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View Full Version : How Much Does it REALLY Cost to Lease a 3'6" Eq Horse?



BytheBook
Sep. 1, 2009, 05:36 PM
My daughter is going into her last junior year, and it will be her third year riding in the 3'6" equitation. She has been to Regionals and Harrisburg, and hopefully will make it to Nationals this year and next.

We have taken the path less traveled by so to speak, and have jumped from horse to horse trying to find one to stick with, but usually do a year lease or lease-to-buy option.

There seem to be a lot of young horses for very reasonable prices due to the economy available right now, but my daughter would really prefer to have an experienced horse for her last year.

So I'm almost afraid to ask, but how much would it be to lease an experienced 3'6" equitation horse for a year?

JinxyFish313
Sep. 1, 2009, 05:39 PM
About a third of the purchase price is a general rule of thumb. I know some people who charge close to that to lease a horse JUST for a big final though. That's one of the reasons I stopped doing the Eq when I was a junior. If you weren't on somebody famous's horse, you weren't winning no matter how well you rode.

Extreme Chaos
Sep. 1, 2009, 05:45 PM
I would say around 50K a year, for a good Big Eq. horse.:)

showmom858
Sep. 1, 2009, 05:49 PM
BytheBook - I think it will depend on what part of the country you are in and what are your D's ultimate goals. Is she just looking to qualify for a final or is she expecting to be competitive at a national final? I agree with the third of the purchase price, but you really need to work with your trainer on what the goal is for your D before you start shopping for the horse.

BytheBook
Sep. 1, 2009, 06:06 PM
Yes we are definitely working with a trainer.

Both trainer and daughter think she is capable of being extremely competitive at 3' finals and going to the 3'6" finals for good experience. Of course it would be ideal to make the second round at Harrisburg but realistically we just would be looking for a horse that would be able to deal with the questions asked at that level of competition.

We ride on the East Coast in the New England area, which I get a feel is an area that tends to have very good, but very expensive horses. I guess the question is whether the economy has influenced the lease fees or not. Because we have a fair amount but definitely not over $50k to spend for the year.

Horselove
Sep. 1, 2009, 06:17 PM
You can easily count on $4K to $5K per month

findeight
Sep. 1, 2009, 07:05 PM
BUT...do you NEED a competitive Eq 3'6" horse? Or a 3' horse that can also do a little 3'6"?

I am a little foggy on that...you said a 3'6" Eq horse but you are talking about a 3' Finals on a competitive basis-like in it to win it-and mention getting around safely for the 3'6" experience.

That little detail makes about 20k difference in leasing an Eq horse.

The really top 3'6"ers are usually available for part of the season only...like Indoors or Florida. And their home trainers supervise them. And they cost like heck. They don't usually send them out on leases for a full season at somebody else's barn.

But you can go well below that and get a really good 3'er that can also handle that 3'6" course well enough to keep her safe. Those are available for the year and can go home to your barn at a much more reasonable price. Anything from 30k to 50k would seem to me in the ballpark for that kind of horse.

Of course there are all kinds of options for alot less then that...but you did say it was DDs last year. So you need it ready to go right now, that will keep the price up.

juniormom
Sep. 1, 2009, 08:46 PM
You can't do the 3' and the 3'6" finals in the same year. You may do the 3'6" regionals and then the 3' finals. If you don't have a ton of money to spend, that may be the wise thing to do and give your daughter more of a chance to "be in the ribbons" at the 3' finals. The 3' finals only have about 30 or 35 people in it, whereas the 3'6" finals have almost 300 in it. The 3' finals are very technical and you will still find that people have nice eq horses for it. It just depends on what her goals are and whether she is aiming to ride as a professional in the long run or not. It would be so much nicer to say you were "x" place at the 3' finals, rather than nothing at the USEF finals.

However, it is your daughter's last junior year. Both of you should definitely talk with the trainers and let them help you decide what are realistic goals. Since you are in the NE, you have a lot of wonderful trainers in your area that are able to help you. Our daughter did the 3' finals and it was a wonderful experience. She then did the 3'6" finals and helped get a horse sold. The horse had been known to stop at times and she had an "arm flapping" thing going on at the end of the ring. She said she did it to help the horse relax (knowing that this was a sale horse and wasn't hers) and was just out of the top 25. She had a beautiful ride other than that. "Arm flapping" isn't exactly a good thing in an eq finals. We don't have a famous name, so that plays into it as well. :)

I noticed in the eq finals, the announcers don't bother to announce the horse's names unless it is a "famous horse." They should either announce all of them or none of them. It is an eq finals - not a hunter finals. However, people notice and if all other things are equal, i can assure you the one called back will be the one on the "famous horse."

