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

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

Postby StraightForward » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:32 pm

HafDressage wrote: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.


A segment of people will live beyond their means at every income/wealth level, always. Tons of people spend $75K on a fancy truck or car, and it doesn't raise many eyebrows. But if you are otherwise living a reasonable lifestyle while pulling down $500K/year, you could easily buy a $100K horse every 5 years and not have it be a big impediment to savings and investments. There are also lots of "stealth wealth" people out there, who are living below their means and socking money away, but they are way less visible, because their wealth is not on display. Much like an expensive horse doesn't eat more than a cheap horse, medical bills aren't necessarily more for a rich person, but their ability to cover, or recover from, say, $100K in medical bills is much better than someone making $50K. My brother and his wife, for example, both make good incomes, and have real estate investments and rental income. They work for startups where they're in line for good pay-outs if the company gets acquired. Their situation is not at all uncommon in the Bay Area. If I was in that situation, I wouldn't hesitate to blow a good part of that payout on a dream horse.

I think we can all agree that no one should spend more on a horse than they can afford to lose, because any horse's value can go to zero in an instant.
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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby khall » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:35 pm

Exvet's post hits very close to home with my situation right now. My parents thankfully do have savings but not 1 million and with 2 of them going to need memory care how quickly will that go?

I could never see spending $50,000 or more on a horse. I just could not justify spending that on a horse ever. I do not begrudge anyone who would though and I do like to drool over some out there. The most I have ever spent was $10,000 and that was a mix of barter, cash etc. For me the success of horses is about the journey not the success in the show arena. For one I am not a fan of recognized shows, I hate white breeches. It is just ridiculously expensive these days and I have always preferred spending my money on lessons than for shows. Now schooling shows are fun when I can fit them in.

What I am struck by is how much more expensive horses are here in the States vs overseas. I get ads all the time from Holland or UK where there are some gorgeous horses with training and very reasonably priced. Makes you wonder why such a difference. I think Xan was finding that out as well in her search.

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

Postby Josette » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:42 pm

Just an aside living in the north east - there are lots of people who go to Florida during the winter for the big horse shows. A local horse owner down the street from us goes every year for approx 2- 3 months. Drives herself down towing a big goose neck trailer. I can't even imagine it as such a different life style than me lol! Equine snow birds!

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

Postby HafDressage » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:00 pm

musical comedy wrote:
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.


You can't tell me I can't generalize and then do the same. Neither one of us has hard facts on this. These are all just generalizations. I've seen a lot of people buy expensive warmbloods and then not ride them that well. Of course, I've seen lots of cases of the opposite as well. I definitely think well-trained horses - whether expensive or not - results in training advances for the rider.

I also agree that everyone should buy the most expensive horse you can afford, I don't think anyone is arguing anything different. I just won't do that at the sacrifice of other financial goals. I also just sometimes feel surprised at how much people have to spend on these horses, but that is just me. :)

musical comedy wrote: 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.


LOL. Well most would like to retire before 80. SO let's say you retire in your 60's, then you need to live for 15-20 years off that money. 15-20 years without an income is a MASSIVE financial drain. SO, if you want to a quality of life standard that is anything above the minimum once you actually reach 80, then yes, you need a bunch of money. That is why they have supplemental insurance plans. Not to mention having saved money could mean you could stay living on your own for longer by paying for in-home assistance, rather than needing to move to a nursing home earlier. Trust me, even nice nursing homes are usually not anyone's first choice. Let alone if you are working with the minimum finances.

I've literally heard of SOOOO few cases of people saying "gosh I wish I would have saved less for retirement." For the most part, nearly everyone wishes they would have saved more. And just so you believe me...below is one of numerous articles about it. Recent survey says 75% of people wished they had saved more for retirement. Again, the savings numbers are not my personal belief or made up numbers, whether we like to hear it or not, this is what financial advisers recommend. Perhaps I worry about it more than the average bear. To each their own. :)

https://www.investors.com/etfs-and-fund ... -had-made/

Another interesting one as well:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... b881976cfb

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

Postby HafDressage » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:06 pm

khall wrote:
What I am struck by is how much more expensive horses are here in the States vs overseas. I get ads all the time from Holland or UK where there are some gorgeous horses with training and very reasonably priced. Makes you wonder why such a difference. I think Xan was finding that out as well in her search.


