Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

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Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby HafDressage » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:40 pm

So, I keep a very close eye on the dressage sales market not only because it's practically a hobby at this point (insert mild obsession), but also because I hope to buy a second horse next year. Most of the horses I'm interested in are schooling 3rd level and above. Now, I would say that at any given time, the top 15 horses that I like the best and fit my needs are in the 75k-100k price range and there are always about 20-30 more on the market in this price range at any given time. This of course brings up like a million questions in my mind.

1. Are there really that many people in the US that can spend nearly 100K on a horse?
2. Do they pay for these horses in cash? Or do they take out loans for this?
3. Are they spending their last dime on these horses or is this a drop in the bucket?
4. Are these people responsibly saving for retirement and other things whilst spending this amount of money on horses?

Now I know the easy answer is "oh all of these people are super rich and can afford it," but I don't actually think that is true if you look at certain facts about finances in the US. There are certainly mega-rich people in our sport (Campbells soup, Skagen, Yahoo, Bain etc.), but there are also many people in the US who live "wealthy" but are actually leveraged out to wazoo. So, I just really do wonder whether everyone in dressage has more money than I think or whether people are making major financial tradeoffs when they are spending this type of money on horses. If you consider that "The top 1 percent of earners have a median balance of $1.13 million across various types of banking and retirement savings accounts," then I would tell you that most of these people should not being spending 75K on horses. If the nations wealthiest people only have 1.13 million in savings, which includes their retirement accounts, then spending 1/10th of that on a single horse is really not particularly responsible. Further, if you retire at 65 most experts recommend having a 1.5 to 2 million in savings and that is just for the average person not the super wealthy who have different lifestyle standard. So if you are spending 100K on multiple horses - not to mention the monthly outlay - then I'm really just not sure how this all works out responsibly. IDK, it all seems hard to understand and highly unachievable to me.

SO... ultimately, I come back to...how do so many people afford these horses? Anyway, just my ponderings for the day.


https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/08/how-muc ... ounts.html

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Ryeissa » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:51 pm

I have NO IDEA.....!

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Flight » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:58 pm

I wonder this too. A lady has a horse that I really like, and she was competing the same level as me and our scores would be very similar. He is a warmblood and he came up for sale. I was thinking ohhh could I afford him? No way, she sold him for 90K.
Who are these people who have this type of money to spend on a horse??!!

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby HafDressage » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:51 am

Okay good, I'm glad I'm not the only one baffled by this. Sometimes it feels so financially daunting to be in this sport. I'm hoping to stay around 30 or under for my next horse, but even that amount seems like a super ridiculous amount of money to just frivolously spend on a horse.

Flight- awesome that you had scores that were similar to the 90K warmblood! I do have to remind myself that in lots of cases good riding is the great equalizer between more/less expensive horses. :)

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Fatcat » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:59 am

My guess is that a lot of these people are leveraged up the wazoo, IOW they’re in debt big time and playing the monthly payment game. It takes a lot of self discipline to not succumb to the temptations of credit (remember all those TV ads to buy a new car for Christmas?) Do people really make an impulse buy of a car for Christmas—they must or these ads wouldn’t be out there. They may take out home equity loans for that $75k horse. My hubby and I talk about this, most people we know are driving newer cars, have many toys (RVs, ATV, horsetrailers), yet make less than we do. We also know people who actually rotate through new credit cards transferring balances to get cheaper rates. I was shocked to hear on the news during the shutdown that 40% of Americans don’t have enough savings to miss ONE paycheck.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby heddylamar » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:14 am

I won't spend over $40k on a vehicle, and they don't come with the risk of racing across the pasture, tripping, falling, and breaking a leg. There's no chance in hell I'd pay over $15k on a horse.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby exvet » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:12 pm

I have to say that to this day I'm still in awe of what others pay for horses. I just can't do it; but, I still insist on playing the game with what have.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Josette » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:46 pm

I've wondered this myself when viewing some of those really high prices on the WB sale site. Maybe it depends on the geographic area where there are pockets of wealth because obviously these horses are being sold. Maybe sellers are pricing what the market will bear too. I've seen high prices on horses young or mature with no show record being priced on their possible show potential. IMO not all these horses are FEI prospects and I am frankly confused by what that even means anymore. Myself - I'm really an AP rider so I'm better off with a subaru outback instead of a mercedes benz.

