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View Full Version : Sporthorse sale spinoff: Won't parents still buy???



pwynnnorman
Mar. 30, 2009, 07:16 AM
I fell into an intriguing observation speaking with the owner of Lands End The Colonel's Fox. Please let me describe it so I can put the question I have in context. A son of The Colonel -- the dam was a bit common and it shows, but otherwise although he's quite green, his temperament is awesome and he's got movement and autoswap -- is selling in the "dreaded" price range where everyone has been saying nothing is moving...in a part of the country flooded with show ponies. And he's never set foot in the show ring...and there's no connection (family, friend, etc.) between seller and buyer.

So why's it happening?

Here's what I'm wondering. You've got an under-ten-year-old child. That child isn't going to be "that child" forever. Are you going to WAIT for your financial situation to become more stable before getting that child the pony or horse of his or her dreams? I suspect you'd hold off for yourself, but will you hold off (are you holding off) on your kids?????

I dunno. This Colonel son's situation seems to imply that there may still be a market...for the children. What do you think?

slp
Mar. 30, 2009, 07:30 AM
Here's what I'm wondering. You've got an under-ten-year-old child. That child isn't going to be "that child" forever. Are you going to WAIT for your financial situation to become more stable before getting that child the pony or horse of his or her dreams? I suspect you'd hold off for yourself, but will you hold off (are you holding off) on your kids?????


There are always going to be the buyers out there where dropping high 5 / low 6 figures on a horse or pony is no big deal, but I have to think they are the exception and not the rule.

However, I believe that for most people, in these economic times, that when it comes down to either funding their 401K or IRA or 529 account, or buying their little precious the pony of their dreams, the pony is going to lose out. Frankly, unless they had unlimited income (as some in this horse world do) it would be financially irresponsible to do otherwise. But again, that's JMO. There will always be adults out there that will jeopardize their own financial future in order to make sure that their kid has everything that they want. :rolleyes:

GreystoneKC
Mar. 30, 2009, 08:33 AM
I am also unsure what you are asking? It sounds to me like you are suggesting that parents should put themselves into a financially risky situation in order to make their children happy by buying them a pony - since, you know, your child won't be a cute little impressionable child forever. I can't support that. As a trainer, I have customers at this moment that I would love to have purchase something for their little riders. This *is* a great time to buy, and as trainer, I have made that clear. However, if they say to me that it is just not possible right now, then I back off. For my people who are in this situation, I've let them know to keep me updated if anything changes and that I will let them know if I see any spectacular deals that they might want to know about, and everyone is happy - well, maybe not the kids, but being financially responsible is not something they understand yet, especially the ones who are used to getting everything they want. I do not expect any parent to put themselves in a worse spot than they are currently in just to have their child happy and showing. If they choose to purchase at this time, I wouldn't question their finances or stop them, but I also would not pressure anyone who balks.

Personally, I am hoping that within the next year a very special time comes to pass... a time when people start to see a little more financial security in their future and therefore start purchasing these lower-priced ponies/horses again. The critters will still have appealing price tags, and with a little more cash exchanging hands, people may be apt to snatch up some deals. Might not happen, but I'm hoping.

Lucassb
Mar. 30, 2009, 08:58 AM
"Nothing selling" is a relative term. In this case, it could mean that the buyers chose a less expensive/greener pony than they might otherwise have purchased, or it might just mean the child fell in love and the parents were not in the kind of financial jeopardy that is affecting so many others. My trainer in FL has sold quite a few horses at WEF this year, in a variety of price ranges. Things are moving, but generally it is slower than in years past.

nlk
Mar. 30, 2009, 09:00 AM
Personally I would rather ensure my children have a roof over their head then a horse or pony in the barn.

Also I find nothing wrong if they currently have to wait. Believe it or not there are plenty of "gasp" school horses still left in this world. I grew up on school horses and didn't get my own horse till I was 16 and had a job.

While I would love to give my son his pony and our baby a pony when he's old enough, and not make them wait like I had to. I certainly don't resent having to wait till I could pay for them myself (care, show, and vet). In fact I find that it makes it easier to balance my financial responsibilities to my horses because I always had to. My friends who had their ponies handed to them and all their showing paid for are now at a lost and have no since of priorities, their horses suffer and their children suffer. ( and I am not saying this is the norm, just what I have experienced)

I personally find that there are far more important things in life and my childrens welfare will always come before horses.

BeastieSlave
Mar. 30, 2009, 09:01 AM
I'm not totally sure about the question either..... I took it to be pretty much what GreystoneKC outlined - and I feel the same. I wouldn't be dropping big bucks on a pony right now if my kids were still pony age/size. Of course, I didn't do that when my kids were into ponies ;)

I can say that as a parent, I recently moved heaven and earth to buy my #2 daughter's horse at a time when I really wasn't in the best position to do so. Granted, his price was very low and there's no way she's going to outgrow him. In a better economy & better place, he's probably worth a good bit more than I paid: he has loads of experience, a great temperament, is an uncomplicated ride, and doesn't know the meaning of the word 'stop'. However, he is a bit older, not the fanciest thing, and not an easy keeper. I think that because of the current economic climate, those things made his price drop.

I would think that in 'these times' a pony needs to have experience and be fancy to be guaranteed a higher price tag in a market that has lots of ponies to offer.

phoenix mom
Mar. 30, 2009, 09:09 AM
With the new tax plan that will take over very few people will be buying ponies for their children. Most of those starting out are HENRY's(High Earners Not Rich Yet) in the 300,000 income bracket. When they are taxed like an ARod or Oprah their discretionary income is gone. They can pay bills but the money for luxuries is gone. In this industry I do believe trickle down worked but I doubt trickle up will. The 3 girls looking for ponies in our barn are now in tennis and gymnastics. Not many people buy a fancy pony to ride around at home. The cost of showing on top of everything else takes discretionary income. Maybe Nancy Pelosi will start a ponies for kids stimulus plan.

nlk
Mar. 30, 2009, 09:12 AM
With the new tax plan that will take over very few people will be buying ponies for their children. Most of those starting out are HENRY's(High Earners Not Rich Yet) in the 300,000 income bracket. When they are taxed like an ARod or Oprah their discretionary income is gone. They can pay bills but the money for luxuries is gone. In this industry I do believe trickle down worked but I doubt trickle up will. The 3 girls looking for ponies in our barn are now in tennis and gymnastics. Not many people buy a fancy pony to ride around at home. The cost of showing on top of everything else takes discretionary income. Maybe Nancy Pelosi will start a ponies for kids stimulus plan.