Totally agree with this Khall (well and really your entire post). I know American breeders sometimes express frustration that people tend to always look/buy in Europe rather than here, but to me it definitely seems like your can still get more bang for your buck over there even after import fees.

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

Postby Chisamba » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:18 pm

I lost most of my savings in the big financial crap shoot a few years ago, i am not particularly smart, so i trusted an investor, and obviously was not nearly diversified enough, then hubby lost his job and we had to live on one income for a while, and you are right, that is a huge financial drain. So no expensive horses in my future, but I still think if some one has sufficient funds, and wants to do better quicker especially as you get to an age where it might be your last best chance at success, I can fully understand going for it.

when i have to replace my truck no one will gasp if i have to spend 50 K to do so, and a top horse, for a pro, anyway, is a financial investment in promoting your business, so why the googly eyes when some one spends 50K on a horse? ( i know 50K is lower end, but it demonstrated my pov)

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

Postby 4Horse » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:07 pm

I get that a professional or someone that has goals for showing but how many of those exist in this country v/s amateur riders and backyard owners?
I can't fathom investing that much in a horse, period. I would never compromise retirement savings or expect my DH to sacrifice to spend that much on any horse.

I'm happy with the cheapo horse.

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

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:20 pm

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

Postby Josette » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:36 pm

Rye - again it may get down to some geographic areas. Regarding expensive vehicles - in NJ it is very common to see very expensive cars, suv and trucks where $50K is lower-range. They are a dime a dozen while a worn out older vehicle actually stands out. Stay at home mom's driving kids around to soccer practice in Hummers. The money is in these metro areas near big corporations or commuters into NYC. We have complaints filed for noise issues with helicopter traffic with private helicopter pads in back yards. Multi-million dollar homes over 10,000 sq ft - heck my pony would sleep inside with all that space - why build a barn lol!

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

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:43 pm

Josette wrote:Rye - again it may get down to some geographic areas. Regarding expensive vehicles - in NJ it is very common to see very expensive cars, suv and trucks where $50K is lower-range. They are a dime a dozen while a worn out older vehicle actually stands out. Stay at home mom's driving kids around to soccer practice in Hummers. The money is in these metro areas near big corporations or commuters into NYC. We have complaints filed for noise issues with helicopter traffic with private helicopter pads in back yards. Multi-million dollar homes over 10,000 sq ft - heck my pony would sleep inside with all that space - why build a barn lol!


yeah, I live in a major city too. I get it

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

Postby StraightForward » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:10 pm

Josette wrote:Rye - again it may get down to some geographic areas. Regarding expensive vehicles - in NJ it is very common to see very expensive cars, suv and trucks where $50K is lower-range. They are a dime a dozen while a worn out older vehicle actually stands out. Stay at home mom's driving kids around to soccer practice in Hummers. The money is in these metro areas near big corporations or commuters into NYC. We have complaints filed for noise issues with helicopter traffic with private helicopter pads in back yards. Multi-million dollar homes over 10,000 sq ft - heck my pony would sleep inside with all that space - why build a barn lol!


Yep. And if those people are living beyond their means... it's not the $100K horse + full training. It's that plus the vacation home, yacht, multiple high-end vehicles, designer clothes, trips, etc. Plenty of people can afford almost anything, but no one can afford everything.

Also, people have different perceptions of what they can and can't afford. Some people have more risk tolerance than others. Owning a mortgaged horse would keep me up at night.
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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Ponichiwa » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:02 pm

I just bought a new truck last year-- $50k is on the low end for a decent towing vehicle! And that price tag doesn't drop much until the truck has lived a long (or hard) life.

Where I raise my eyebrows is the 6yo 1st level horse advertised at 75+k-- feels like not-so-long-ago when the fancy young horse "floor" was $30k, not $100k. Good for the professionals, if that's where the market is, but whew.

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

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:45 pm

never mind
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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Chisamba » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:12 am

Ryeissa wrote:Yeah I have a truck and know the cost. Its just hard to talk about money as people have such different cultures and attitudes.

And yet you come off as mocking me for quoting lower end working truck price.