However, there are wealthy individuals out there in certain geographic areas. Look up salaries for top 500 companies and positions in programming, engineering - STEM degrees. If you have two working professionals both earning 6 digit salaries and they are savers - they can afford lavish vacations and purchases. I know a coworker who owned 3 homes and retired at 53 when her husband age 55 was given an incredible retirement package after 30+ years with the same big company. Maybe not common but these folks are out there in these big metro areas where they've worked extreme work hours put in years with a company and earned huge salaries - then retire early.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Kelo » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:20 pm

I was thinking about this a lot last year. I was horse shopping myself, and absolutely mystified at the cost of horses.

I mean....I know horses are expensive - to breed, to raise, train....but as you say, where are all of these people finding $150,000 or more for a horse? And then all the costs that go with it (training, showing, equipment)? It is unimaginable to me. They HAVE to be leveraged to do it. There are so many horses priced so high, and they must be selling at some point, even if they end up changing hands for half the offered price, $75k is still crazy to me. :shock:

But anyway. I ended up buying a $500 horse, so I will just be over here admiring other people's fancy ponies :lol:

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:07 pm

Obviously, most people do not have the resources of the 1% or .1%! That said, if you can train and put in the effort, it is pretty clear that you can transform many bargains into very nice horses.

I certainly see people in my area buy 40-50k horses for their *children*. And I am not in a big metro where there are substantial numbers of high income people. Bonuses help, as does leveraging other parts of life I suppose. There is a surgeon I know who has bought a few expensive and utterly inappropriate (for her) horses. Some people like to spend lavishly on a fantasy. We are not 1%ers, but buying a 50k (not 100k) horse does not seem impossible...although probably I would not ever do it!

We had a recent exposure to the leveraging phenomena when my husband bought a nice car this fall (*bought*, not borrowed, not leased). Apparently, the dealer was truly surprised to be dealing with an actual purchase. He ended up getting a small loan in order to get a better final price--since much of the dealer's business is based on financing. He then paid it off. Most of their vehicles are leased---which is quite a bit cheaper for people who want a flash car.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Chancellor » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:56 pm

I get the Dressage Market emails and I think the same thing. Do people actually spend that much on a horse? MIchael and I live very comfortably but I cannot imagine spending 100k (or even 50k) on an animal that might break its leg running across a field. I would be soooo scared that something would happen to it. And with my luck, the problem would be a mild lameness that requires expensive treatment for the rest of the animal's life

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby StraightForward » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:00 pm

Those numbers seem a little odd to me. They don't seem to account for assets outside of retirement accounts for one. If you inherit a paid-off house for instance, that wouldn't show in those stats, but would be a huge leg-up in spending more on a sport vs. housing. I'm also unclear on whether those stats account for investments outside of retirement accounts. Annoyingly, it seems that they include the top 1% when calculating the mean savings of the top 10%, which would be more informative if they used the mean for the 90-99th percentile, to exclude the mega-wealthy, which obviously skew the mean. This also seems to be focused on earnings/income, but wages become less important as you build investment assets, so I'm confused as to how they determined these breaks. TLDR: I think lots of people have wealth that isn't being accounted for with those numbers.

ANYWAY, I also can't fathom spending that much on a horse. H and I are both mid-career and have solid retirement accounts, and lots of home equity. I wouldn't touch either of those to fund a horse, and when I've thought about spending say, $30K for a horse, I figure I'd have to have $40K+ sitting in cash to cover vet check, transport, etc. and know I just would never be able to pull the trigger and drain my account. Just not going to happen.

However, out in the working world, there are plenty of higher earners than me, and many of them either can afford it, plus savings, or they just blow every cent they have. You can probably tell the difference between two say, dentists or physicians boarding their $80K horses at the same barn. One probably paid cash for the horse and rolls up in a 8 year old Camry, the other is leveraged and rolls up in a brand new leased Mercedes.
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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:52 pm

StraightForward wrote: You can probably tell the difference between two say, dentists or physicians boarding their $80K horses at the same barn. One probably paid cash for the horse and rolls up in a 8 year old Camry, the other is leveraged and rolls up in a brand new leased Mercedes.


So very familiar and true! I think you are right about the misleading description of wealth, too. We are not that wealthy because we have to work (investment earnings are not enough to live on). Really wealthy people get income from their assets, not by laboring.

Most reasonable adults I know with very nice horses do have them insured, which takes a bit of a sting off if disaster strikes. Of course, you might still end up with pasture sound horses who need your support for life. BTW, I think some of the super-sized pricing reflects trainer/dealers efforts to make a living. If you are skimming off the top of horse sales, it is nice to have a higher dollar sale!

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Chisamba » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:24 pm

I have bought one expensive to me horse. (20 k) I took a year to pay her off and kept her insured til age made it unfeasible. My next horse was el cheapo from an Amish breeder. Guess who was the better horse.

