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Well, since I have no business training, the younger horse would require an output of $$ for a trainer so overall it is less cost effective. Also, my goals are really just having a horse I can go out and ride, learn from, have fun with. If I wanted to compete I think it might change my mind. I got an older well trained horse last fall for about $125.00. He really knows his stuff too. In this market you can kind of have your cake and eat it too- there are some great older horses for peanuts out there!

In *general* the cheapest part of getting a horse is the initial purchase, so I don't really consider that as much of a factor. It is the upkeep, vetting, trainer for him, trainer for you, etc. that is the biggest consideration for me. For others experienced in training, I bet the answers will be very different from mine!
 

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It depends.
I mean when dressage people say "less money on a young horse" we're talking about $50,000 versus $150,000++ on a schoolmaster... It's a hell of a lot of money either way you look at it.
It all comes down to budget and how much the bank feels like loaning you.
With either horse, you're going to be paying the same amount in training. With a young horse it's going to be putting the training on, and with a schoolmaster it's going to be keeping the training on.

For me, I went for the younger horse option. Originally I was looking at finding a schoolmaster and just going straight to the FEI levels but it ended up being quite cost prohibitive. I like having the young horse to teach and train because then I learn more of the basics, and not just the tircks, but it is a hell of a lot of work, like I can't possibly explain it with words. I have literally put hours and hours of blood sweat and tears into that horse only to have him tell me where to go some days. But other days make it all worth while and I can feel the Grand Prix in him. It would have been very nice to have a schoolmaster either alone, or along with this horse just to steepen the learning curve for me, but such is life. We can't all go out and purchase Orion!
 

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I went the younger, untrained horse route. Because I'm not much into showing, it is the training that I actually find most fun and rewarding. The only thing that I don't like, is that I have to be more careful on trail rides, but we're working on it!
 

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I personally would go for the older trained horse :)
 

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Well that's an extremely broad question that will have a different answer for every person and for different reasons.

I'll chose to look at this objectively - let's say, I wish to compete in reining. I am not a reining trainer. I can pick up a modest reining horse to begin competeing with for probably around $5,000 in my area. Nothing fantastic, just a nice beginner level horse for me to learn the ropes on.

I just bought a 2 year old Paint filly for $800. Greenbroke. She's not really built to rein, but with enough training, I could probably get her winning a bit at local shows just because we don't have an expensive horse community and a lot of people are on horses like her. I wouldn't, personally, compete her in reining until she was 5 years old, because I don't believe in doing those types of maneuvours on a 3 year old to get her ready to show at 4 years old.

Between now and then, that little filly is roughly going to cost me:

Boarding @ $75/month for 3 years = $2700
Farrier @ $30/2 months for 3 years = $540 (not including shoes)
Deworming @ $15/3 months for 3 years = $180
Vaccinations @ $60/year for 3 years = $180

This filly has now cost me, by the time she's 5 years old, $3600 in upkeep alone, plus the $800 I paid for her equaling $4400 on her already. And that is NOT including any vet emergencies, or the training I will have to get put on her to have even a remote chance at winning. And who knows? Maybe she's so straight in the back legs, she can't even do a proper sliding stop and then I'm screwed!

However, lucky for me, I bought that little filly as a training project. Because I don't really show, I bought her for the same reason someone above stated - I wanted a cheap project to keep me busy. I've also spent 24 years riding and training horses, so I didn't buy her to save any money, I bought her specifically to play with.

 

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Personally, I would go with the green horse and train it myself. If you already have the training supplies, there is no need to buy more. Lowering the cost. Also, if I train the horse myself, I will be more passionate about taking care of, showing, or reselling her.
 

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Save money by getting a younger horse and training it or
Spend more money on getting an older horse that is already trained?


Just curious to see what people would do!
You know it really depends on the horse. If you look at the numbers, you would spend more money on a younger because you have to pay for their upkeep until they are old enough to start training. You're also running into the risk of them getting hurt until that point.

If you are looking at lets say a 10 year old who's trained done it all and a 10 year old who knows nothing, it really depends on the horse itself. You have to look at how much experience you have working with horses. Are you willing to spend a couple years working with them? are you willing to spend that time to work with a trainer?