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

Postby musical comedy » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:52 am

StraightForward wrote: Also, people have different perceptions of what they can and can't afford.
I have one wealthy horse friend and know several other very wealthy horse people in my area. This friend purchased two 100k+ horses for herself and a third for her trainer to ride and show. All three were in full training. Yet, said friend will say "I can't afford" to things that even a pauper like me will spend on. Over the years, I've heard several well-off people complain about being broke.

Moving on to the truck topic. This is a good example of how we all think differently. I drive an 1989 gmc truck with 170k miles on it. The fenders are rusting off and the hood is all rusted. The interior ceiling is drooping and the stuffing is coming out of the seats. It's a total embarassment and stands out as such. Yet, I am too cheap to buy a new truck or even a good used truck. This truck runs just fine and I don't go any long distance in it, so why buy one? I did however spend a tad over 50k for a horse once and several times over 30k. It is about priorities, risk, and what makes you happy.
Over the last year I looked at truck prices. I could find one I would like for 40k, so perhaps my needs are less than you guys. This would have been a 4 wheel drive GMC Sierra, but not a heavy duty or duelly. My old truck is only 2 wheel drive and I have many times driven two horses in it and it is not heavy duty either. Another reason for not buying a new pricey vehicle is the jump in insurance. Right now, I only carry liability. With a new truck, I'd need to buy comp and collusion would would up my premiums significantly.

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

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:31 pm

Chisamba wrote:
Ryeissa wrote:Yeah I have a truck and know the cost. Its just hard to talk about money as people have such different cultures and attitudes.

And yet you come off as mocking me for quoting lower end working truck price.

I wasn't mocking you.

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

Postby Chisamba » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:10 am

If you watch Mecum auctions you know some people spend lots of money on classic cars, some people have two homes, a live in home and a home on the shore for summer weekends, people have boats, RVs campers, etc. Art, antiques, historical items...some go for hundreds of thousands.

So, some spend their hard earned money on nice horses. So what?

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

Postby blob » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:03 am

Yes, I know some very wealthy people, where a $75k horse is barely making a noticeable dent. There's no sacrifice made for it, no future retirement in jeopardy, and there are probably sillier things they could spend their money.

I'm most certainly not that wealthy, but I don't shade anyone who can comfortably afford a pricey horse for getting one.

Also, while I personally wouldn't choose a horse over a down payment on a house, if someone else did, that's their choice and probably reflects their needs at the time.

It can be discouraging competing against some very expensive talent. But i'm glad for a discipline where there are plenty of goals and motivations that are score based and not based on beating anyone else.

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

Postby Chisamba » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:29 pm

From time to time in the back if my mind I have revisited this thought.

I know perhaps there is a difference between pro and am, but one of my students spent 55K on an equine science degree, getting a job with sufficient income to pay that back was devastatingly difficult. Ten years later, she us happy, but still working as a barn manager.

Another student, same time frame, spent 25K on a young talented horse, probably spent another 20K bit wise on show fees, clinics, education feed etc. She got sufficient show scores and experience that ten years later she bought her own facility, trains, rides and competes .

I know of some one (some one on this board clinics with her) who couldn't get her GP scores. She made the investment in buying an older GP horse that needed a bit of maintenance. Got her scores, now she judges and give clinics. That 75K horse was an investment in earnings as she got older and needed an equine related career that no longer needed as much riding.

Laura Graves invested in a talented young horse long before she became America's number one dressage rider.

Not every rider has an employer or sponsor who will put them on a Brentina or Valegro. Some might have to go into a little debt, consider it a college investment, to get a leg up on their career.

Again I will compare it to a work vehicle, a college debt, a business start up loan, for many professionals that is exactly what it is.

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

Postby Josette » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:06 pm

Maybe I am too pragmatic and certainly influenced by parents who went through the depression era. I have a hard time with the concept of comparing the investment in a college degree to a horse purchase. Especially a STEM degree which will afford a person more employment opportunities, job security and future investment in their retirement. (I paid for college with a student loan.)