Sadly lost them both that horrid night, and have not even mildly been able to afford to look at big price horses since.

When. I was house hunting with a friend, anything under 50 had soundness and maintenance problems, or a vice ( buck , rear etc) you had to go 50 to 75 for talent soundness and disposition.

It makes me wonder why people don't look to alternatives like amish bred, or non saddleseat quality saddlebred horses. I have even seen OTTB and QH crosses be mistaken for lighter warmbloods.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby StraightForward » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:40 pm

This thread reminded me of some people I knew when I was in college. A friend of mine was training and showing their Arabians. They had a lovely little hobby farm with white vinyl fences, pretty barn and the whole bit. A nice stallion and some others.

I was attending a show supporting my friend, and the owner borrowed my western hat for whatever reason. I wasn't using it any more, so she said she would buy it. It took me, a fairly broke college student, about 3 months to extract $75 from that woman, and in the process I found out that they had such terrible credit they couldn't even hold a checking account in their names, they were hiding vehicles to preventing them from being repossessed, and utilities people being paid off just as they arrived to turn off the water or gas or whatever, happened on the regular. So that is how some people roll. The husband was a creep who liked to talk a big game and try to impress people. I'm sure he thought he was always one deal away from making good on all their debt.

I always think of that pair when I look at what people seemingly can afford, and wonder how they do it. Often, it's not pretty, and they're constantly teetering on the brink of disaster.
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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Abby Kogler » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:20 pm

Random musings on the subject:

I know lots of horses that were priced at whatever and sold for many thousands less. Asking prices are rarely met IME. PPEs are so often just a negotiating tactic.

Most of the people I know with very expensive horses are in the 1%. So much of California is just mind numbingly rich. So to them a 100000 horse really is nothing. Its amazing.

All of these expensive horses are insured for mortality, major medical, and sometimes you can still get loss of use policies.

I cant tell you how many of these expensive horses break down with the intensity of the training and the lack of skill of the owners. They then become Negotiable or BO to Loving Home or Free. I have gotten really lovely previously very expensive horses given to me, or found them free on CL, or paid very little. Expensive horses, imported horses, that have become difficult or lame. Most of them end up amazing and wonderful and sound. Some I spend a year or two doing everything I can and they cant overcome their physical issues. I got BElla for one dollar. Weltmann for 1200. George was a CL freebie. I was just given a BEAUTIFUL 11 yr old Oldenburg gelding who was very loved by his mum who could not afford him; he would not pass a PPE and she didn't want him to go down the proverbial road. The biggest problem that they seem to not be able to overcome is neck issues. Those can be responsible for dangerous behaviours...rearing, uncontrollable spooking...so many other things can be addressed and solved.

I would never spend a lot of money for a horse. Even if I had it. There are endless nice horses out there with fixable issues. They deserve sane kind homes and are very rewarding to 'save'.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby heddylamar » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:27 pm

Mom bought my QH eventer for $500. That mare carried me through prelim, then I bred her for free to my trainer’s stallion. For the cost of vet bills + foaling facility, I got another mare.

Fast forward, and I bred the second mare twice (first didn’t take) for $2k + vet bills + foaling facility, and then an unplanned 2 week stay at MSU vet school (foal developed pneumonia at 8 weeks), and 3 months of antibiotics (foal), ulcer meds (foal and mama), and electrolytes (foal and mama). This coincided perfectly with the crazy jump in price of antibiotics several years ago. So cheap horse #3 multiplied in price :D

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby musical comedy » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:53 pm

HafDressage, if you think spending 1/10th of your savings on a horse is irresponsible, how much money should one have saved in order buy....say...a 50k horse? According to your thinking they would need more than 500k in the bank. Do you think a lot of younger people (30's and 40's) have that much saved? It's pretty hard to save that much so young if you have a mortgage, car, kids, college loan, etc. etc.

On another note, there may be endless nice horses out there with fixable issues (per Abby) and there may be some nice Saddlebreds or Amish breds, but these are not trained horses at a certain level that are ready for the average AA to compete or learn on. There is nothing wrong with not wanting a challenge or not wanting to work with a young/green horse.
In order to find a horse that will pass a PPE, be without bad faults, be safe and easy to ride, be trained to 2nd+ level, not be too old, etc. etc. you are going to have to pay $$. And you should have to pay $$. Think about it yourself. If you had such a horse and needed to sell it, would you sell your 8 year old sound 3rd level horse for 25k? I hope not.