The other consideration is that the 3' finals have 4 judges and they take the average of the scores to determine placings and callbacks. The 3'6" finals only have 2 judges. All of the trainers at the 3' finals thought the placings were correct both years we were there. How often do you hear that? I think it was due to the fact that there were 4 judges, thereby having fewer "politics" involved.

Good luck in your decision. I have heard of quite a few of the big eq horses being leased for $50k just for the six week time period of all of the 3'6" finals. Don Stewart generally has quite a few horses for lease during finals. You can go try his horses and see which one your daughter is able to ride well.

However, I would think the best option would be to have something nice that she can have fun on all year. I am sure she would be able to qualify for all of the finals. You could then decide what you want to do. You are able to compete in the 3' and 3'6" eq classes at a lot of shows in some zones. Your trainer will be able to tell you. Perhaps you won't have to make a decision about which finals to compete in until next summer.

I can understand your daughter wanting the experience at all levels. She will be able to do the USET eq finals (3'6") until she is 21. That is something else to consider.

Good luck with everything and let us know how everything goes. No matter what - tell her to have fun and enjoy this last year! :)

juststartingout
Sep. 1, 2009, 09:14 PM
[QUOTE=juniormom;4346480]You can't do the 3' and the 3'6" finals in the same year. You may do the 3'6" regionals and then the 3' finals. If you don't have a ton of money to spend, that may be the wise thing to do and give your daughter more of a chance to "be in the ribbons" at the 3' finals. The 3' finals only have about 30 or 35 people in it, whereas the 3'6" finals have almost 300 in it. The 3' finals are very technical and you will still find that people have nice eq horses for it. It just depends on what her goals are and whether she is aiming to ride as a professional in the long run or not. It would be so much nicer to say you were "x" place at the 3' finals, rather than nothing at the USEF finals. [QUOTE=juniormom;4346480]

Actually - while you are correct about not being able to do the national 3' finals and the 3'6" finals, in New England you can do the MHC Junior medal (3') and the NEHC Junior Medal (3'3") and do the national 3'6" finals at the same time and most of the big eq kids do.

Couture TB
Sep. 1, 2009, 09:27 PM
Good luck in your decision. I have heard of quite a few of the big eq horses being leased for $50k just for the six week time period of all of the 3'6" finals. Don Stewart generally has quite a few horses for lease during finals. You can go try his horses and see which one your daughter is able to ride well.




I have a friend who did the 3'6 Eq finals on a leased horse. She qualified on her horse but new her horse was not fancy enough to have a chance at finals. Her parents spent $30,000 for a horse just for the few weeks of finals, and that was one of the ones in the lower lease price range.

hj0519
Sep. 1, 2009, 09:35 PM
You can't do the 3' and the 3'6" finals in the same year. You may do the 3'6" regionals and then the 3' finals. If you don't have a ton of money to spend, that may be the wise thing to do and give your daughter more of a chance to "be in the ribbons" at the 3' finals. The 3' finals only have about 30 or 35 people in it, whereas the 3'6" finals have almost 300 in it. The 3' finals are very technical and you will still find that people have nice eq horses for it. It just depends on what her goals are and whether she is aiming to ride as a professional in the long run or not. It would be so much nicer to say you were "x" place at the 3' finals, rather than nothing at the USEF finals.


Actually - while you are correct about not being able to do the national 3' finals and the 3'6" finals, in New England you can do the MHC Junior medal (3') and the NEHC Junior Medal (3'6") and do the national 3'6" finals at the same time and most of the big eq kids do.

The NEHC Junior Medal is 3'-3'3, not 3'6.

JinxyFish313
Sep. 1, 2009, 09:42 PM
How important to her is winning? I have students that have pretty big horse budgets by most people's standards, but they still aren't willing to drop the cash necessary to be at the top at finals. Instead they have all opted for equally as nice, but non famous 3'6" horses that can pull double duty in the children's jumpers as well. They all value the relationship with the horse though - they (and I) feel a win on a pinch hitter type horse for finals isnt as sweet as on the horse they have worked with all year. Each and every one has managed to qualify for finals on their guys though, multiple years.