This is NOT meant as criticism for those who chose other options - after all it is their risk and investment in their future. However, I can look back on some individuals I know who chose to pursue equestrian careers. My investment in my college degree by far has put me in a better place now in my older years (recently retired). Even prior to marriage, I could easily afford boarding 2 horses and owning my own home. Again, it is all about personal choice, priorities, risk and maybe luck. :)

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

Postby HafDressage » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:07 pm

Chisamba - First, really NOBODY should ever spend 55K on an undergraduate degree in equine science. And that is not an insult to the field, which I respect, but it is a commentary on the future job prospects for undergraduates with that degree. Of course, going on to become a vet, getting a masters degree, or other future options following that degree might change that, but 55K on an undergraduate degree for most degrees is on the high side let alone equine science. I also think that most people realize that a degree in equine science is not the typical path to trainer/rider success. Some people who want to be trainers might major in equine science feeling that it is the most relevant/interesting degree for them to get, but I've not known may cases where people think they will end up being successful trainers by majoring in equine science.
(https://study.com/articles/Equine_Scien ... ience.html)

To the other points, which are interesting. I know probably 30 people who have spend 25K on a youngster who have not ended up with successful horse careers after that purchase. Most of the trainers I know actually scrape by for the most part. Of course, the non-monetary rewards might be relatively high for many, so that is a consideration as well. I think the exception to that is those that have the support of spouse or sponsor, which I have seen work really well for people. With respect to Laura Graves in particular, her parents bought her Verdades as a foal AND stories like that are so far outside the norm of what happens, it's hard to even use it as an argument (availability heuristic).

Now all of my above points being said, over probably the last week or two, I've all the sudden seen a bunch of nice/reasonably priced good quality horses on the market (20-40K). SO, I think perhaps the market just goes in cycles where sometimes all I see is the super expensive horses (and feel baffled at the prices) and then other times some more reasonable ones on the market.

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

Postby musical comedy » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:28 pm

HafDressage wrote:Chisamba - but 55K on an undergraduate degree for most degrees is on the high side let alone equine science.


Princeton
The estimated* cost of attendance for 2019-20 is $73,450 and includes:

Tuition: $51,870
Room charge: $10,090
Board rate: $7,060
Residential college fee: $930
Estimated miscellaneous expenses: $3,500

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

Postby Chisamba » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:05 pm

musical comedy wrote:
HafDressage wrote:Chisamba - but 55K on an undergraduate degree for most degrees is on the high side let alone equine science.


Princeton
The estimated* cost of attendance for 2019-20 is $73,450 and includes:

Tuition: $51,870
Room charge: $10,090
Board rate: $7,060
Residential college fee: $930
Estimated miscellaneous expenses: $3,500


thanks MC, i was going to say, not in New Jersey, ( i have a college age son as it happens) but appreciate your post very much. Centenary is the college she went to and i think Tuition for equine science is around 40 K and other expenses push it up, even if you work when you can to defray costs. They also attempt to make you believe that their course will give your career a leg up. I advised her if she seriously wanted a career in horses to skip college and intern.

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

Postby HafDressage » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:40 pm

Okay except that most students don't pay that amount AND most Ivys offer financial aid in some form to families with an income under 100K. As per Princton's website, $66,700 is the average tuition, college fee, room and board for 2018-2019, The AVERAGE grant for a student admitted to the class of 2022 was $53,100, which means the net cost of everything is actually $13,600 per year as per their own website. Further, they don't even appear to have an equine science major, so that isn't even on the table. Not to mention, Princeton is the number 1 or 2 school in the country (as per US News and World Report College rankings), so there are a million other options that are more affordable.

https://admission.princeton.edu/cost-aid

So taking on 55K in debt for an undergrad is quite high, especially if the undergrad is in a field with limited job prospects. The max government student loan amount for undergrads is $57,500, so basically that is borrowing the max for a degree with an estimated average annual income of $35K. With scholarships and work, most can come in under that number.

Again, I would agree that a degree is not the best bath to becoming a horse training. I think some degrees can aid people in being a horse trainer (e.g., business, equine science, etc.), but none are a necessary or even good path if you are wanting to be a dressage trainer.

