Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Here in Australia you'd be looking at about $2500 to $5000 for a stocky type horse who has solid but fairly basic training and has experience. Cheaper if you go for an older horse. More expensive for registered horses.
It may sound like a lot but when you break it down it's astounding sometimes how cheap they are. Just to breed a foal costs money, feeding the made for a year, vet checks, stud fees. Then keeping the horse till its 3, again feed, hoof care, vet etc. Then paying someone around $1000-$3000 to break them to saddle. Only after all of that do you have a green saddle horse. Still that would need more experience and training for what you want.
With horses you're paying a part of the price for the horse itself, the rest is paying for the time that went into it, the labor.
All this needs to be taken into consideration, things like cheap feed, low minimum wage will result in cheaper horses.
To work out the right price search through your horse sale sites for a few weeks. Write down the details of horses in your area that match what you want. A calm, quiet and experienced horse with a stock build. Once you have a list of a few you'll start to see a price bracket developing.
Its often a great idea to talk to your instructor and get some help in choosing a horse.
Cheap horses aren't really much cheaper. Every year I'd spend more in maintenance on my horse than I spent on him, and he wasn't that cheap!