As for money needing to retire, I've been retired for quite a while and I don't have 1.5m and I'm not eating ramen noodles nor living in low income housing.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:56 pm

I'm not in that bracket myself, but a large number of my clients are--it's not uncommon for someone to spend 30 or 40K on a closet or garage (and the cars that they put in that garage are mouthwatering, too...) so spending $75K on a horse, if it is their life "thing," wouldn't be that unusual to them. Part of that is because life is so crazy damned expensive here, too--we're turning in CA with property prices--so everything is skewed, somewhat.

But I have to say, knowing what I know today, If I was at a different stage in life (younger:)), I might well consider taking out a loan to buy a nice horse.

Heck, We've lost (and gained) the cost of several nice horses on property, businesses and in the stock market over the years, and we're still here.

And yes, I agree with MC, I may have taken on a throwaway horse (neck issues, Abby--I firmly believe it's a lot to do with the way they are ridden, and I wouldn't hesitate to explore another one with the same problem, but that's another story), but I know how much effort and expense had gone into turning him into what he is now, so no, I wouldn't expect someone to sell a horse of his caliber, without issues, for a song. I was dead lucky and in the right place at the right time.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby HafDressage » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:26 am

musical comedy wrote:HafDressage, if you think spending 1/10th of your savings on a horse is irresponsible, how much money should one have saved in order buy....say...a 50k horse? According to your thinking they would need more than 500k in the bank. Do you think a lot of younger people (30's and 40's) have that much saved? It's pretty hard to save that much so young if you have a mortgage, car, kids, college loan, etc. etc.

On another note, there may be endless nice horses out there with fixable issues (per Abby) and there may be some nice Saddlebreds or Amish breds, but these are not trained horses at a certain level that are ready for the average AA to compete or learn on. There is nothing wrong with not wanting a challenge or not wanting to work with a young/green horse.
In order to find a horse that will pass a PPE, be without bad faults, be safe and easy to ride, be trained to 2nd+ level, not be too old, etc. etc. you are going to have to pay $$. And you should have to pay $$. Think about it yourself. If you had such a horse and needed to sell it, would you sell your 8 year old sound 3rd level horse for 25k? I hope not.

As for money needing to retire, I've been retired for quite a while and I don't have 1.5m and I'm not eating ramen noodles nor living in low income housing.


Musical - 1.5m in savings is not my made up recommendation, rather that is what banking and retirement experts tell you you should have saved by the time you retire. SO, the savings number I shared included retirement savings. What I would say is that as long as you are saving quite a bit for retirement each month such that it is projected to equal 1.5 millions dollars at retirement and you have a rainy day fund, then sure blow 75K on a horse. What I wonder, however, is how many people are not doing that.

I also agree that some horses are worth 75-100K (of course I see plenty in that price range that don't deserve that price tag) and I also agree that there are some nice bargain horses out there. Neither of those things really stops me from being baffled at how many people can or do spend that amount of money on horses. I will agree, however, that different locations in the US probably skews the numbers mentally. In Cali I'm sure spending 75K is more like 40K where I live.

I'm sure there is some reality to "yes there are a lot of people can afford this amount of money" and then probably many more who can't, but do. Regardless, it's still hard for me to wrap my mind around.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Chisamba » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:56 am

I agree with MC particularly extrapolating to time and progress. I might have learned a lot riding misfits, but the same amount of time and skill on the right horse with good disposition goes way way WAY further.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby HafDressage » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:10 pm

Speaking of....this article gave me a chuckle today: http://www.eurodressage.com/2019/02/03/ ... S5rmc5mu9A

Only a lackluster 70K.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby LeoApp » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:53 pm

I know many people who have loads more money than I do. Some work on Wall Street, some are lawyers and doctors who have their own firms and practices, some are in construction. They can well afford a 75-100K horse. One of my friends has a 1.3M boat (yacht?). Some are women that married hedge fund managers. :)
I just want to know what I did wrong.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Chancellor » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:14 pm

LeoApp wrote:I know many people who have loads more money than I do. Some work on Wall Street, some are lawyers and doctors who have their own firms and practices, some are in construction. They can well afford a 75-100K horse. One of my friends has a 1.3M boat (yacht?). Some are women that married hedge fund managers. :)
I just want to know what I did wrong.



the thing with a boat is that it isn't likely to run about in its paddock and hurt itself.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby LeoApp » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:22 pm

True but it did need some sort of transmission overhaul. :)

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Ryeissa » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:37 pm