That would be nice:lol: we're always the last ones to get thought of though! Most people think were rich already because we are involved with horses!

lcw579
Mar. 30, 2009, 09:14 AM
Nope, I am that parent and we arent' buying. Daughter was going to get her horse this Spring. Not anymore. Dad owns his own business and is trying not to lay any employees off so he's bringing home less cash. There goes our board money. Luckily she has been offered a very nice horse that needed excercise to ride and use in Pony Club. This has been a win/win for us because she is getting the saddle time and their horse is staying fit. She is still taking lessons with her regular trainer and will continue to event with that barn but it will be on one of the school horses again this year. She is disappointed but she understands, she sees the news.

Would I like to buy her a horse? Heck yeah! Especially now when we've been offered some practically for free but she has two sisters with their own interests and it isn't fair to divert all of our discretionary income to one child's hobby.

Trees4U
Mar. 30, 2009, 09:29 AM
If your discretionary income (translate- horse buying, showing, etc.) is tied to the stock market, then there's one answer. Blue chip stocks that once paid good dividends and were sold for nice gains (again- translate- maybe I WILL buy that horse)have cut dividends and tanked in price. :no:

anchorsaway
Mar. 30, 2009, 09:39 AM
I was blessed as a child; especially being an only child for 9 years. Anyway, my parents(especially my father) realized from a very young age that riding/horses is the one thing I love. I mean yes I did try other sports but always always diverted back to horses. As a soon to be college student who just bought her first horse(well when I say first horse, the first one that I've purchased myself) my father just announced this week that he's planning on taking over board while I'm in school. I guess those are my two 'sports' riding and school. heh.

Anyway I suppose my point is that there are some parents out there that will do whatever possible within their means/reason to make their child happy. Whether it's buying them a horse, even one that will have to last them a long time, finding a nice schoolie for them to use or maybe attempting to finance a lease. The back story to my dad's enduring support is a long one, so I'll spare you the details however I really don't know what I'd do without my dad, he's my best friend. :)

mvp
Mar. 30, 2009, 09:53 AM
I don't quite understand the question. But I think there are plenty of ways to make a child feel loved and good about herself that does not require a pony so expensive that it puts her family's finances in jeopardy.

I hated it that my family refused to put more money into my riding than a set of 10 lessons or so each birthday. They were wrong and abusive... forcing me to work for others, ride "the bad ones" and thereby learn a lot.

They turned out to be less abusive when it came time for me to go to college. I was given a spectacular undergraduate education with no debt.

I thank my family for my "real" and horse education all at the same time. I also thank them for teaching me how to be a financially responsible adult.

So I genuinely hope that our current economic crisis brings the price of ponies and showing down. If not, perhaps there is still a benefit: Kids will go back to doing the more modest but involved kind of riding people like me did when we were young.

goodmorning
Mar. 30, 2009, 09:55 AM
Ponies are still selling in my region for a good price, at least IME. They seem to sell easier than a horse priced in the same bracket.

llsc
Mar. 30, 2009, 09:55 AM
Ponies are still selling, in all price ranges and types, just not as easily or quickly as they were 4 or 5 years ago. I think it's just the luck of the draw if you get one sold right now. Right kid, right pony, right price range.

I need a short stirrup pony for my older daughter, but I'm not buying one right now, at any price. She's going to have to make due with riding and showing the school ponies until she's ready for the pony I am making up for her. Last year I would have thought nothing of buying her a second pony.

Trixie
Mar. 30, 2009, 09:56 AM
Here's what I'm wondering. You've got an under-ten-year-old child. That child isn't going to be "that child" forever. Are you going to WAIT for your financial situation to become more stable before getting that child the pony or horse of his or her dreams? I suspect you'd hold off for yourself, but will you hold off (are you holding off) on your kids?????

I would ABSOLUTELY wait. I don't have children, but there wouldn't be a thought in my head about spending mid-five figures and up on a fancy pony while the rest of the family is unstable, just so my kid could have the "pony of her dreams." Frankly, for most children, ANY pony is the pony of their dreams. I'd rather see to it that I can afford her education.

That's not to say that there will be no market - there will always be something of a market - it just may not be what it was in years past. Most average folks have different priorities than they did a few years ago when credit was so generous. Parents will need to learn to say no to things that they genuinely can't afford: like an expensive pony and dropping thousands per weekend on one child's hobby. Children will adapt.

BramblewoodAcres
Mar. 30, 2009, 10:09 AM
Why does buying your kid a horse/pony mean you have to spend more than $10,000? Seriously. Unless your kid is a phenomenal rider and planning to make horses a career, there isn't any point spending that much money on a pony/horse.

My kid is 8, she's not showing at any rated shows but spending a lot of time hacking around and trail riding and just having fun. She's having fun showing a small barn shows and loving the heck out of her 22-year-old Appy. Who was free because he isn't flashy and isn't a "show horse." But he is perfect for her, quiet, compliant and experienced. I could not have bought a better first horse for her and she absolutely adores him. She doesn't care that he has no pedigree to speak of, he definitely doesn't autoswap and most certainly isn't the fanciest horse out there.

He IS the horse of her dreams. Dream horses need not be pricey, they just need to be safe. Most little girls don't care about the price tag, they care about the animal.

He's safe and she loves him. What more do you need? When she becomes a better rider and maybe expresses a desire to ride in bigger, better shows, then we'll consider a horse better suited for that purpose. But for now, she'll plod around on her plug, feed him carrots like they are going out of style, share her secrets with him, whisper sweet nothings in his fuzzy ears and be blissfully unaware that he isn't as good as a pedigreed pony because he wasn't expensive and isn't "fancy."

