How Much For A First Horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-02-2015, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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How Much For A First Horse?

I was just wondering what people thought was a good price for one's first horse. I know first horses are really potentially worth an awful lot, because you're looking for something both safe and schooled, and I know prices will vary from country to country, region to region, but I'm interested in people's responses anyway :) Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-02-2015, 07:57 PM
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it definately depends on where you are and what you want the horse to do. i am in pennsylvania and i do hunters. i am looking for my first horse right now and my budget is about a $5,000 purchase price and thats very low. i need something safe, young, and something that looks nice to show in the hunter ring. my budget should technically be at least twice what it is now - but im a college kid trying to do this on my own so thats not likely to happen right now haha. this will be able to happen though because i can also get something kind of green, as long as its safe.
in my area, if i was looking for like a dead safe trail horse, i could find something descent for like $1,000. if i wanted something for me but just not be as fancy, i could get like a $3,000 horse or so. it really just depends on what you want the horse to do.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-02-2015, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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I am looking at spending about US $6.5k on a first horse and wasn't sure if that was a mad amount of money or not, I guess not given what you've said :) Although I don't need one to look good in a ring, all I want is one that is schooled in the basics and I can continue to take lessons on.

The interesting thing is what people think their horse is worth vs what various trainers think it is worth. It seems almost like you can take an advertised purchase price and cut it in half in a lot of cases. (Not that the seller would necessarily agree, but in terms of professionally perceived value.)
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-02-2015, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by FerrumEquus View Post
Although I don't need one to look good in a ring, all I want is one that is schooled in the basics and I can continue to take lessons on.
What discipline do you ride? Certain disciplines tend to have higher prices for horses that are safe and sane, even at the lower levels. You can find some horses that have no training in any particular discipline but have temperaments that lend themselves to be suitable for a beginner, but then you will quickly run into its limitations as you progress in lessons. For example, you may find that such a horse does not know how to move off your leg in a leg yield, or may have never been asked to really bend or give to the bit.

Ideally you'd find a horse that has been trained at least a little beyond your current level of riding. You'll progress faster if you're not trying to learn things yourself while also teaching them to your horse. That's been the situation with my horse and it's a little bit of the blind leading the blind sometimes

Your budget should allow you to find a nice horse (at least in my area). Do consult with your trainer and/or trusted friends, though, because some sellers have really skewed views of how much their horse is trained and what it's worth!
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-03-2015, 04:24 PM
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I'd say around 3k. That's for a non competitive horse, just a quiet and reliable one at a decent age. If you look a little older they get cheaper.

It's important as a beginner you get assistance because paying more for a horse doesn't mean they are better.

It's also worth thinking about how long you will have your horse. I know I bought my first horse thinking I'd keep him forever, but I outgrew him within a year as far as skill and ambition goes.

It's worth considering a horse that will sell on well.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-03-2015, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by FerrumEquus View Post
I am looking at spending about US $6.5k on a first horse and wasn't sure if that was a mad amount of money or not,
For your first horse, if you want a solid broke quiet horse, I think you have a very reasonable budget to find exactly what you would be looking for. Just remember to be patient and not always fall in love with the very first horse you lay eyes on. Do bring your current trainer with you when you are horse shopping. Unfortunately, there ARE dishonest sellers out there who don't care about the horse (or you) and do whatever it takes to get it sold. An experienced horseperson can usually call their bluff.
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-03-2015, 06:08 PM
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I was very fortunate and got a great deal on a young well bred mare that was already broke to ride and just needed some finish work. The owner just wanted a good home for her; she even gave me a free bridle with bit and reins and let me borrow her saddle for a year to give me time to find a fitting saddle.

That's what I would look for, an owner who has a great horse and needs to find a good home. Those are the people who are more likely to be honest and give you a good deal because they just want what's best for the horse.

I see advertisements on FB groups all the time for teenagers who competed their horse and now need to find it a good home because they are going to college; or women with a baby on the way who don't want their horse's talent to go unused.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-03-2015, 06:13 PM
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Paid 4000$ for my daughter's first horse, a 14 yr old well-trained arabian. I, and my daughter's coach as well as other horse people I consulted with, thought this to be a very reasonable price. But of course this will vary greatly depending on the purpose for which the horse is being bought.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-03-2015, 06:41 PM
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Obviously your skill level comes into play too. Some people are completely green when they get their first horse and others are quite experienced. All of that plays a part in what you need. and how much you'll have to pay.

Your location does too, as others have mentioned.
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-03-2015, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice, everyone! To be honest, buying a horse is about the most difficult thing I've ever done. Horses seem to be in huge demand here, every remotely stable, somewhat experienced horse has about 5 people wanting to buy it. Somewhat discouraging, to be honest! Sometimes I think money is actually the smallest hurdle when it comes to buying a horse.
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