Chisamba wrote:I agree with MC particularly extrapolating to time and progress. I might have learned a lot riding misfits, but the same amount of time and skill on the right horse with good disposition goes way way WAY further.


yeah, I had the misfit then the talent and it's hand down a completely different ballgame. Its not about money, its about the right horse who is built for it, and some dumb luck

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby blob » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:06 pm

Chancellor wrote:
LeoApp wrote:I know many people who have loads more money than I do. Some work on Wall Street, some are lawyers and doctors who have their own firms and practices, some are in construction. They can well afford a 75-100K horse. One of my friends has a 1.3M boat (yacht?). Some are women that married hedge fund managers. :)
I just want to know what I did wrong.



the thing with a boat is that it isn't likely to run about in its paddock and hurt itself.


All the people i know with expensive horses, have insured the hell out of them

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby musical comedy » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:21 am

blob wrote:All the people i know with expensive horses, have insured the hell out of them
What good does that do? You have to get permission from an insurance company in order to put a horse down. If the horse is expensive, they instead insist you pay for various treatments. The medical coverage pays once, and then it's a pre-existing condition.

While it's true that horses are known to get hurt or have issues, not all do. A lot of people buying expensive horses are not looking at them as an investment or to be able to resell them and get their money back or make a profit. They buy them to learn on or enjoy riding a nice horse.

I'd rather pay 50k for a nice horse rather than for a car.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:30 am

musical comedy wrote: I'd rather pay 50k for a nice horse rather than for a car.


I do agree on this point! (although I'd probably up the figure)

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby cb06 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:18 am

musical comedy wrote:... but these are not trained horses at a certain level that are ready for the average AA to compete or learn on. There is nothing wrong with not wanting a challenge or not wanting to work with a young/green horse.
In order to find a horse that will pass a PPE, be without bad faults, be safe and easy to ride, be trained to 2nd+ level, not be too old, etc. etc. you are going to have to pay $$. And you should have to pay $$...

I just dont know that I buy this...
I know many AA types who have the means to invest in expensive horses and it is no guarantee of success in the ring, especially as you get past the lower levels where gait score seems more influential.
Plus
All of the AAs have continued, after purchase, with significant professional training for horse and/or Rider.
...so its not like an AA can buy a 50-75k horse and magically go in the ring and do well without significant professional support....
I just think success for an AA, especially up the levels, is more closely tied to consistent, quality training and riding, and less to the initial cost of the horse.
So for an AA like me on a limited budget, I am going to invest in the riding and training...
I also don't think that an inexpensive horse is necessarily a challenge or green or lame or difficult to compete or learn on. Far from it... I can go out right now and find a sensible 5 to 7 year old that is going w/t/c, a 7 mover, 16h+, sound of body and mind, maybe shown hunter pleasure (so show experience), clips, bathes, ties, loads, etc...knows his p&qs...for less than 5k...and if I invest a few months of dressage specific Quality riding and training, that <5k horse can go in the ring at a rated dressage show and beat some very expensive horses.
I just generally think we put way too much emphasis on the horse as if $$ would make him go in the ring and magically perform flawless dressage, while we sit up there smiling.

Beyond a horse that is sound, sane, with three decent gaits, the difference I see is always, always in the riding and training.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby exvet » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:45 am

Beyond a horse that is sound, sane, with three decent gaits, the difference I see is always, always in the riding and training.

I agree in spades; however, I will give mc credit regarding her view and that is so many of those being sold with the higher $$ often have some basic training and talent that gives 'the edge'. I think the key for those who pick the lesser price tag and still have success either is owed to an educated eye who can pick a horse with physical and mental capability and/or one who has the seat of the pants talent to bring it along and/or you pay for one who already has been vetted and proven to have those basics. I don't begrudge those who have the money to pay for the competitive edge. I also recognize that it doesn't always make those who choose that path the lesser rider. Still being one of those with lesser means and having many other responsibilities that I do have to look for those 'bargains'. As a result I am grateful that those bargains still exist and that I have an open mind to work with them.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby cb06 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:50 pm

I do agree too exvet, $$ does buy an edge. Those higher dollar horses are much more likely to have some really quality, dressage specific, training in them. I don't begrudge it either, if I had tons of disposable income, it would be fabulous to be able to buy a made, highly trained horse to learn to ride correctly. :P
I guess my point was the money is as much buying the training as the horse, and that most AAs who want success in the ring, are going to invest in 'continuing education' for ourselves and the horse, regardless of how much we initially paid for the horse. ...and even learning to ride a highly trained horse correctly is no cake walk.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby StraightForward » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:41 pm

cb06 wrote:I do agree too exvet, $$ does buy an edge. Those higher dollar horses are much more likely to have some really quality, dressage specific, training in them. I don't begrudge it either, if I had tons of disposable income, it would be fabulous to be able to buy a made, highly trained horse to learn to ride correctly. :P
I guess my point was the money is as much buying the training as the horse, and that most AAs who want success in the ring, are going to invest in 'continuing education' for ourselves and the horse, regardless of how much we initially paid for the horse. ...and even learning to ride a highly trained horse correctly is no cake walk.