BytheBook
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:46 PM
JinxyFish -- this is exactly the way my daughter feels. That she wants all of her hard work with difficult horses to pay off, but she'd still prefer to stick with one horse for the whole year. She is very into the relationship she forms with her horse, and always feels that she rides best on a horse that she has had time to form a bond with.

This is the reason we are torn with which route to go: a greenie with a good brain that may or may not be ready for finals next year, or a year lease on something experienced. The good thing about getting a green horse is that we would be more likely to make a profit in the end, but 'ribboning at finals' is a little more up in the air.

She is currently riding a very experienced eq horse, but he has a tendency to be spooky, and he is also getting older (14) and may need to move into the 3' divisions next year. However, if given the choice she would most likely choose to ride him at finals instead of a horse she could lease because of the bond they have formed together.

As for 3'6" finals, she doesn't need a proven winner, nor could we afford a proven winner, but I think she'd like the chance to be competitive at Harrisburg or Maclay.

JinxyFish313
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:57 PM
Then get something "green" (read: not AS experienced as the pro eq horses) and see what happens. As was pointed out, she can always keep USET as a long term goal if the horse isn't ready for finals next year.

juststartingout
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:58 PM
The NEHC Junior Medal is 3'-3'3, not 3'6.

You are absolutely right - sometimes touch typing is not all its cracked up to be - corrected my post above

heartinrye
Sep. 1, 2009, 11:06 PM
Sending you a PM.

BytheBook
Sep. 1, 2009, 11:33 PM
heartinrye--thanks! I replied to your PM! :)

LearnToFly
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:43 AM
Okay, I'm going to chime in with a question... Keep in mind that I've never been an eq rider and my horse only cost me $350, so this stuff is WAY out of my league.

Does it not make more sense to BUY the big eq horse for the year? Even if you have to mortgage the house and get a ton of insurance- would it not be cheaper in the long run if you can sell the horse after Finals and get your investment back?

I mean, I know you run the risk of the horse getting hurt- but it just seems like $50,000 is a lot of money to pay to lease a horse for 6 weeks if you can buy the whole horse for what? $500,000? Then sell to someone else after another year of experience at the 3'6 levels for the same price?

gg4918
Sep. 2, 2009, 02:12 AM
Okay, I'm going to chime in with a question... Keep in mind that I've never been an eq rider and my horse only cost me $350, so this stuff is WAY out of my league.

Does it not make more sense to BUY the big eq horse for the year? Even if you have to mortgage the house and get a ton of insurance- would it not be cheaper in the long run if you can sell the horse after Finals and get your investment back?

I mean, I know you run the risk of the horse getting hurt- but it just seems like $50,000 is a lot of money to pay to lease a horse for 6 weeks if you can buy the whole horse for what? $500,000? Then sell to someone else after another year of experience at the 3'6 levels for the same price?

Wrong. Look at the economy. You could be stuck with a horse that you paid hundreds of thousands for, be tight for cash, and basically have dug yourself into a hole. What if the horse goes lame after you buy it? then POOF, all that money that you hoped to get back is gone. No, too much risk.
My parents and I always preferred to do a lease; we didnt have to worry about reselling it or if some freak accident happened and we were stuck with a horse whos sale value has hit rock bottom (never happened but its always a possibility, and with my parents having to support my siblings as well, they couldnt chance it.)
I leased a big name top eq horse for 45,000 for a year. Then again the owner never planned on selling him so the price was significantly lower than what it should have been.

bf1
Sep. 2, 2009, 08:46 AM
Keep in mind that USET finals are different than the other eq finals. Many kids ride their jumpers (and x grand prix horses) for this class - it is much more demanding, and you need a very scopey horse to be safe. I would not think of taking a horse than can do the 3', and maybe jump around a 3'6" course there. You would be way out of your league.

And there is a reason it costs so much to lease an equitation horse! At Harrisburg, it is amazing to see how many riders "self eliminate" - often at an unusual jump that a green horse will balk at. And with a class that large - it almost needs to be that way. But how sad for a rider who prepares so long for that class to go in and not get around the course.