WorthTheWait95
Mar. 30, 2009, 11:02 AM
I am also unsure what you are asking? It sounds to me like you are suggesting that parents should put themselves into a financially risky situation in order to make their children happy by buying them a pony - since, you know, your child won't be a cute little impressionable child forever. I can't support that. .


Also not completely clear on the question but I agree with the above. I hope parents won't put themselves at risk just to buy a pony for their little kids. That's ridiculous and I really hope the current economy has knocked more sense then that into people.

I was a lucky kid and had many horses/ponies growing up but only b/c my dad COULD afford it. It wasn't a big deal for him to write a check for the mid to high five figures and the only restriction was that I couldn't have more then two boarded at one time.

Flash forward to this economy and Dad (who owns his own international corporation and still supports my horses) would never be that free with that type of cash regardless of my age :lol:. He pays for my college and my two horses board and I couldn't be more grateful but even he commented that he was glad I was showing back then and not now b/c it probably wouldn't be feasible.

pwynnnorman
Mar. 30, 2009, 12:06 PM
Well, I'm not completely clear on what the question was either!

I guess I didn't really mean it to be a social one, though. I think I meant an economic one. And I definitely wasn't thinking that the pony (of any cost, not just the price range in my example) would represent the difference between the kid going to college or not.

I don't have a good feel for this, frankly, which is why I was curious about it. I'm in lala land, unable to work because I have to care for my father. But I have friends with solid jobs who aren't into the stock market and have a couple decades before they retire, so their retirement funds aren't troubling them. On the other hand, I also have a friend in Michigan who is telling me to sell or give away everything because the world as we know it is coming to an end--and the scary thing about THAT is that she's an MBA and deep into the financial market stuff.

So, anyway, it seems to me that about 70% of the folks who've responded so far has responded in terms of social philosophy (for lack of a better term), and their own specifically. I agree you with folks wholeheartedly in terms of my personal perspective...but that's not the perspective I'm wondering about. I, too, have heard of things selling (my Michigan friend is adamant that NOTHING is selling--not horses, not cars, not houses, not whole wheat bread...).

Maybe what my question shoudl have been was "Are there still people who will risk financial hardship to buy their child a pony, for the child's sake?" I now use the word "risk" in order to distinguish those folks from people in the financial position where they wouldn't risk hardship, but rather would create hardship. I can see where anyone buying anything that's both expensive AND unnecessary is taking a risk in today's climate. But, like my Michigan friend vs. others, not everyone reacts to risk the same way, right?

Again, I'm just curious--and intrigued by the discussion!

Edited to add:


Most of those starting out are HENRY's(High Earners Not Rich Yet) in the 300,000 income bracket. When they are taxed like an ARod or Oprah their discretionary income is gone. They can pay bills but the money for luxuries is gone. In this industry I do believe trickle down worked but I doubt trickle up will.


Phoenix Mom, I actually wondered about that, too...and phrased it almost exactly like you did, but with respect to my business, when I went to the Obama administration's website to log my question before that online townhall he had last week. I put my question in the context that 99.999 percent of my industry survives off of trickle DOWN, not trickle up, so I wanted to know how his plans reconciled those two economic theories, especially since more (??) businesses orient themselves around the former, not the latter.

phoenix mom
Mar. 30, 2009, 12:24 PM
Where the cost of the pony may not stop someone the maintenance of that pony will stop people. Horses are an on going luxury that creates a monthly outlay of money. That is the problem. There are free ponies out there that would love a little girl of their own and they can't find homes so I don't see people buying a pony to please a child. If cap and trade goes through a bale of hay will cost a days income. The uber rich will still be buying luxuries for their kids but the other horse buyers will find other things to get their children involved in that don't require a large monthly outlay. I read that dog and cat showing is on the upswing!

Perfect Pony
Mar. 30, 2009, 12:35 PM
With the new tax plan that will take over very few people will be buying ponies for their children. Most of those starting out are HENRY's(High Earners Not Rich Yet) in the 300,000 income bracket. When they are taxed like an ARod or Oprah their discretionary income is gone. They can pay bills but the money for luxuries is gone.

I am not sure if I want to laugh or cry at this statement. You mean that extra 4% on their income over 250k is going to break them? You are telling me that an extra $2000 over a years time will keep someone with a 300k annual income from buying a pony?

WOW.

phoenix mom
Mar. 30, 2009, 12:52 PM
Yes that is what I am saying. Add that to the state increases and the removal of tax deductions along with the increases coming in the cost of energy. But not to get political, this is a horse site and hurray to the little girl and her happy Appy, that is what horses are about. Horses like a trail ride better than a ribbon any day. Give your horse a carrot and a kiss.

magnolia73
Mar. 30, 2009, 01:08 PM
I don't think you can answer your question based on the sale of one pony. It could be a fluke. It could be that the parents work in an industry like medicine. There could have been an inheritance. There are still segments of society where people have reliable jobs. Doctors. I can't tell you how many children of doctors I grew up riding with.

It's not gloom and doom- we were in an inflated market and it has deflated. If in 1998 a pony sold for $10,000, in 2007 that pony sold for $50,000.... well, it sells for probably $10,000 now. We probably now have an oversupply of trainers, horseshows and show ponies/horses. Just like we now have an oversupply of other luxury goods. It will probably weed out the barns run by "trainers" who's only ability is spending a clients money, horse shows that people complain about and lame horses selling for 6 figures. It probably isn't bad to scour out some of the downside of the relentless demand for horseshowing of the past 10 years.....

Parents will still indulge their children as much as possible, but probably will buy a cheaper pony and show closer to home. I do think we all stopped spending from October 2008 to February 2009. But I think that will ease.

I do think that for those who never could "afford" horses- the bottom 50% of earners there will be no recovery. There wasn't during the last recession. But those were never people buying show ponies in the first place.

katie16
Mar. 30, 2009, 02:10 PM
. . . On the other hand, I also have a friend in Michigan who is telling me to sell or give away everything because the world as we know it is coming to an end--and the scary thing about THAT is that she's an MBA and deep into the financial market stuff . . .

Out of the parents with children with horses and ponies in my barn, hands down, the ones who are the most "freaked out" and the most opposed to risk right now are those involved in the financial industry. I have absolutely no idea whether or not they know more than others about what is going on! Not my area of expertise. But I can tell you that, in my barn and lesson program, those involved in the financial markets in some way are the ones who are most outwardly expressing anxiety right now.