I don't think anyone is saying that people don't expect to stay in a program if they invest in a made horse. It's a huge leg up to start with a horse that's already going third level. While I was arguing over foot manners with my coming 3 WB filly last night, I looked at her and said "It's going to be five more years of shenanigans, isn't it?". And in that moment I thought it might be worth 10k/year to skip all that crap. Many people don't want to slog through it, and adding in years of training and board, that 8 year old is going to be $$$$$ whether you buy it made, or DIY.
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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Ryeissa » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:01 pm

I totally agree with what you are all saying.....

Maybe this is just rambling, but I see a lot of horses going third that I would have to still fill in some holes.

A horse always defaults to the level of the rider so I am also not sure how much there is a advantage....there is certainly one but it's not as magical as we think. People many times get unrealistic expectations with buying X level of training. Not so much on here since we are all in the trenches. I've seen a lot of beginners with deep pockets still not being able to get the nice WB to move. It doesn't matter how much it knows if the rider lacks skills, though that may not be what you guys mean....?

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Dresseur » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:57 pm

IMO you're either going to pay up front or in training. Sometimes both :lol: :lol:

For a lot of people, paying up front for the training is a good bet - then you can ride the horse and maintain the training rather than to drop the horse into a high dollar training program (this is assuming that you don't have the time or inclination or know-how to train a prospect yourself.) If you are an AA who gets a prospect, most of your money will be spent in training or lessons before you ever get to show. (again, assuming you are working with a decent trainer in a decent program).

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby cb06 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:01 am

Dresseur wrote:IMO you're either going to pay up front or in training. Sometimes both :lol: :lol: .

^^
Truth :lol:

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Ryeissa » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:14 pm

both! that is what I am saying....

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby StraightForward » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:59 pm

Just reading an article on the new tax laws and this jumped out at me: "The nonpartisan Joint Committee of Taxation estimates that 572,000 taxpayers will file returns with an income category of more than $1 million."

So let's assume they mean 572,000 returns, most of them joint returns. There's a million people with annual income in excess of $1 million. I think it's fair to say that there would be increasing numbers of households in the $300K-999K annual income bracket. It would be easy enough to buy a six-figure horse and keep it in full training with that kind of income. And of course participants in horse sport, and especially dressage, are going to skew towards the wealthy end of the population. The 1% of the general population might be more like 10% when it comes to the equestrian community.
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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby StraightForward » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:05 pm

cb06 wrote:
Dresseur wrote:IMO you're either going to pay up front or in training. Sometimes both :lol: :lol: .

^^
Truth :lol:


Yes, totally. With just basic board and DIY training, my girl will cost me around $7K/year. Assuming a conservative purchase price of $10K, I'll have invested $45K by the time she is 8. In reality it will be more due to inescapable vet bills, lessons, show mileage, etc. Probably more like $60K+, and I am managing risk, and coming out the other side with an amateur-trained horse.
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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Linden » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:23 pm

I don't know...I have /had two of those horses at the same time, and I am not super wealthy. I sold one. I kept the other, nicer one. it costs just as much to pay board for a $75k horse than it does for a $500 horse. When the opportunity to buy what you really want is there, why not go for it?

My plan is to take this horse to GP, as far as I can, and then sell, buy a house, and a new horse, and do it all over again. its the training that is the fun part!

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Ryeissa » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:04 pm

Linden wrote:I don't know...I have /had two of those horses at the same time, and I am not super wealthy. I sold one. I kept the other, nicer one. it costs just as much to pay board for a $75k horse than it does for a $500 horse. When the opportunity to buy what you really want is there, why not go for it?


because I'm poor!

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Linden » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:44 pm

Ryeissa wrote:
Linden wrote:I don't know...I have /had two of those horses at the same time, and I am not super wealthy. I sold one. I kept the other, nicer one. it costs just as much to pay board for a $75k horse than it does for a $500 horse. When the opportunity to buy what you really want is there, why not go for it?


because I'm poor!


thats why i said "when the opportunity is there" ! id doesnt aways arise, but if it does, and thats your passion, you either make a decision to spend the money or not. you can't judge someone on spending money if you think it's irresponsible or not, it's their life, its their choice. you never know how they want to spend their lives. lives are not always guaranteed to be 80 years plus long. some people are conservative, and some people live like they dont have a guaranteed future. To each their own!

