him now, and he knows what she expects of him so they are coming along beautifully and if we have shows at all this summer, I have no doubt they'll win again.

Maybe you don't care about showing. But older horses have a lot to offer to anyone. On the other hand, as I stated above, I bought a youngster for myself at a great price. He belonged to a friend, so that helped. I was able to have him on trial for 6 months! And while he has almost no real training beyond the very basics, he had such a great mind that I decided to take the risk. It has turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I'm slowly teaching him how to carry himself, and he has come a long way, improving all the time. Most importantly for me, we have such fun together, and he loves going on trails.

So while you might have to pay 10 000$ for a horse that is at the ideal age, height, colour, breed, and is fully trained, you can get a horse much cheaper if you are wiling to put in a bit of work or take on a horse that others might pass on for all kinds of reasons.
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post #15 of 60 Old 05-10-2020, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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@Acadianartist My numbers were in euros but I couldn't find the euro sign on my cheap keyboard lol. It only has a dollar sign. ;) I know us dollars are roughly the same as euros (more or less).

I like your story. It's nice to be able to have your dreams come true. In fact a lot of mine already came true. I got to study at the uni and my parents let me study what I really wanted... I have the best friends, I live in a safe country, I can kinda lead my own life... :)

I know purchasing is the cheapest part. It's a lifelong commitment but thruth be told I don't have a steady job and I will never have a steady job. I have a university degree and a teachers degree (university schooled too), but due to some difficult to explain circumstances I know I will never be able to lead a cozy 'safe' life. I will never have a top income. But that's totally okay with me (if I can work fulltime my income is good) and I am not sad nor complaining. (also except for my books and clothes -fashion is a hobby- I don't really care about status or money. I thriftshop alot.) If I can keep up what I am doing now I can have a good life. I can ride my friend her horse and rent trail horses. If I would ever be able to find a partner again it would be a whole different story but thruth be told I don't want to depend on someone else. I also would not want the wellbeing of my animals to be dependent upon my life partner. It would be nice if I could share a horse with a friend, but most of my friends that ride are top riders so they are not interested to share with a newbie haha. I get to ride their well schooled horses though, that's nice. :)

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #16 of 60 Old 05-10-2020, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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@horselovinguy Oh you guys' posts came in between when I was posting. Waw, impressive!! I am not despairing. If there is one quality I have (and because I look very femmy people often don't see this in me) is that I can work hard... I am a tough one. Also I have amazing patience and for some unknown reasons I am really good with animals. I know I cannot train a horse from 0 because I never owned horses. But I do know that if I keep on riding and hanging around my friends that are very good trainers I will pick up alot. Also my friends already told me they will help me out when I have more money and really would want my own horse. The lazy way to buy a good horse would be pay 8000 for a well schooled horse. The hardworking way would be me and my friends picking a good ex racehorse, a horse that needs rehab or a horse that is otherwise old or something. We could then retrain it. So I know there are options. And I was also considering something crazy... But I don't know if I would do this... but maybe when I am a couple years older I could adopt a horse that is unfit for riding and I can keep it as a pasture pet together with the herd (where my friend her horse is). I could still do all kinds of training and bonding with the horse and learn alot. After a couple of more years I could also buy a horse to ride and I would already have a herd of 2. Just a crazy thought I was playing with... I could also maybe try to lease. I don't know. Plenty of ideas...
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The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #17 of 60 Old 05-10-2020, 04:12 PM
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Here free to $1500 depending on age and desperation of the person trying to move the horse on. You can always pay more if you want more buttons or specific buttons on something that is the breed dujour that comes with a string of blues and well known trainer's name attached. There are younger and older that I've seen in the $2,500 to $10,000 that were purchased elsewhere and brought here. The really high dollar ones like some are mentioning are here as well. They came from Florida mostly or were shipped from Europe.
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Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #18 of 60 Old 05-10-2020, 04:23 PM
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My horses were all in the $1700-$2500 range. That's for a kid-safe broke horse in its mid-late teens. One is a registered paint, one is an unregistered quarter, and the third is a grade no one knows what. I have a tack room full of saddles I bought for around $100 each. Almost all of them needed significant repair, but the trees and rigging were in good condition. Recently, on another thread, I counted up all of my yearly costs. I tend to do a lot myself and keep my costs extremely low.