I wonder if it's at all because someone, say a Kindergarten teacher for example, never really had much "extra" money, so while they are likely struggling now too, they are more used to having to be careful to make ends meet.

Please note: I am just using the teacher as an example here - nothing derogitory ment! Lots of my customers are teachers!

JenEM
Mar. 30, 2009, 02:17 PM
I would guess that it's the knowledge of the cost of keeping the pony that is making buyers reluctant now. They may know they can afford to buy little Susie a pony, but aren't sure their employment and income status will allow them to keep the pony. And I'd think buying a pony then having to get rid of it would be far more traumatic for the kid than not getting one to begin with.

Keeping a kid in a lesson program isn't that much more expensive than a good gymnastics or tennis program, so I can see a big incentive to keep their kid involved in something they enjoy, but without so much financial risk. It's also a lot easier to end lessons for a while than it is to sell a pony if a job is lost.

Now, are there still some foolish people who will disregard their financial situation and buy Susie that pony anyway? Yep. But I think the current economic situation is finally starting to knock some sense into those people, so they're fewer and farther between.

Tamara in TN
Mar. 30, 2009, 04:45 PM
[QUOTE=pwynnnorman;3984368]
Are you going to WAIT for your financial situation to become more stable before getting that child the pony or horse of his or her dreams?

yes of course...it is the parents job to keep the overall pic in mind...not give into the dreams of a 10 yo....every day my now 11 yo has a different "dream"
how can I possibly get her every dream she wants each year ?

best

Vandy
Mar. 30, 2009, 06:54 PM
After a long dry spell, I sold a pony this week and finally have people setting appointments to see 2 kid-appropriate horses I have on the market. I think part of it is, the weather is getting nicer, and show season for those of us who don't do the winter circuits is starting, not that there is so much more optimism re: the economy. I'll be thrilled if I can get some sold in the next few weeks, but I'm not really counting on it.

As others have said, there are alternative ways of making kids' dreams come true...A few of my own clients who planned to buy for their kids this year are leasing instead due to finances, and all my clients are limiting their show budgets. Still showing, but fewer shows and more locally...and no one in my own program is currently shopping, which is unusual.

Linny
Mar. 30, 2009, 06:54 PM
I am not sure if I want to laugh or cry at this statement. You mean that extra 4% on their income over 250k is going to break them? You are telling me that an extra $2000 over a years time will keep someone with a 300k annual income from buying a pony?

WOW.

Not just the 4%. (Which is $12k for a $300k earner.) Remember that person has a pretty high mortgage and probably car loans etc. They were not counting on getting hit like this. How about taking away the mortgage interest deduction and the charitable donation deduction. Add in the surcharges planned for electric and other fuel usage proposed under cap and trade plans. Here in NY they have proposed an additional tax on "the rich" which might mean an RN and a police officer both of whom are eligible for OT. (I have a friend who is planning on leaving NY because in addition to the tax hikes and other losses of deductions + the NY proposal, he'll be paying about 75% of his income in taxes! Who wants to work hard enough to earn $300k and only get to keep $75k?)

As for the OP's scenario, I guess it depends on the potential buyers' ability to handle risk. If they are young and high income, they may have years of earning potential ahead if the economy reverses. If they are older and looking at retirement, they may feel otherwise.

One's political leanings also come into play. If you think the Obama Stimulus is a great thing for the economy, you may be optimistic about the next couple of years and willing to buy. If you are not in favor of the economic plans you may be less likely to see a rapid turnaround and more likely to hold your money.

Vandy
Mar. 30, 2009, 06:57 PM
I would guess that it's the knowledge of the cost of keeping the pony that is making buyers reluctant now. They may know they can afford to buy little Susie a pony, but aren't sure their employment and income status will allow them to keep the pony.
Exactly. The lady who bought my pony for her daughter this week has told the daughter that they are leasing the pony - this way, she thinks, the kid will be less disappointed if the mom's financial situation changes and they have to sell. I've actually heard this story a few times around here!

Perfect Pony
Mar. 30, 2009, 07:29 PM
Not just the 4%. (Which is $12k for a $300k earner.) Remember that person has a pretty high mortgage and probably car loans etc. They were not counting on getting hit like this. How about taking away the mortgage interest deduction and the charitable donation deduction. Add in the surcharges planned for electric and other fuel usage proposed under cap and trade plans. Here in NY they have proposed an additional tax on "the rich" which might mean an RN and a police officer both of whom are eligible for OT. (I have a friend who is planning on leaving NY because in addition to the tax hikes and other losses of deductions + the NY proposal, he'll be paying about 75% of his income in taxes! Who wants to work hard enough to earn $300k and only get to keep $75k?)

Sorry, it's hard to argue with people who have no idea how our progressive tax system works! If the top income tax brackets are raised it will not be an increase of 4% of the total earnings but an increase in the earnings above a certain point.

And you touched on the big problem for everybody. Seriously, if you are making that far into the 6 figures and even $10,000 a year will make that huge a difference on your lifestyle, than you need to seriously re-evaluate your lifestyle.

pwynnnorman
Mar. 30, 2009, 07:48 PM
Yes, I've heard of more leasing. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the example I gave involved what was NOT the kid's first (or only) pony. But on that matter, I think some folks who would indulge can't buy their kid the next pony because the current one hasn't sold.

On the tax hikes (with respect to horses), I don't know how that all plays out--and I don't quite believe that cutting taxes for businesses encourages them to hire more. I do believe (I think labor statistics bear this out, too) that most employers in this country are small businesses and most small businesses are NOT in the higher tax bracket. But I asked that question to the administration because I wonder if many small businesses are actually LIKE the horse biz in which we little gals and guys kinda "feed" off the bigger gals and guys (and their clients).