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Ryeissa » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:45 pm

Linden wrote:
Ryeissa wrote:
Linden wrote:I don't know...I have /had two of those horses at the same time, and I am not super wealthy. I sold one. I kept the other, nicer one. it costs just as much to pay board for a $75k horse than it does for a $500 horse. When the opportunity to buy what you really want is there, why not go for it?


because I'm poor!


thats why i said "when the opportunity is there" ! id doesnt aways arise, but if it does, and thats your passion, you either make a decision to spend the money or not. you can't judge someone on spending money if you think it's irresponsible or not, it's their life, its their choice. you never know how they want to spend their lives. lives are not always guaranteed to be 80 years plus long. some people are conservative, and some people live like they dont have a guaranteed future. To each their own!


I am not judging.
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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Josette » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:13 pm

These are all personal choices, priorities and some financial risk to a degree. If I won the lottery tomorrow :o I'm unsure what I would do frankly. I don't care to board unless the place were fabulous. I am very emotionally attached to my animals so it would not be about show potential of a horse or it's past record. Maybe a lower level sane sound school master type that I also could trail ride. I have to be attracted to a riding partner and click. I simply enjoy riding and want safe quality time to learn and improve my skills. I guess an expensive horse might be a waste on me but it sure would get a good home, easy life and lots of love.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby blob » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:57 pm

I think no matter how expensive my horse is or isn't upfront, I'd be putting equal money into lessons. I'd also be putting equal money into board. Health seems to be a bit of a lottery--you can be lucky or unlucky. But certainly how much I pay upfront doesn't determine the health bills I may or may not have down the line.

So, ultimately once the horse is paid for horse costs are horse costs.

If I had money to spend on an expensive horse and I found one I liked, I would spend the money (within some reason, after a certain price point, I get nervous). Right now, I have too many other things I'm thinking about in terms of savings and investments to put a large amount upfront on a horse. Though I recognize that I'm spending A LOT over the years on horses.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby HafDressage » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:06 am

It's so interesting to see the many directions this thread went. I agree with Blob that whether you spend a lot up front or not, you are probably going to spend a lot over time in board/lessons/etc, so I don't think there are long-term savings spending more up front for the most part.

I think Straight Forward makes a good point that there are a lot of high income earners in the US and wealthier people do tend to get involved in horse sports. That being said, I know a lot of "wealthy" people with good jobs, who still live way beyond their means and who end up wheeling and dealing in unethical ways to maintain their image.

In terms of Linden's point of why not spend the money -- Well sure, if you have it, why not? BUT, I would say that not saving for the future or having a rainy day fun does lead to financial problems down the line. The reason people who don't save get into trouble is because then once you are hit with an unexpected expense (like a medical bill), you quickly find yourself in debt.... and super sadly debt begets debt.

Also, let's say you buy a fancy prospect with the hopes of doing a little training and selling for more money. That's super if the stars align and your horse doesn't injure itself and vets well. Of course, the opposite can happen. SO, it's not necessarily a bad investment, but it is asuper RISKY investment.

In terms of comments geared towards "you can''t just buy success" I would definitely agree for the most part. Often those that can afford really nice horses don't ride that well. Of course, sometimes super talented riders are wealthy. Charlotte Jorst comes to mind. She is really a beautifully sympathetic rider and has the talent to do something with the expensive horses she can afford. I'm not sure I'm always in perfect agreement with the "type" of horses she likes, but certainly expensive. There are also cases where the opposite is true and money just results in ruined schoolmasters. I prefer seeing the second because it makes me feel better. :lol: :lol: lol.

My bafflement continues, but I do have to remind myself that this is a sport of the very wealthy regardless of their savings and so that is that.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby musical comedy » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:25 am

HafDressage wrote:In terms of comments geared towards "you can''t just buy success" I would definitely agree for the most part. Often those that can afford really nice horses don't ride that well.
What is 'often'? You make a statement you really can't back up. You may know of some weathly people with pricey horses that don't ride well, but you can't generalize.

I think more the opposite. I think almost everyone that buys an expensive horse is in training and ends up riding pretty well. Conversely, I think most people buying cheap horses are not in training and get stuck at 2nd or below. (I realize that excludes several people on this board which is unique.) I think that most people buy cheap horses because that's all they can afford. Because they are financially limited, they can't afford a lot of lessons either. Therefore, with no lessons and on a unmade or limited talent horses, just how well can they progress as a rider? Again, I stress that I am not meaning to insult a few people on this board (X-vet for one) that defy the odds.