You have a major decision ahead of you - good luck. But be clear on your goal. IMO, if you don't show all year long, and perhaps do the Florida circuit, your daughter just won't be as prepared to do well at finals. Yes it can happen otherwise, but they are seasoned competitors, and ride at a very high level. Good competition promotes good riding with few mistakes. And face it, the judges remember them.

findeight
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:14 AM
This is the reason we are torn with which route to go: a greenie with a good brain that may or may not be ready for finals next year, or a year lease on something experienced. The good thing about getting a green horse is that we would be more likely to make a profit in the end, but 'ribboning at finals' is a little more up in the air.

As for 3'6" finals, she doesn't need a proven winner, nor could we afford a proven winner, but I think she'd like the chance to be competitive at Harrisburg or Maclay.

Honestly, that is not particularly realistic on a lot of points.

A Greenie that can qualify (and qualifying is no given with one still green) DD for one of the major Eq Finals, get thru the Regionals if needed and get her competitive in them within the next 12 months (er...make that 11 months it's already September here)??? It's going to be a pretty polished 3'er with good mileage ready to step up NOW-and that will price it up. Plus you will have to put more training in it and that will add to the price. And, to even break even on it, it is going to be an expensive sale horse that will need to keep going to the shows to get that kind of price for which will continue to cost.

So, what do you want here? DD has 1 year and 1 year only, horse needs to go at the end of that year when she starts college. Not enough time to properly make up Greenie unless it's a First Year Green at 3'6" or coming out of Level 4 Jumpers and those will require extra work and $$.

Not enough time to comfortably qualify as cut offs come up alot quicker then you think, figure about 10 months on that. IF you get it tomorrow, less the longer you wait.

Poor market for resale.

I say lease. And don't forget that Jumper ring. A Good Ch/Ad Jumper ought to fill the bill (the "high" or level 4 ones out of good barns), Flatwork will be problematic and the gaits will not be as smooth. But if you have to sacrifice something, that's what I'd pick. Easier to fix that then a bad jumper, inexperienced type or chicken heart that lets you down. That one won't be cheap either but might give you some more options.

juststartingout
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:33 AM
Good luck with a very tough decision.

Trying to qualify for and do the big eq finals with only one year is a really ambitious goal. Been there done that. It is achievable, but it is difficult.

Simply put, there are an awful lot of riders at the big eq finals who have been doing it for years. They have simply seen more, been asked and have answered more questions, and just simply have more experience than you will be able to acculumlate.

BTW leasing a big eq horse does not mean that it will go around. There are a lot of quality horses with more than enough scope and fancy that are available for lease and are experienced but still have some kind of hole in them. They may need a particular ride, they may not like a particular kind of jump, they may simply have their own opinions about things. And, they are not inexpensive.

With one year left, if it were my decision, I would be looking for temperament - a horse that just simply wants to do the job (wicked brave is a nice bonus) and wants to help out when needed('cos the rider will make mistakes and the horse had better have a sense of humor), that has the ability to fo 3'9" or 4' and that is sound - even it requires some reasonable maintenance (hook injections) 'cos that is what it will take to get the job done in a year. Fancy or a world beater would not be on my list (although I wouldn't turn it down if it fell in my lap)

All that being said - it was still the best experience of my DD's junior career.

kookicat
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:59 AM
Might be a stupid question/idea, but what about leasing an eventer?

Taking my own horse as an example, he can jump the moon- we show jump over the winter, and he's pretty competitive in the 1.10m/1.20, classes, has a good dressage foundation in place, and is brave/non spooky.

Now, I don't know much about the Eq classes, so I don't know exactly what you're looking for in a horse, but I thought I'd throw it out there as an idea. :)

findeight
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:06 AM
Might be a stupid question/idea, but what about leasing an eventer?

Taking my own horse as an example, he can jump the moon- we show jump over the winter, and he's pretty competitive in the 1.10m/1.20, classes, has a good dressage foundation in place, and is brave/non spooky.

Now, I don't know much about the Eq classes, so I don't know exactly what you're looking for in a horse, but I thought I'd throw it out there as an idea. :)

Well, maybe. I wouldn't rule it out. But that kind of Eventer is going to also be from a good barn and not much (if any) less...plus I don't think leasing is as popular over there on the dark side. Probably have to buy it.

Not an Eventer but know a gal who buys and sells a few and they are about what this Mom is looking to spend and not available for lease. The National Finals requires a high quality horse and is held INDOORS with little warm up. That has to factor in.