Oh, well. I'm clueless really. I don't even know where to find out if under $300K businesses sell UP or sell DOWN more (up=relying on trickle down; down=profiting from trickle up). I am sure, though, that the horse biz has to fall into--or at least profits most from--the trickle down relationship. So if not only taxes go up for that bracket, but also all those tasty little loopholes and other deductions, I wonder how it will effect discretionary income (is that the term?). I think whoever said the $50K pony is now a $10K is on the right track (well, maybe more like $20K or so: I read somewhere that in general the market has "reset" itself to its more realistic level, 40% below what it had been propped up at). Perhaps, though, it will take more time for those selling ponies to fess up to these facts, lower prices and in doing so clear out inventory to enable demand to return again (once the current pony goes, the next one can be sought)???? (Again, I'm clueless--jsut speculating!)

drawreins
Mar. 30, 2009, 07:58 PM
Almost every parent wants to do the most they can for their child. However, buying a pony is the easy part. Most parents can afford to buy a pony. What they can't afford is the monthly board, lessons, and expenses that go along with being a horse owner. It's a wonderful thing if parents can financially afford it, but if they can't, they need to be wise and not put themself in a financial hardship.

Mac123
Mar. 30, 2009, 09:02 PM
Maybe what my question shoudl have been was "Are there still people who will risk financial hardship to buy their child a pony, for the child's sake?"

You're question/position is still ambiguous to me but it seems that you're suggesting that it is a bad thing that parents might be playing it conservative and are not buying ponies for their children.

If so, IMO, I have never been a supporter of indulging children with excess materialism just because they are children. I actually find it refreshing that the economic situation is causing people to once again live within their means and make smart financial decisions for the benefit of economic safety within the family unit.

By saying "for the child's sake," it seems you are implying that the children need that pony. Children don't need that next step up pony to be happy or even a pony at all and parents should never convey that to children. Children should understand even in a limited fashion the effect the economy has on society and to be thankful for what they have. Going against the grain of society, here, but giving children everything they want is not necessarily the best thing for their development; actually it breeds superficiality and discontentment. Children shouldn't believe that they are the center of the world and that their wants are above anyone elses.

(Of course, there is nothing wrong with a family of the necesary means buying their child a pony and furthering their dreams, but there is a difference between this and choosing to put their family into potential financial risk simply to buy their darling a pony)

Simply put, smart financial decisions are smart decisions and are made for the good of the entire family, not one member, regardless of their age. In an economic time where the market is incredibly unstable and there is the potential for continued financial turbulence and unrest for an unknown period of time, I find it to be a GOOD thing that parents are being conservative on significant financial expenditures, especially one that does not simply require an initial investment but also continued relatively fixed cash outflows of between $400-$1000 per month not including showing or unexpected veterinary expenses.

As other posters have mentioned, why is it a bad thing for children to ride lesson ponies or ponies that are not PF quality or stay on their current pony for a while? I hate to think that we are breeding a society that wants to make sure their children aren't pressed with the unfortunate situation of riding "last year's pony" for another year....that attitude is the last thing we need.

Linny
Mar. 30, 2009, 10:58 PM
In a time when high earning people are being let go and high net worthpeople are looking at portfolios worth 1/2 of their value from one year ago, fancy ponies are truly a luxury.
Last fall (before the economy dropped off a cliff) I watched as prices for elite race horses/bloodstock at auction came in very low. These are horses being bought by some of the superrich and prices are way down because portfolios are down. (Generally, year in and year out the racing auctions are a pretty accurate measure of worth of horses.) A working slug like myself on the one hand understands the market shift but still thinks, geez, they are still filthy rich! Why don't they spend more.
To me (or you as a seller) you may be thinking, they have a Lexus and a Mercedes, they live in a mansion, they can afford a pony! You don't know if he's worried about losing his job and not being able to pay a $7k a month mortgage. Not many folks buying mansions (fewer than are buying ponies!) so it's not like he can downsize right now.
Maybe he and Mom are having troubles and they are worried about handling a possible separation and the money issues and carting child to barn to tend to pony, plus costs of pony etc.

You just don't know what issues potential buyers are dealing with.

dauntless
Mar. 30, 2009, 11:16 PM
After a long dry spell, I sold a pony this week and finally have people setting appointments to see 2 kid-appropriate horses I have on the market. I think part of it is, the weather is getting nicer, and show season for those of us who don't do the winter circuits is starting, not that there is so much more optimism re: the economy. I'll be thrilled if I can get some sold in the next few weeks, but I'm not really counting on it.

As others have said, there are alternative ways of making kids' dreams come true...A few of my own clients who planned to buy for their kids this year are leasing instead due to finances, and all my clients are limiting their show budgets. Still showing, but fewer shows and more locally...and no one in my own program is currently shopping, which is unusual.

I have two comments
1) Drifter is LOVELY and so is his rider. Kudos to you.

2) Clearly, that extra 4% over 250k will break the HENRYS. :lol:

equest
Mar. 31, 2009, 12:01 PM
Maybe try marketing said pony more in the Northeast? Florida's economy is truly worse than other parts of the country right now, with unemployment a few percentage points higher than national average.

Many FL residents are in fear of job loss and many (even the well-off) are dealing with real estate issues (seriously upside down homes). Horse people I know down here have been cutting back bigtime. Some people are selling their kids' ponies and going for a more affordable lease. Which kind of makes sense considering that leases have fallen in price due to the glut of horses and ponies, and "investing" in a project pony or horse seems a lot riskier than it once did.

meupatdoes
Mar. 31, 2009, 12:04 PM
Sorry, it's hard to argue with people who have no idea how our progressive tax system works! If the top income tax brackets are raised it will not be an increase of 4% of the total earnings but an increase in the earnings above a certain point.

And you touched on the big problem for everybody. Seriously, if you are making that far into the 6 figures and even $10,000 a year will make that huge a difference on your lifestyle, than you need to seriously re-evaluate your lifestyle.

THANK YOU.

I hilighted the pertinent section in bold to be more helpful to those who remain confused.

And btw.
The taxes are going back to less than what they were in the Reagan years. No really, it's true. Even the Wall Street Journal says so (http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB121867201724238901.html).

There.
Happy now?

ponymom64
Mar. 31, 2009, 12:35 PM
Maybe try marketing said pony more in the Northeast? Florida's economy is truly worse than other parts of the country right now, with unemployment a few percentage points higher than national average.