Unless it is a really special horse or he/she has something that is really different than any other horse, I would go with already trained.
 

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I've gone the younger horse route. I enjoy the time I have with a yearling/two year old before I start riding them. I enjoy that their small, easier to handle, fun to play with and great to bond to during that time. I don't mind waiting the year or so to ride or longer for any hard riding or training. Since I don't show in Western pleasure anymore, than this makes them just project/ranch horses. On occasion when I get the urge to ride, (which don't get me wrong is often), I do wish I'd gone with an older horse. But when I go outside and Lillie looks for me to visit with and love on, then it makes the wait all worth while. I just enjoy "being with them during the wait. My fiance has to drag me out of the barn quite often. (even in the winter)
 

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Would depend on what I wanted. It I am looking for aged event horse I would and do either breed or buy my prospects. However I breed for horses who would be $50K+ as yearlings.

Now if what I wanted was a green/rookie horse then I would buy one. In the long run you are much better off. Not just b/c of the cost but b/c that horse is going to teach you and help you out in the show ring.

If I was looking for a buddy to go ride trails on a few times a month I again would buy a trained horse. The cost of a trained trail horse is A LOT less then buying a green horse and training it. Even if you do all the work yourself.
 

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I'm not sure the purpose of such a hypothetical question. What's your point? Are you collecting data so as to make a more informed choice for yourself?

What *I* would do is simply not relevant. What's relevant is that the decision be made based as much on the individual's knowledge and experience with horses, as their pocketbook. Being able to afford a horse, doesn't make it a good decision to own one.
 

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There are more young horses to choose from depending on what you want to do. If they are nice and well broke they tend to keep them and not sell them.
 

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So many shades of grey in the word "trained". I would not feel qualified to start a young horse from scratch. I would pay a bit more money for a horse that was well started under saddle. I personally would not want an older trained horse because they tend to come with their own set of problems. I'd rather start with a slightly trained blank slate and put my stamp on it than have to fix someone else's poor training. It's basically what I did with my OTTB and so far it's working out very well.
 

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I personally would not get a very young and completely untrained horse, but I would also not get and old, trained school master either.

I would go for inbetween, say a horse between 6 and 12 years, that at least know all of the basics. Then I can work on training the horse further for whatever I would like it to do, like in my case jumping.

It is always fun and rewarding to train a horse, but since I don't have the experience to train it from the ground up, I would go for the type I just described above. IF I had the experience, I would go for training an unbroken horse. :mrgreen:
 

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Well, I don't have a horse. When I get one, I am most likely going to go for a slightly challenging horse, but one that knows what he is doing.
Right now, I do a little bit of finishing work on school ponies, trying to get a more desirable "school pony" product of them~ my current boy, for instance, he has behavioral issues at the canter and when jumping. so his owners only let people ride him walk trot, except for me while i'm working on him. I would rather ride him than any other horse... but when I can get a lesson on a well trained schoolmaster? I go for it. I learn a lot more on them than on Roger. There's really two different products for each answer; Buying/working with a green horse gives me satisfaction when they get something right or we get a little farther, and I love when they learn something new, but buying/working with a schoolmaster, I learn new things and I get a little farther. . does that make sense?
 

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I definitely didn't buy a younger horse to train it and save money. I bought a younger horse to train it because I wanted the experience. It ends up costing more, however! Didn't help that I fell in love with her...
 

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I'd say depending on experience and situation. I had little experience and went the road of green unhandled youngsters (one abused). Not like I REALLY wanted (I was planning to get green broke 3-4 years old), but when I saw them I just paid. I'm pretty positive they'd end up at the meat truck. Now after 4+ years with them I can tell that it was not smart. I do NOT regret what I did, but it takes forever if you want to do anything serious with them. I still don't jump - waiting on Kiara to turn 6, and I couldn't even trail ride for several years because of the age. In same time you still pay for board, feed, vet, farrier, etc. etc. etc. Tons of money, of course. So if you want a horse you wanna ride right away - go with the older trained horse. If you are willing to wait or have another horse(s) to ride and feel comfortable working with the youngster (which is NOT easy) go this route.
 

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At this moment I would rather have a nice broke (show ready) horse. But it will probably change in a few minutes.....or if I saw a really pretty baby
 
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