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

Postby Chisamba » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:04 pm

HafDressage wrote:Okay except that most students don't pay that amount AND most Ivys offer financial aid in some form to families with an income under 100K. As per Princton's website, $66,700 is the average tuition, college fee, room and board for 2018-2019, The AVERAGE grant for a student admitted to the class of 2022 was $53,100, which means the net cost of everything is actually $13,600 per year as per their own website. Further, they don't even appear to have an equine science major, so that isn't even on the table. Not to mention, Princeton is the number 1 or 2 school in the country (as per US News and World Report College rankings), so there are a million other options that are more affordable.

https://admission.princeton.edu/cost-aid

So taking on 55K in debt for an undergrad is quite high, especially if the undergrad is in a field with limited job prospects. The max government student loan amount for undergrads is $57,500, so basically that is borrowing the max for a degree with an estimated average annual income of $35K. With scholarships and work, most can come in under that number.

Again, I would agree that a degree is not the best bath to becoming a horse training. I think some degrees can aid people in being a horse trainer (e.g., business, equine science, etc.), but none are a necessary or even good path if you are wanting to be a dressage trainer.


I apologize, I thought the aim of this discussion was to entertain thought and find opinions. Apparently not. I shall give you the victory. Apparently there is no reason why anyone should buy an expensive horse. Not to further their career, nor to provide scores to extend their career, not to enjoy and learn, as pnly.people with the ability to do STEM deserve good careers. My DS said I needed to explain I was joking. Although he laughed.
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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby Ponichiwa » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:39 pm

I once told that to my trainer back in the day-- "I'd love to sell a horse for $75k!" And she told me that no, actually you'd look at that offer, and you'd find out that you can't buy a horse as good or better than the one you're sitting on for that purchase price, so you'd probably say no. And I thought she was crazy.

Years later, at the height of my GP horse's career, I was offered a lot of money for him. And guess what? I didn't sell because I could not have replaced him for that amount of money... but in terms of opportunity cost, refusing the sale was almost the same as buying a really expensive horse. Except I didn't have to face the pain of actually writing a big check.

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

Postby Hot4Spots » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:32 pm

Sort of a sidebar to this subject. A few years back, I knew a lady who boarded with my instructor. She had a very nice 3/4 TB, 1/4 Shire. She got her bronze medal scores on him, but by the time he was 13, his hocks were shot. At the time, construction was going on in the area of my instructor's barn, and just before the woman retired this horse, she moved him out, on the basis that he would be too upset for her to ride with construction going on right next door. We were a bit puzzled, since she rode in the evenings, after work had stopped, and on the weekends, when they did no construction. Anyway, after she retired the draft cross, she said that she had about 25K saved, and was going to buy a schoolmaster. Okay. Reasonable thing to do, though not sure that was enough $$$. Depended on whether she wanted FEI, or figured 3rd/4th was sufficient. Whatever. This was an older woman. The next thing we knew, she had a very fancy imported YOUNG WB. In fact, she had allowed another trainer to go to Europe, pick the horse out and import it, and the owner had mortgage her home and used part of she and her husband's retirement to finance the horse.....which she is terrified of and which the trainer gets to ride and show. So....that would appear to be how some people do it. Sigh. Good thing I'm so attached to my "spots." Of course, I supposed I could bankrupt myself and import a Knabstrupper!
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Re: Ponderings/mystifyment/bafflement - The 75K+ sales horse

Postby HafDressage » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:58 am

Chisamba wrote:
HafDressage wrote:Okay except that most students don't pay that amount AND most Ivys offer financial aid in some form to families with an income under 100K. As per Princton's website, $66,700 is the average tuition, college fee, room and board for 2018-2019, The AVERAGE grant for a student admitted to the class of 2022 was $53,100, which means the net cost of everything is actually $13,600 per year as per their own website. Further, they don't even appear to have an equine science major, so that isn't even on the table. Not to mention, Princeton is the number 1 or 2 school in the country (as per US News and World Report College rankings), so there are a million other options that are more affordable.

https://admission.princeton.edu/cost-aid

So taking on 55K in debt for an undergrad is quite high, especially if the undergrad is in a field with limited job prospects. The max government student loan amount for undergrads is $57,500, so basically that is borrowing the max for a degree with an estimated average annual income of $35K. With scholarships and work, most can come in under that number.

Again, I would agree that a degree is not the best bath to becoming a horse training. I think some degrees can aid people in being a horse trainer (e.g., business, equine science, etc.), but none are a necessary or even good path if you are wanting to be a dressage trainer.