If she had more time then 10-11 months to pull this off then maybe it would work. Time is the big problem here.

kookicat
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:14 AM
Well, maybe. I wouldn't rule it out. But that kind of Eventer is going to also be from a good barn and not much (if any) less...plus I don't think leasing is as popular over there on the dark side. Probably have to buy it.

Not an Eventer but know a gal who buys and sells a few and they are about what this Mom is looking to spend and not available for lease. The National Finals requires a high quality horse and is held INDOORS with little warm up. That has to factor in.

If she had more time then 10-11 months to pull this off then maybe it would work. Time is the big problem here.

Thanks. :) Just mainly thinking out loud, and trying to learn. :)

M. Owen
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:32 AM
Thinking outside the box a little, you may want to consider an eventer- buying one and considering it your green horse. The market is not as expensive as the h/j world.

I know some people will belittle the idea, but I've known at least two eventers that had some hole that prevented them from going as far as the owners wanted but would have made fantastic eq horses with some work and polish. One I rode a few times in lessons and he jumped 3'6" - 3'9" easily (even from a trot, I am not exaggerating) without any help from me, and had competed higher. Benefits are they tend to be brave, have good flatwork, and stadium courses are more like an eq/ jumper course. Cons -they are trained differently from a jumping perspective, more like a jumper I would say. If you would really consider going this route, I'd look for a horse that had gone to the 3'7" level in eventing and try to find one with very solid dressage and stadium, where the hole might be more on the XC front- like doesn't have enough gallop to go higher. You never know what you may find.

Vandy
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:51 AM
I can understand your daughter wanting the experience at all levels. She will be able to do the USET eq finals (3'6") until she is 21. That is something else to consider.
USET finals is actually 3'9" and, as BF1 pointed out, FAR more demanding than the other Eq finals. Sure it's a great goal, but based on the original post, unless that's already in the plans, it would make it even harder to find an appropriate mount within budget at this point.

Re: event horses - my big eq horse was a former event horse that made it into the top 25 at Harrisburg and through NE regionals to Maclay finals with numerous riders. He was also quite well-suited for USET finals. However, by the time he was going to finals, he'd been doing the eq thing for a while - he wasn't suddenly a great eq horse after just one season with a kid who'd never been competitive at 3'6" before. That seems like a big gamble to me...but one that might pay off great if you are on a budget. My eventer-turned-eq-horse wasn't the fanciest thing in the world, but he was certainly brave, scopey, safe, and by far the most competitive eq horse my parents could have afforded.

M. Owen
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:18 AM
Just one more thought on the event horse front. If you do poke around a little on that front just to see, you may do better to look at places where there are more large competitions/ more high level competitors than NE, such as MD, NC, KY, etc. I think you'd be more likely to find a horse that has competed over big courses but just won't make it at the upper levels.

Like Vandy pointed out though, this type of horse will take time and dedication to make into an eq horse, and as usual with horses, there are no guarantees.

Leasing an experienced horse would be the "safest" bet for your daughter's last year, but it will be pricey. It would be easier/ cheaper to find a 3'/ 3'3" horse than a 3'6" horse. I am sure your trainer is on this, but there are many trainers who may be able to give leads on good eq horses for lease in NE. I know someone who leased a horse in 2005 that I would call a well schooled, solid citizen, but not fancy for about $25k for the year. He was competitive for finals at the 3'/ 3'3" level, and could get a rider qualified for 3'6" but not likely to get past regionals. He was for sale for $75k at the time, if I recall correctly.

findeight
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:28 AM
In general, and IMO, no reason why an Eq horse, or even a Hunter, cannot be found in Eventerland. A hole in one of these may be a plus in the other...as in horse refuses to jump INTO the water but easily goes over it.

But, in this case...qualification cut off for this year's Finals has either already occured or will in the next few weeks so the competition is ALREADY starting on next year's qualification period. It is a disadvantage to get a late start and the less experience this horse has when they get it, the longer it will take to get it to where she can win on it. Which will cut the time down to qualify even further. Figure she needs to be in by the end of next July to be safe and not have to cram in those last few shows with everybody else.