I've written this before, and I apologize in advance if this offends Chisamba which it did previously. I don't see buying a cheap horse with limited talent and soaking a lot of money into it for training and boarding. In the end, in most cases, you don't progress and the horse's value does not increase. How many here or on coth are stuggling to get changes or to get a medium/extended trot? It's usually because they have a limited horse. I am in this situation now. Coming off a talented horse that taught me a lot, I am now on a limited horse. I know how to ride decently and I have years of experience on various horses. Yet, I can't do simple things on my new horse. I would have been better off spending more money on a more talented horse. I've spent about 6k in training costs in 2018 and I'm no further ahead than when I started. Some people here might think this is fun (aka the journey) but I don't find it fun at all, especially at my age.

Lastly, going back to another subject about saving, what pray tell are you doing to do with a few million saved dollars at age 80? You can deplete it in a nursing home, while those that didn't save get the same services free on Medicaid.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Chisamba » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:58 pm

Actually MC on this one I agree with you, having spent quite a lot of my career in national levels trying to get better scores on limited horses, I finally bought an expensive horse and lucked into a truly talented young horse, and the ease of progress was just dramatic. So now I have Kimba, a mistaken breeding who was obese and laminitic. It has taken me years to get reasonable scores at second, and since her default is to pace when everything is not perfect, I may never get my changes on her so I might just spend the next five years trying to get clean changes, which limits mt showing.

Look, it does not limit the joy I have riding her, or how much i appreciate her willingness, but I Kaira, my young horse, was already doing simple changes at 6 and I was purposely slowing her progress to avoid too much pressure on her joints etc.

If I had the money, I would absolutely spend it on a good horse.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby exvet » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:24 pm

"Lastly, going back to another subject about saving, what pray tell are you doing to do with a few million saved dollars at age 80? You can deplete it in a nursing home, while those that didn't save get the same services free on Medicaid."

Actually MC while I get what you're saying and the GENERALITY is somewhat correct I have to point out that at least for those of us with loved ones who have dementia or require memory care, Medicaid DOES NOT PROVIDE THE SAME SERVICES that the MILLION SAVED CAN PROVIDE/AFFORD. My brother cleaned out my parents' savings. By the time my father, a veteran, could no longer safely stay at home nor my mother remain is primary caregiver, we were able to afford very little in terms of memory care. My father could have utilized the VA (Arizona's is still the worst in the country) or gone to a state funded nursing home but my mother wouldn't have it. I helped pay for the next 'tier' up which simply meant a group home (10 residents max) where he had 2 nurses aids around the clock with a nurses practitioner that came in once a week. There was little in the way of stimulation other than wheeling the 10 residents out to the 'family room' to sit in a near catatonic state facing the t.v.. Once a week a nice little old guy with a heart and guitar came to play music for the residents. They were fed, received showers twice weekly with sponge baths in between, received their meds and checked on at night. That was for $3500 a month which medicaid does not pay for at all. The next tier up which is $5000 - 7000 per month buys the residents some occupational and physical stimulation/remediation. Then there are the facilities that are 10,000 and up which provide even more in the way of trying to do something in the way of slowing the progression of the disease, providing separate 'family quarters' and scheduled activities with enough staff to physically assist each one of those during the entire activity. I wished my parents had that million dollars plus they once had because my father deserved much more than to simply wither away in the dark of a smelly first tier 'memory care' center.

Of course with your view I could have sent him to the VA or the state home because he was going to die of this disease any way; but, I was already watching the stress my mother was under just by placing him in a facility we could afford that was close enough for her to visit daily. She at least had that PEACE of mind that he was only a few miles a way. Unknowingly this helped me as well since for the last 4 months of his life my kids, my cousin and her kids and myself took turns driving her there every day to spend time with my father. The 'free' places were close to 50 minutes away.

Money buys you some options in how you choose to die if the powers that be give you that time to decide or die slowly. Also knowing the how long you will hang around and need that care isn't always well defined.

I think people are usually more than capable to determine how much they want to spend on a horse and justify that expense versus and/or in addition to budgeting for specific goals (training, competing, etc). Like dressage and our partnerships with our horses, it's all about the journey and we each pick as best as we can how we want to develop and define that journey. Some paths will cost more than others and there's no right or wrong with that.

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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Ryeissa » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:37 pm

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