I apologize, I thought the aim of this discussion was to entertain thought and find opinions. Apparently not. I shall give you the victory. Apparently there is no reason why anyone should buy an expensive horse. Not to further their career, nor to provide scores to extend their career, not to enjoy and learn, as pnly.people with the ability to do STEM deserve good careers. My DS said I needed to explain I was joking. Although he laughed.


Chisamba - I'm not sure whether you are saying you are joking in your post now or not, but to be clear I'm not the one that said that nobody should ever buy an expensive horse. I said that I am shocked that so many people can afford 75K+ horses...and then questioned if that was really the case. So, I continue to feel that way, although I do have to come to the conclusion that at least some proportion of people can afford these horses without trouble. I stand my ground on the other comments about a 55K equine science degree and in general the cost of undergraduate education.

And to be clear, I'm not joking and my husband never thinks my jokes are funny. :lol:

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

Postby Josette » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:46 pm

Here is an article of a few successful dressage riders/trainers who did attend college for an Equine Science degree.
https://dressagetoday.com/instruction/e ... tion-54648

However, imo colleges and universities are in the business of selling degree programs. Many do a huge disservice misleading young people in the promise of future employment. This is true of many degree programs not only equine science. I simply offered STEM as an example since a college degree was mentioned and it offers more job opportunities. There are many well paying non-college degree career paths a young person can pursue without getting themselves into college debt. The bottom line is to have marketable skills not only to survive but to live in the life style you desire.

The equine industry is huge. If you are a horse owner - it will be expensive and cost money. If you pursue it as a career it will be an investment in time, training and cost money. No one starting their career starts at the top. They pay their dues one way or another. The choice to purchase an expensive horse remains an option for many people.

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

Postby Ryeissa » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:13 pm

A wise older friend once told me "the more you can afford something the more you enjoy it" and that rings true for me. I have a bit of a mixed perspective. Money and quality matters in dressage. the older i get the more I see limitations in dressage due to money.

However, reality is also throwing money at a problem won't make it go away.

I used to think anyone could do dressage well at a high level. After 25 years I don't think that.

If people want to spend money on a 75K horse, have at it. Good for them. I hope it's all good news and gets them what they want. It doesn't impact me what others decide to do.

I have boarded at $$$ and the high achieving show horses, and also with those who have $100 saddles. I have friends who are happy on each area of the spectrum. Guess what? everyone is happy in the way that works for them.

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

Postby blob » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:13 pm

Ryeissa wrote:A wise older friend once told me "the more you can afford something the more you enjoy it" and that rings true for me. I have a bit of a mixed perspective. Money and quality matters in dressage. the older i get the more I see limitations in dressage due to money.

However, reality is also throwing money at a problem won't make it go away.

I used to think anyone could do dressage well at a high level. After 25 years I don't think that.

If people want to spend money on a 75K horse, have at it. Good for them. I hope it's all good news and gets them what they want. It doesn't impact me what others decide to do.

I have boarded at $$$ and the high achieving show horses, and also with those who have $100 saddles. I have friends who are happy on each area of the spectrum. Guess what? everyone is happy in the way that works for them.


This is an interesting perspective. I agree that I too see limitations due to money, but I also agree that all the money in the world won't make someone a good rider.

I think that for me, I am happy with the amount of money I am able to comfortably spend on a horse. Not because it's a lot, it's not. But because I enjoy the diamond in the rough journey and thus far I have been able to find horses that have made me happy in my price point. However, I do very much wish I had more income for lessons, clinics, and shows. And I think those things would make a big difference. So, for me, that's where money creates limitations that I really wish weren't there. If someone gifted me a 75k horse, I would still feel like I could do more if i could afford more in the ways of training opportunities.

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

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:02 pm

blob wrote:I do very much wish I had more income for lessons, clinics, and shows. And I think those things would make a big difference. So, for me, that's where money creates limitations that I really wish weren't there. If someone gifted me a 75k horse, I would still feel like I could do more if i could afford more in the ways of training opportunities.


Right! Quality training is expensive (as it should be).

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

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:59 pm

For me, it would be far more rewarding to have the time and funds to pursue regular excellent training (which in my case would require moving to a different location or a lot of weekly travel + the time to pursue that). It would be a waste for me to have a highly trained horse without the educational support.