OP needs something pretty close to turnkey-ready to go the day she takes the reins. That is more likely in those already in the show divisions and with some mileage at big shows so she knows they can deal with the crap stabling, limited warm up and constant racket.

touchstone-
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:44 PM
If I was in your shoes, I'd lease an experienced horse vs. buying a greenie. Your time horizon is limited, and you'll know what you're getting. I don't know where you are in New England, but many of the kids up here need 60-80 points to get into Harrisburg, which doesn't leave you much time to retrain an eventer. Plus, leasing means you won't have to worry about selling a horse when your kid leaves for college.

I'm not so up on recession prices, but a year ago, I'd have said you would need to spend $50k to lease what you're talking about--and maybe about $30k for a less fancy one that would jump around the 3'6" finals but have zero shot at the callback. (IME: those horses will get used at the local 3' finals.) A proven finals winner will be astronomically expensive and probably impossible to land without the right connections, even if you have the money.

You should also budget the cost of insuring the animal, and for some maintenance. Most of the experienced lease eq horses are older and will probably need appropriate shoeing, Adequan/Legend, etc.

Horselove
Sep. 2, 2009, 02:37 PM
Keep in mind in the Big Eq ring, it is not just jumping a clear course but a clear course with a beautiful even pace. In addition, in some Big Eq finals (ie. MaClay) 50% of your score is flat work.........so you not only need an amazing jumper but one that can collect himself on the flat, extend trot, counter canter.......etc.

JinxyFish313
Sep. 2, 2009, 07:37 PM
I feel like some of you are placing too much emphasis on the horse here. I completely agree that the horse is a MAJOR part of the Finals equation, but a great rider doesn't need the pro Eq horse that somebody who's just "good" might need. I also don't believe that just because a kid shows every single weekend at the biggest shows, that kid is then better than someone who spends less time on the circuit.

I guess my point is that if the OP's daughter can really ride, she doesn't need something "turnkey" by the end of next week.

Elouise
Sep. 2, 2009, 08:57 PM
I don't think the recession has hit nice big equitation horses that much. Horses with holes in them probably have a lower value, but if you are looking for a horse to take your daughter to the finals and go around safely ('cause there are all sorts of bogey jumps/courses at finals) with braveness and the big step and handiness...it's going to be pricey. (I am sure your trainer has told you all this.)

If you want a pretty good one (and not even the best available), it's going to max you at your $50K. *That works out to be a $125-$150K shown/experienced horse - not necessarily the top of the line*

You might get lucky enough to find a fire sale or find an older (like 16/17 year old) former Junior jumper that may be suitable you. But then you would have to buy it.

BytheBook
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:19 PM
I completely agree that it isn't all about the horse. My daughter has had four years of competing on extremely challenging horses, and has had great experiences with all of them. Does she need a packer? No. But she does need a horse that can help her out a little bit at finals ie. can handle the height and width of the fences at Harrisburg, and the spooky jumps at Maclay.

She went to Harrisburg last year and got around, but it definitely wasn't pretty. Her horse at the time was a borderline 3'6" horse, and he really tried for her, but didn't have the scope or the step to get the job done. What we would really be looking for would be a horse to take her to finals, and one that can help her show off what she has accomplished in her four years of 3'6" equitation riding.

juniormom
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:05 PM
Another thing to consider the fact that an event horse or a horse that can get you to Maclay Regionals may not work for the INDOOR finals. Indoors is an entirely different thing as opposed to being out in a field.This may or may not be an issue with a green horse. I can't remember if any of the Maclay Regionals are held indoors or not. You are correct in that there are some nice finals in the NE that aren't National Finals. I would also do the "age group" eq finals at Capital Challenge as a "warm up" if you decide to go for the big eq finals. In addition, your daughter should plan to do one of the large winter circuits, perhaps Devon, the Vermont Summer Series and anything else that is extremely comptetiive in order to get some experience. The jumpers are good alternates and the WIHS Eq (In Washington) has a hunter phase and a jumper phase. Good luck! It isn't easy, but it can be done!

touchstone-
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:34 PM
I feel like some of you are placing too much emphasis on the horse here. I completely agree that the horse is a MAJOR part of the Finals equation, but a great rider doesn't need the pro Eq horse that somebody who's just "good" might need. I also don't believe that just because a kid shows every single weekend at the biggest shows, that kid is then better than someone who spends less time on the circuit.

I guess my point is that if the OP's daughter can really ride, she doesn't need something "turnkey" by the end of next week.