In 2019 I spent exactly $6,826.37 on feed, vet, farrier, hay, supplies, and insurance. That's the total for four horses. I own the barn. I own the grass. Even when I feed hay during the winter, there's always some green grass. The horses are out 24/7, so I don't buy bedding. None of them wear shoes. My vet's office is 3 miles away, so I don't pay extra for farm calls. Last year, I had no unexpected emergencies, although I have a huge emergency fund in case I need it.

I was surprised the total was that low. I don't think that number is reasonable for most horse owners. I have four healthy easy keepers on 10 acres of grass. Please don't use my numbers to try to convince your parents to buy a horse!

For anyone who's interested:
Farrier ($45/horse, approx every 6 weeks) = $1440
Vet (yearly stuff, 2 needed teeth done) = $1126
Insurance (liability) = $1318
Hay (picked up from the field) = $450
Feed (mostly ration balancer from Chewy) = $1669
Misc (tack, grazing muzzles, medicines...) = $800 ish
You may notice that my 2019 numbers were for four horses, but above I only mentioned three. I can't stress enough the need for a massive emergency fund. I was hit by a tornado last month. One horse was killed, and the other three were injured. I've had numerous vet visits, and I haven't seen the bill yet. I don't care what it is. My horses are worth it. This is why I have about $10k for emergencies even though my horses are inexpensive.

Depending on where you are, it is possible to buy a good horse for a reasonable price. My best recommendation is to buy from someone you know and trust. My grade gelding was the least expensive horse but is worth the most to me because he's so trustworthy with beginners. I knew his previous owner well and had offered to buy him years before he was ever for sale.
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post #19 of 60 Old 05-11-2020, 01:26 AM
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I like to do my own training so I can usually find a horse that is a good fit for much much less than the average person.

My first horse was 3 years old with 30 days of training and my parents bought her for $1500. It could have been a recipe for disaster, I know, but Mirage was the perfect mount for me and (pardon the cliché) we really did grow up together. Of course I rode her darn near every day (6 days a week on average) for HOURS. Weekdays I was in the saddle for 4 hours minimum daily, weekends it wasn't at all unusual for me to be gone for 6-8 hours plus. With that sort of schedule it's really quite difficult for any horse to be anything other than broke to death, and Mirage was half Arab and had a motor that could go all day so she could take it. I do think if I'd have ridden her only on weekends or something like that she very well may have given me problems and been too much horse for me at the time, but as it was she was perfect.

My next horse Phoenix was nearly free - we bought some raffle tickets to win a breeding and bred Mirage. I can't remember what we paid for the tickets but it was pretty dang cheap. When he was ready I broke him to ride and put 90 days on, and sold him for … $3000? I think? He was a bit of a turd but he was broke pretty nice for a green colt.

After that I had a handful of horses that I bought either wild or nearly so, broke to ride and flipped, and all of them were less than a grand. Most of them were less than $500. The overwhelming majority were sold between $3000-$4000, with around 90-120 days of training put in, except for one that I kept for 6 months or so and sold finished for $6000. My schtick isn't generally finished horses though. I will sell a finished horse every now and then, but the majority of the horses I churn out have been green broke or slightly more, with the basics established and ready to finish in the area of your choosing. My focus is on SAFE horses though - they are all desensitized to a lot of crap and are horses you can ride at all 3 gaits on a loose rein, in or out of an arena. This may seem like a relatively blasé selling point but here lately it seems like a lot of casual riders have shifted to wanting safe, easygoing animals that they can enjoy rather than have to actively control constantly.