Many FL residents are in fear of job loss and many (even the well-off) are dealing with real estate issues (seriously upside down homes). Horse people I know down here have been cutting back bigtime. Some people are selling their kids' ponies and going for a more affordable lease. Which kind of makes sense considering that leases have fallen in price due to the glut of horses and ponies, and "investing" in a project pony or horse seems a lot riskier than it once did.

I don't think marketing in the Northeast will help you. :( We are also a very hard hit area as many of our jobs were in the financial and related industries. I have two gorgeous and fancy ponies that I am trying to sell and I have had no luck at all. One of them, I would free lease to the right situation! Not to mention that our market will soon be flooded by the dispersal of the Grand Central ponies.......

I did sell another one that I sent to Florida but I did not get nearly as much as I would have gotten a year ago. I was, however, very happy just to get the deal done.

ponymom64
Mar. 31, 2009, 12:43 PM
Not just the 4%. (Which is $12k for a $300k earner.) Remember that person has a pretty high mortgage and probably car loans etc. They were not counting on getting hit like this. How about taking away the mortgage interest deduction and the charitable donation deduction. Add in the surcharges planned for electric and other fuel usage proposed under cap and trade plans. Here in NY they have proposed an additional tax on "the rich" which might mean an RN and a police officer both of whom are eligible for OT. (I have a friend who is planning on leaving NY because in addition to the tax hikes and other losses of deductions + the NY proposal, he'll be paying about 75% of his income in taxes! Who wants to work hard enough to earn $300k and only get to keep $75k?)

As for the OP's scenario, I guess it depends on the potential buyers' ability to handle risk. If they are young and high income, they may have years of earning potential ahead if the economy reverses. If they are older and looking at retirement, they may feel otherwise.

One's political leanings also come into play. If you think the Obama Stimulus is a great thing for the economy, you may be optimistic about the next couple of years and willing to buy. If you are not in favor of the economic plans you may be less likely to see a rapid turnaround and more likely to hold your money.

You might want to actually read the tax code? They are not taking away the mortgage or charitable contribution deductions - just capping the percentage at 28% for high earners. And the increase in NY was a small percentage (maybe 4%) of the amount of income OVER $300K

just sayin.....

meupatdoes
Mar. 31, 2009, 12:47 PM
You might want to actually read the tax code?

But it's so much more fun to make it up as you go along.

ETA:
Btw, Linny.
The 4% increase for someone making $300k means they are paying an additional $2,000. Remove the "1" you stuck there in the tens place.
Why?
Because the 4% increase only applies to income earned OVER $250. The first $250,000 gets taxed the same. The remaining $50,000 gets taxed 4% more. 4% of $50,000 is $2,000.

Really, I think someone pulling in $300k can swing it.

ponymom64
Mar. 31, 2009, 12:54 PM
But it's so much more fun to make it up as you go along.

ETA:
Btw, Linny.
The 4% increase for someone making $300k means they are paying an additional $2,000. Remove the "1" you stuck there in the tens place.
Why?
Because the 4% increase only applies to income earned OVER $250. The first $250,000 gets taxed the same. The remaining $50,000 gets taxed 4% more. 4% of $50,000 is $2,000.

Really, I think someone pulling in $300k can swing it.

;)

SmartAlex
Mar. 31, 2009, 12:54 PM
That child isn't going to be "that child" forever. Are you going to WAIT for your financial situation to become more stable before getting that child the pony or horse of his or her dreams?

This is an example of what got America into the state it's in. Buy now, pay later. You're entitled to your dreams. I want my childeren to have everything I didn't have when I was growing up.... yadayadayada

My pony cost $325. To many kids I grew up with, just the idea of having a pony was a dream. Horses are a luxury item. THE END

pwynnnorman
Mar. 31, 2009, 01:06 PM
This is an example of what got America into the state it's in. Buy now, pay later. You're entitled to your dreams. I want my childeren to have everything I didn't have when I was growing up.... yadayadayada

My pony cost $325. To many kids I grew up with, just the idea of having a pony was a dream. Horses are a luxury item. THE END



it seems that you're suggesting that it is a bad thing that parents might be playing it conservative and are not buying ponies for their children


Peeeeopplllleeee!!!! I am NOT EXPRESSING AN OPINION! I am posing questions. Honestly, READ what I'm writing but don't READ INTO it because some of you are just being dead wrong.

I am NOT in the least asking about how to sell ponies! I'm LUCKY that I have folks who I think are some of the best, most connected agents in the country representing my guys--and I happen to be making no effort whatsoever to even TRY to sell my guys myself. So, please, get off that track. This inquiry has nothing to do with ME. How many times do I have to say "I'm CURIOUS"????? Can't someone just BE curious here, without some ulterior motive.

Sheeeeeeeessssssshhh!!!!!

Trees4U
Mar. 31, 2009, 04:40 PM
I think because you capitalized "WAIT" and used a number of ????? in your OP, it gives the reader a feeling of disaproval when parents might balk at a purchase. IMO

Another question though- why did they breed him to such a common mare?

Mac123
Mar. 31, 2009, 06:09 PM
Peeeeopplllleeee!!!! I am NOT EXPRESSING AN OPINION! I am posing questions. Honestly, READ what I'm writing but don't READ INTO it because some of you are just being dead wrong.

This inquiry has nothing to do with ME. How many times do I have to say "I'm CURIOUS"????? Can't someone just BE curious here, without some ulterior motive.

Sheeeeeeeessssssshhh!!!!!

With all due respect, perhaps you should be clearer in your posts. Your initial and following posts were incredibly ambigious and furthermore, your phrasing and emphasis conveys opinion and feeling behind statements. Common internet courtesy has always said not to use caps or multiple exclamation points unless one is trying to prove a point.


You've got an under-ten-year-old child. That child isn't going to be "that child" forever. Are you going to WAIT for your financial situation to become more stable before getting that child the pony or horse of his or her dreams? I suspect you'd hold off for yourself, but will you hold off (are you holding off) on your kids?????

Sorry, but what were we supposed to think when you wrote the above? The tone and emphasis all implied that parents shouldn't wait to "get that child" the pony "of their dreams." I mean goodness, "are we holding off on are kids?" See what I mean?