Not to be snarky, but I sort of disagree. You do not need a turnkey, super-expensive horse to be competitive in the equitation. But if you want to be competitive at the finals, you need a special horse. Those are tough environments with lots of distractions, limited schooling, very scopey distances and difficult questions. In your last year, you only have one chance to get it right. I've seen many wonderful kids spend all year qualifying, then get to the finals only to have their horse chip or stop because it's overwhelmed by the venue or simply can't make it down the lines.

There are plenty of horses that a "great" rider can ride and win on in the equitation--and it sounds like OP's daughter already has succeeded in a variety of mounts. But if it's your last year, you think you can be competitive, and you only have one trip around Harrisburg, I think you're better off with one that has enough scope, attitude *and* experience to get around. Assuming you can afford it.

findeight
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:50 PM
Not being snarky either.

But this is specifically for the National Finals of major 3'6" medals AND qualifying for them with about 10 months to get that accomplished.

With a Junior that is not knee deep in solid 3'6" eq experience.

If she is someplace that needs 50 points to qualify? That's not a ton of time unless she starts winning or placing near the top right out of the box. She has to learn to ride the particular horse, get good at it, then go out and beat more experienced riders in long partnerships with their horses and do that more then once. Just to get qualified.

This question is not about various options for finding Eq horses. It's about a specific goal in a specific, short, time frame for a specific rider.

IMO, she needs something basically ready to get in there...unless they want to go to 40 shows or something trying to qualify.

mvp
Sep. 3, 2009, 03:43 PM
Also not to be snarky.

I think there is no point in shooting for this goal without the horse.

You will still spend a ton of dough.

You will still have the kid work hard, get her hopes up, be a good sport.

You will still put some serious milage on a horse's mind and body.

All this whether you have a good horse that gives you a shot or one for whom the rider is asked to cover, all when you know that there is some other competitor out there who didn't start behind the underhorsed eight ball. The numbers being discussed here astound me. The level of thinking, planning and optimizing done by competitive Big Eq-ers does not.

There are lots of meaningful things to do with horses for a year that cost less to kid, family and beast. If you have chosen this particular goal, don't screw around with anything less than the best horse you can possibly afford to put under the kid.

BytheBook
Sep. 3, 2009, 03:49 PM
findeight--this is exactly why we were deciding whether to get a greenie or an experienced horse. My daughter can pretty much make any horse work for her, and she adapts to new horses quickly. In our region, she needs to accumulate 80 points for Harrisburg, and with our particular show budget that means that she will need to be placing in the top four at almost every show.

In the 2008-2009 show season we went to about ten shows max and she was able to accumulate almost 50 points. I feel she would be able to get the 80 points to qualify for Harrisburg, but does this mean that a green horse isn't the way to go even though it would hopefully make a profit after the end of the year?

Tazman09
Sep. 3, 2009, 03:55 PM
There are lots of meaningful things to do with horses for a year that cost less to kid, family and beast. If you have chosen this particular goal, don't screw around with anything less than the best horse you can possibly afford to put under the kid.

100% agreed. If you're going to invest time, emotions and effort into this, then anything less than the best is going to be really tough.

BytheBook
Sep. 3, 2009, 04:06 PM
Thank you all for your advice! You responses will definitely help us make our decision, and I will update and let you all know how it works out. Thanks again. :yes:

JinxyFish313
Sep. 3, 2009, 04:08 PM
I know the questions that are asked of horse and rider at finals, I know the environment is difficult. I guess I just think a rider should be able to overcome all that if her horse is worth his salt. Yes you need a good horse, but there are lots of truly wonderful horses out there besides the 15 famous ones that get shuffled from kid to kid each season. I'm not suggesting the OP go out and buy something truly green...but it doesn't have to be a horse with 10 years of Finals under his..er...girth.

Tazman09
Sep. 3, 2009, 04:13 PM
LOL at JinxyFish!

Good luck with everything, I bet it's tough as a parent. But definitely keep us updated, it would be great to know how it works out.

ponymom64
Sep. 3, 2009, 04:25 PM
Good luck with everything, BytheBook! My DD is knocking on the door of her last junior year, too - so I definitely feel your pain.

I think we have given up on the idea of getting to the national 3'6" eq finals - she is a nice rider and can ride anything asked of her but we don't have the $$ to do the big time lease for the 3'6" contender, so we're hoping to move her young hunter up to the juniors, do the 3' medals and play a little at the Big Eq. I did notice at the Hampton Classic - a lot of the junior hunters were doing double duty as Big Eq horses, it made me feel slightly better about our decision......