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

Postby mld02004 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:25 pm

Ryeissa wrote:
blob wrote:I do very much wish I had more income for lessons, clinics, and shows. And I think those things would make a big difference. So, for me, that's where money creates limitations that I really wish weren't there. If someone gifted me a 75k horse, I would still feel like I could do more if i could afford more in the ways of training opportunities.


Right! Quality training is expensive (as it should be).


Personally I’ve always gone by the idea that I don’t need a 15k horse, I need a 5k horse and 10k for lessons! :D . To be competitive on the national stage, quality does matter in the sport—I too wish there weren’t limitations. But to become a really great dressage rider, you need a horse of sound mind/body and great eyes on the ground.

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

Postby Ryeissa » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:04 pm

mld02004 wrote:
Ryeissa wrote:
blob wrote:I do very much wish I had more income for lessons, clinics, and shows. And I think those things would make a big difference. So, for me, that's where money creates limitations that I really wish weren't there. If someone gifted me a 75k horse, I would still feel like I could do more if i could afford more in the ways of training opportunities.


Right! Quality training is expensive (as it should be).


Personally I’ve always gone by the idea that I don’t need a 15k horse, I need a 5k horse and 10k for lessons! :D . To be competitive on the national stage, quality does matter in the sport—I too wish there weren’t limitations. But to become a really great dressage rider, you need a horse of sound mind/body and great eyes on the ground.


yup, this goes for me at all levels. I wager the beginner needs better instruction than the GP riders- teaching contact HH feel is so challenging. It takes a special teacher to break it all down into meaningful ideas that translate to results and real learning.

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

Postby angela9823 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:23 pm

Ryeissa wrote:yup, this goes for me at all levels. I wager the beginner needs better instruction than the GP riders- teaching contact HH feel is so challenging. It takes a special teacher to break it all down into meaningful ideas that translate to results and real learning.
The true beginner would benefit just as much with a good instructor and a good horse at the same time. I've personally never spent what I'd consider this "gross" amount of money on a horse. I did spend the money for lessons and clinics - as many as I could manage around work. I'm a decent rider that really progressed under training. But it still came down to having to learn on a horse that also needed to learn and gain ability to do what was I was asking (when I asked correctly).

IF I'd had the money, I would love to have spent the money on that kind of horse. It would have been much easier to learn on a horse that already had the knowledge and ability to do the work being asked. I completely get people spending the money. We just have to determine our priorities.

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

Postby Ryeissa » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:55 pm

angela9823 wrote:
Ryeissa wrote:yup, this goes for me at all levels. I wager the beginner needs better instruction than the GP riders- teaching contact HH feel is so challenging. It takes a special teacher to break it all down into meaningful ideas that translate to results and real learning.
The true beginner would benefit just as much with a good instructor and a good horse at the same time. I've personally never spent what I'd consider this "gross" amount of money on a horse. I did spend the money for lessons and clinics - as many as I could manage around work. I'm a decent rider that really progressed under training. But it still came down to having to learn on a horse that also needed to learn and gain ability to do what was I was asking (when I asked correctly).

IF I'd had the money, I would love to have spent the money on that kind of horse. It would have been much easier to learn on a horse that already had the knowledge and ability to do the work being asked. I completely get people spending the money. We just have to determine our priorities.


yes. for sure. I was just talking about the trainer here in the post! Its a shame in the US dressage lesson horses at 2-4th levels are so hard to come by. My best lessons were on these horses, not actually MY horses that I was training- light bulb moments!

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

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:54 am

I leased a number of horses shown through 2nd -4th. They were older and it was very affordable and helpful to the owner. Of course it was very helpful to me!

Frankly, thinking about the title of this thread just reminds me of the vast differences in options between the 2 %, 1% or .1% and everyone else. As a "few percenter" (not a 1%), I may be seen as having a lot of options. But really the satisfaction is in learning, understanding and bringing it all together in a solid ride, whether judged or not.

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

Postby HafDressage » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:43 am

piedmontfields wrote:I leased a number of horses shown through 2nd -4th. They were older and it was very affordable and helpful to the owner. Of course it was very helpful to me!