If you didn't mean this to be inflammatory or to be conveying an opinion, you should have said something like "Do you think parents are waiting to buy their children ponies until the market stabilizes to secure their family finances?" THAT is an objective, clear, pointed question with no implications. So next time before you get irritated and rude at people discussing your topic, maybe you should make an effort to be clear.

But at any rate, here's my opinion FWIW in the situation you described below. I think you have a plethora of answers as to why he (and thousands of similar ponies in the market) are not moving.

You state that though he's fancy he is green, in a price range where things aren't moving, is in an area flooded with ponies, has never shown, has a common dam, and the owner has no connections.

The fact is that in this market horses with as many negatives as he is dealing with are competing with horses that have all the positives, especially since you say he's in an area with tons of ponies. It's very likely that the same money will buy a pony that is more attractive to parents (ie., it may be less fancy but has miles, isn't green, etc) He is green? There's probably one in his price range that is further along. He hasn't shown? This is a BIG deal....there are tons and tons of ponies out there with records even on the local level. Parents want something they know is going to perform, especially since he is green. His owners have no connections? 10 other sellers do. He's got a common dam? Ponies with solid sires and dams are a better sell than an excellent sire to a common dam if that common dam is what shows.

What you have here is a pony hunter prospect. Movement, type, and jump are only about 1/3 of the equation for a pony (more like 1/2 the equation for horses) because what parents want to see above all else is a pony that will be safe and has miles. It doesn't matter if it is quiet as hell, from the parents point of view they want that assurance of safety and success. Prospects can be picked up for pennies these days, particularly ponies, unless it is a PF-type pony with a big name trainer and a good jock to get experience and miles on it.

The reason that pony and hundreds of others in the same situation has less to do with families not taking financial risk (which is certainly a reason) and more do do with the fact that in this market, there is almost always a better deal somewhere for the folks that don't have a bottomless bank account. The seller who really wants to sell needs to be that better deal.


I fell into an intriguing observation speaking with the owner of Lands End The Colonel's Fox. Please let me describe it so I can put the question I have in context. A son of The Colonel -- the dam was a bit common and it shows, but otherwise although he's quite green, his temperament is awesome and he's got movement and autoswap -- is selling in the "dreaded" price range where everyone has been saying nothing is moving...in a part of the country flooded with show ponies. And he's never set foot in the show ring...and there's no connection (family, friend, etc.) between seller and buyer.

So why's it happening?

Here's what I'm wondering. You've got an under-ten-year-old child. That child isn't going to be "that child" forever. Are you going to WAIT for your financial situation to become more stable before getting that child the pony or horse of his or her dreams? I suspect you'd hold off for yourself, but will you hold off (are you holding off) on your kids?????

I dunno. This Colonel son's situation seems to imply that there may still be a market...for the children. What do you think?

And on the contrary, this pony's situation says does not imply that there's a market for chilrens ponies. It says that just like every other market, horses are an extremely tough sell right now and it had better have every advantage possible to sell. In fact, the average or green ponies might be a harder sell.

I've had a horse for sale for a year now. He's young double digits, made hunter, jumper, or eq horse through 3'6 and can do lower level eventing. Packer. Sane, sweet, autoswaps, easy. Sound. But he's also a cribber, a TB, and is 13. He's been for sale for a year. Even though I'd take 1/4 of his price, the bottom line is that there are hundreds of horses out there just like him and hundreds more that are fancier and nicer for the same money. It's just a tough sell right now because the market has caused an unfair playing field for the seller (but a huge advantage for buyers right now!!.)

pwynnnorman
Apr. 1, 2009, 08:10 AM
Y'know, I have to disagree. People continually choose to interpret rather than discuss. That's their decision to read, not mine in posting. What is it about the phrase "I dunno" that means I do? What it "is" is that people choose to read that phrase to mean something other than what it states--at least for some posters.

BTW, I use all caps sometimes because--and I don't know why--when I hit ctrl-shift, my favorites window opens instead of the italicizing function. But then again, even if I did waste time on a complex series of keystrokes instead of the simple, albeit somewhat broken, one, some people would still misinterpret the emphasis...at least when *I* use it, I suspect.

No matter! Misinterpretation only stunts a good discussion. Other than that, it means little to me.

Oh, edited to add: You might understand my earnest inquiry better if you realized I started a nearly concurrent thread in the breeders forum which posits almost the exact opposite of this one!

mvp
Apr. 1, 2009, 09:00 AM
You can see how financially-strapped parents who do want the best for their kids might jump to the conclusion that the question implied an accusation, right?

No harm, no foul in a civilized discussion if both sides give the other the benefit of the doubt. If I were a parent reading the opinion of someone who was marketing ponies through "some of the best connected agents in the country" I would assume that she was driving up the prices that would force me to disappoint my child.

I know breeders need to make a living and sometimes that means pricing an especially nice pony way up there to off-set the production costs of the much larger percentage who don't allow one to break even. It's a lottery mentality that I suspect won't go away in the money-pit of horses.

But I stand by the point I made in an earlier post and my belated thanks to my parents for putting the money they did have into a college fund for me rather than a show horse. When the cost of an animal used for fun equals that of a house or Ivy League education, many parents will do the right thing and say no thanks. They aren't wrong to do so, IMO.

magnolia73
Apr. 1, 2009, 09:13 AM
Honestly, people are barely spending on basics these days. Many americans are going without medicine and I have heard dentists are taking a hit. People are not replacing cars. People are not able to feed cats and dogs. Women who used to be stock analysts are hitting the stripper pole.

I think you have your answer- horses and ponies are luxuries, no matter who they are purchased for. Many, many households have been bumped out of the "able to buy luxuries" category, and many more have been bumped down to the "can't afford necessities". And the loving, doting parent can no longer go into debt for their kids, even if they want to because the banks are saying "NO" to lending and credit cards are cutting lines of credit.

The market is now much smaller. I can't think of too many more fruitless businesses to be in right now than breeding horses. I don't imagine the days of excess will ever return, but I can imagine that there will again be a market for moderately priced horses and barns with moderate programs.

I can imagine that horses are like houses now. People are buying out of need or to get great values. Not many people are "trading up" or "speculative" purchasing right now.