Thunder was the most expensive horse I'd ever purchased - $3500 as a weanling. He was papered though, something I'd never before had, and he was a Shire so there was the breed difference as well. I'd originally planned on keeping him but recently I sold him for $8000, broke to drive and with about 25 days of riding on. Most of his sell was his brain though - Thunder was an exceptionally easygoing horse who would tolerate a lot of mistakes from his rider and was not the sort to take advantage of you.

I had originally purchased Dreams to break and flip, like the horses I'd trained in Nevada. But somewhere along the way he became worth more to me than his asking price, so he's been my keeper for a few years now. He was $800 as a long yearling, completely wild, not even halter broke. The last time I turned down an offer for him the number had climbed to $9000. Like many of the horses I train, he's not really 'finished' except as a trail horse (though I do think he'd be an accomplished reiner by now if he hadn't injured his stifle a few years back and forced us to abandon that avenue) though I do take pride in his training to date. A better trail mount cannot be had - and as per my usual m.o, he is exceedingly safe to ride.

So … there's a small smattering of 'regular Joe' horses for you. I don't generally handle the expensive hothouse orchids that Interstellar tends to ride, though I have trained a few in the past for other people. You were amazed, OP, at the cost of keeping such horses - and while this is not a proven thing, my experience has shown me that the more money a horse costs up front, it seems the more often he'll try to kill and/or injure himself. I've had so many cheapies over the years that have never required anything more than routine healthcare - but, almost without exception, the higher-end horses needed this, that, and the other to keep them happy and safe and sane over the years. Special feed, special shoeing, special tack, custom this, custom that, the list goes on.

-- Kai
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post #20 of 60 Old 05-11-2020, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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@mkmurphy81 Wow okay that sounds good! My friend also doesn't pay alot for her horse on rent, the horse lives in a very big pasture in a little herd. He can eat grass and gets hay and pellets every day. I give her money to ride him (because in my opinion a horse is expensive and I don't think I can just pony around on her horse for free...) and she does have to pay alot for hoof care (horse has pretty bad hooves). When the horse was just a couple of years old he had an accident and it was advised to put him down but she couldn't so she had to pay alot of vet money... So yeah... It's good to have an emergency fund... (The horse is fine now, he isn't able to jump high or do reining anymore but that's okay we use him for trailriding and just simple basic stuff.)

@Kaifyre I have never trained a horse, so actually I don't know how to. I read a couple of books on it so I have a basic understanding. I am pretty sure I can train a horse to be bombproof because the techniques are simple, logical and straightforward. I am not sure if I can train a horse to be ridden because that has to be learned in little steps with a lot of understanding and knowledge on the part of the trainer. I guess I could have a go at it with the help of some books, but chances are big something is gonna go wrong (let's be honest...). :p I am really 100% sure I could learn how to do it if I had grew up around horses, but I didn't. Also I don't have the facilities and tools to train a horse. I would have to buy alot of stuff. I don't know... I know I am very patient and good with animals but I severely doubt my capacities to train a horse... I used to train rodents as a kid, guinea pigs. I was 7-8 years old and I got that the pigs were scared to be out in the open. Every time they were in a field they would run towards the bushes to take shelter. So I made them a little box I carried with me. The box was bright yellow so you could easily spot it. I also noticed the pigs were motivated by food. I taught them to come to me for safety and food (the box, they could find shelter in it) and soon I learned the pigs to roam free on 2000 square metres of land. When they had eaten their fill they would return to me and they also would come if i called and put the box on the ground. I used clicking sounds to train them... (I didn't know about clicker training as a kid... I just learned the guinea pigs to associate clicks with food and attention) After that I learned them how to find their cage from everywhere on our land and to jump back in their cage if they wanted to be safe. I learned them how to follow me around everywhere. :p I was still a kid... but I always liked watching animals and trying to think like they do. If I could do that as a kid with a guinea pig I am pretty sure I could accomplish some minor things with a horse... If I didn't It sure wouldn't be for a lack of trying, perseverance or patience... :p (guinea pigs are not smart, ahem)
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The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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