Frankly, thinking about the title of this thread just reminds me of the vast differences in options between the 2 %, 1% or .1% and everyone else. As a "few percenter" (not a 1%), I may be seen as having a lot of options. But really the satisfaction is in learning, understanding and bringing it all together in a solid ride, whether judged or not.


Piedmont - I would also be considered a "few" percenter, so i think that is part of why I find this type of money spending so hard to understand. Granted, I'm not that old, so perhaps that is why I don't feel like spending that amount of money is reasonable right now. That being said, I just read an interesting article about how the .1% very richest in the country are putting the 1-5% wealthy to shame. So, I think there is an additional income gap going on there that does explain some of what I see.

In terms of leasing, it's interesting to hear your good experiences. I definitely think I might consider that instead of a purchase for my next horse. Or maybe go on the market for both and just see what I can find. I think if I can't find a horse with the training/movement I want in my budget, a lease might be a decent option until I find the right horse.

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

Postby KathyK » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:58 pm

4Horse wrote:I'm happy with the cheapo horse.


Good for you. I've been terribly unhappy with a "cheapo" horse.

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

Postby blob » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:01 pm

KathyK wrote:
4Horse wrote:I'm happy with the cheapo horse.


Good for you. I've been terribly unhappy with a "cheapo" horse.


It's really such a crapshoot isn't it?

When we go out searching for diamonds in the rough, we often only get the rough. But when it does work out, as it has for me before, it's a great situation.

On the flip side, even with an expensive horse, unexpected things can happen making it truly not the right fit.

I think ultimately the goal is to have a horse we feel good about. and I don't just mean in terms of being a horse we enjoy riding (though that's important), but one that we feel good about owning in our situation. for some people, a horse they feel good about is one that they were able to get at a very good price, it wasn't a financial strain, and that's something to feel good about. For others, having a horse that they know the history and the training is important. So having a more expensive horse that came with some more reassurance is something to feel good about. For some a big monetary investment in a horse that can help them achieve important goals is something to feel good about. What makes someone else feel good does not have to be what makes me feel good.

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

Postby Ponichiwa » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:12 pm

On the topic of cheapo vs. expensissimo:

The expensive price tag may be a better sign of the quality of training (commiserate with age), bloodlines, soundness, and temperament, or it can hide things like double-dipping commissions or an inflated sense of horse worth due to barn- or agent-name recognition. And sometimes that soundness thing has a bit of an asterisk after it.

With a progressively more educated selling public, it's harder to find the diamond-in-the-rough. More often, the low cost is a function of (lack of) training, bloodlines, soundness, or temperament. I'm less bothered by the first two than I am by the second two, personally.

But I also know my place in this dressage game. It's not WEG or Nationals, etc., so I don't need the Olympic-caliber horse. Certainly I won't be putting Olympic-caliber day-to-day riding on any horse I buy.

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

Postby Abby Kogler » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:33 pm

KathyK wrote:
4Horse wrote:I'm happy with the cheapo horse.


Good for you. I've been terribly unhappy with a "cheapo" horse.



>;-/ Man, some of my best horses were free on Craigslist. The horse I had in high school on which I consistently won on was a 150$ broken down school horse that my vet (and employer) said DONT BUY >;-D I never had the money to buy good horses when I was young and I was always intrigued by soundness and behavior problems. I showed him in the USET medal classes and Jr Hunters (which at the time were 3.6 and that was it) and when I went to college sold him to my trainers sister for 1500$.

I know people who bought really expensive, really nice horses (Im talking 500000 prices) as schoolmasters and though they have spent literally millions on horses and training are still at first level struggling to get a score over 60%. I know people who got Bronze and Silver medals on other trainers rejects. Of course at the elite levels money helps buy success but even then there is the occasional rags to riches story.

Even if I were wealthy I would never spend a lot of money on a horse. It is more interesting and fun for me to take other people rejects and see what I can do with them.

While there are generalizations that can be made, riding success is so individual, dependent on so many different factors. You can have the best elite trainer in the world but if they cant verbalize what you need to do with your body to improve your riding you are wasting your time and money and the nicest horse in the world isn't going to get you anywhere.

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

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:52 pm

my horses were not really for sale. so knowing the right people for me was key. I have been told the best horses never hit the open market. That has been true for me.


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