Trees4U
Apr. 1, 2009, 09:19 AM
Now, now, now.........................

this is just a feisty discussion, nothing personal going on. Money is tight -we're all feeling it. There isn't a parent alive who doesn't want the best for their kids. It may be as simple as with all of the financial uncertainty right now, they don't want to open the wallet. I, myself, get cranky when I think about the $$ I've lost ( on paper hopefully) and i'm sure it is the same for others. :)

Trixie
Apr. 1, 2009, 09:42 AM
Here's what I'm wondering. You've got an under-ten-year-old child. That child isn't going to be "that child" forever. Are you going to WAIT for your financial situation to become more stable before getting that child the pony or horse of his or her dreams? I suspect you'd hold off for yourself, but will you hold off (are you holding off) on your kids?????


Maybe what my question shoudl have been was "Are there still people who will risk financial hardship to buy their child a pony, for the child's sake?"

Sorry, but to me, this holds an implication, likely due to the emphasis and structure of the questions: it seems as though if the parent opts to "wait" then they're holding off on their children's well being (for the child's sake).

I'm really with Mac here:


Children don't need that next step up pony to be happy or even a pony at all and parents should never convey that to children. Children should understand even in a limited fashion the effect the economy has on society and to be thankful for what they have. Going against the grain of society, here, but giving children everything they want is not necessarily the best thing for their development; actually it breeds superficiality and discontentment. Children shouldn't believe that they are the center of the world and that their wants are above anyone elses.

As far as I can tell, ANY pony is a luxury. In an economy like this one, with as many people being strapped on mortgages and actual essentials, I'd say that parents are absolutely going to wait, if they're going to buy at all. Folks need to learn to get by with a bit less, children are no different. If my family was say, only buying one horse in a near future, it would likely be one the whole family could enjoy, not an expensive pony for the child. Horse showing will still be there when "that child" is 18, or 27 and can foot her own bills.

M. O'Connor
Apr. 1, 2009, 09:45 AM
"Are there still people who will risk financial hardship to buy their child a pony, for the child's sake?"

I think the correct answer to this question is:

"Who knows?"

Certainly exposing an entire family to the risk of "financial hardship," whatever that means is foolish.

There will always be parents who have money to burn and spend it on their kids. Maybe not so many now, but there are still some left.

What I think is more likely is that a grade, non-show pony might be seen to fit the description of "wildest dream" and will be an acceptable choice for certain members of the mega-rich, as opposed to giving a trainer a blank check to out spend the Joneses. We have all known that type before: the ones that have money out the wazoo, but aren't itching to get into showing with their child, just content to have her come to the barn, groom a pony, have a lesson once a week. This type might travel a lot, taking the kids along. Their lives have never been centered around showing, and still won't be in the market for the fancy show pony.

Then there are the everyday kids, who have a lot of cheaper sports to participate in. Lots of today's riding kids board at $table$, with $taff, and trainer. I do wonder if bringing the horses home and going the DIY route will be a viable alternative...What's different now compared to way back when is that there aren't so many trails and fields to ride through as there used to be, back when it wasn't so uncommon for kids to have ponies in their back yards. I don't see so many moms hitching up the family car to a bumper-pull and trailering into the farm for lessons. Maybe it will happen again, or maybe people will just say "not now" to a horse purchase.

Time will tell. In the meantime, there really isn't any solid data source from which to draw any conclusions--just a lot of gossip and speculation, ie the sensational "nothing's selling out there," or sellers claiming that business is booming despite the economy. ie, no one has a CLUE.

findeight
Apr. 1, 2009, 10:05 AM
PWynn...I think the Pony prospect in your example is skewing the responses the sellers are (not) getting more then the economy other then noting money is tighter these days.

With the expensive price tag, that's not a Pony some under 10 kidlet is going to "train up" on their own in the backyard-it's going to go to a Pro with all the associated expenses.

So, it's not a matter of granting a childs dream even if it hurts a little financially, more a major continuing expense with no guarantee of show ring success or even suitability to carry that buyer child. there are far better choices to mount that kid and not spend so much up front plus get a better schooled, more finished animal that will require less expense in ongoing training and lessons.

Ponies and horses are selling IF they are priced right. So Pony in this example is probably overpriced in comparison to others with the same credentials (or lack thereof). Green is tough these days.

Oh...and Michigan is not a fair comparison as the car companies are taking that state economy over a cliff. If I was trying to sell up there, I'd ship them elsewhere.

Some of us of a certain age remember that inflation is next with higher interest rates that are good for savings, bad for any debt that is not locked in-like credit cards that can change whenever they want. There may be a little discretionary income to get that Pony but cannot see taking on a major financial project of unknown ability when so many are out there farther along.

Mac123
Apr. 1, 2009, 10:07 AM
Oh, edited to add: You might understand my earnest inquiry better if you realized I started a nearly concurrent thread in the breeders forum which posits almost the exact opposite of this one!

Sorry, I didn't realize we should be on the up-and-up with every thread you post in every forum to make sure we understand your current thread. :rolleyes: Now I know.

I offered an extemsive, solid alternative opinion to your question in my last post, if you didn't notice, completely devoid of the "misunderstanding."

pwynnnorman
Apr. 1, 2009, 10:33 AM
Haven't read all the posts after my last one yet, but I have to respond to mvp:



You can see how financially-strapped parents who do want the best for their kids might jump to the conclusion that the question implied an accusation, right?


Alas, no, mvp. I most definitely did NOT see that! It never even crossed my mind, having never been a parent, much less a horsey parent or someone who knows horse crazed kids and how their parents react. It's why I asked, perhaps--I don't know. But your point does show that my ignorance also leaves me insensitive. Believe me: that insensitivity is truly due to ignorance of an experience and a perspective I have no direct connection with.

.....

OK, caught up. Mac123, you view is just as interesting as others. If you have any inclination, I'd love to see how you would respond to that other thread. It seems to be lacking the practicality of perspectives expressed here. (That's another thing I find intriguing--and difficult sometimes, too, I'll admit: COTH's forums have such different flavors, y'know. When you bounce from one to the other, adjusting can be difficult!)