BUT, if we happen to win the lottery - I am SO going to lease the winning horse ;)

showmom858
Sep. 3, 2009, 05:00 PM
ponymom64 - Your plans for your DD to do the junior hunters, 3' medals and a bit of the Big Eq sound like where we are headed with my DD. My DD has 3 junior years left, but we don't have the kind of money you need to put out to get to the national finals.

DD has a horse that is doing wonderfully in children's hunters and the 3' and 3'3" medals at the AA shows this season. The horse will easily step up to 3'6" as this was all he did before DD got him. She just needed this season to get use to riding him and will step up next season. Her goal for next season is to try and qualify for the west coast jr hunter finals and qualify for a 3'3" state medal.

She will do some of the 3'6" medals next season, but will not be disappointed if she doesn't qualify for any of the regionals as she will still have two more years to try and achieve that.
She would like to be able to qualify for the regionals before she finishes her junior years.

DD has a good friend who is now off at college that had a horse she showed and got qualified for jr hunter finals and regional Big Eq finals. It looks like DD's horse may also be able to do this.

If we win the lottery we will also be leasing that winning eq horse!

ponymom64
Sep. 3, 2009, 05:09 PM
Showmom - glad to see that we are not alone in our plan :) Our little guy will finish out this year in the children's and then if the stars align will step up in December. My DD has two junior years left and we've set our goals as getting to Jr hunter finals this year and next and Devon for the junior hunters in 2011. I really think getting to the equitation regionals either year will be tough for us as we are in an 80 point zone, but we'll play and have fun and try to fit as many experiences as we can into the next two years......

findeight
Sep. 3, 2009, 07:18 PM
In the 2008-2009 show season we went to about ten shows max and she was able to accumulate almost 50 points. I feel she would be able to get the 80 points to qualify for Harrisburg, but does this mean that a green horse isn't the way to go even though it would hopefully make a profit after the end of the year?

Well, lets look at that? How Green? My thinking is that of you want to get 80 points towards Harrisburg on a Green horse in 10 months? You would be looking at horse just finishing up his First Year Green campaign that is a nickle or so short of going on any further in the Hunters and maybe not the best mover in there. You would also need to be sure it had exceptional flatwork skills and can handle a little more height to compensate for bad spots and rider screw ups and navigate an Eq/Jumper type course with unrelated distances. You would need to be sure it is a physical match for DD in barrel depth and width to showcase her properly.

That is the kind of Green that MIGHT work out and you MIGHT be able to sell as either an Eq horse or a real versatile 3'er that can get a little more next year.

But I can't see going with anything that is a questionmark at 3'6" when the questions get more technical then outside/diagonal and vertical/oxer and the whole thing is in a tiny ring with no warm up to speak of.

Now, if your goals are more flexible and you don't HAVE to sell it? You got alot more options. But if it is specifically for this, lease a made one that has been there.

And, BTW, whoever mentioned the top 10 Eq horses? Unfortunately, these do not lease for the whole year (except in the home barn) and OP can't afford them on her stated budget. They are not that easy and have planted some of their leassor kids instead of ended up with that victory gallop.

showmom858
Sep. 3, 2009, 07:35 PM
ponymom64 - DD is fortunate not to have to accumulate as many points out west as what your DD needs for regionals. Although DD is a a lovely eq rider her horse is more of a hunter, but he is young and has been great about learning the eq stuff he needs to. We will see how it works out when they step up come January.

DD has a great attitude and understands that although her and the trainer have a plan it will still be a long shot for her to qualify for some of the 3'6" medals. DD would also like to be able to take her horse in a hunter derby as a junior. Our trainer believes that DD has chosen some good goals for her and the horse to shoot for.

Midge
Sep. 4, 2009, 03:39 PM
There's this...


In our region, she needs to accumulate 80 points for Harrisburg, and with our particular show budget that means that she will need to be placing in the top four at almost every show.

then there is this...


it would hopefully make a profit after the end of the year?


99.999% of the time, you cannot have both. Heck, 50% of the time, you can't have either one. Pick one. If you want your kid to qualify and have a shot, bite the bullet, lease a good horse and walk away at the end.

If you go the greener route, understand that the only 'profit' you can really hope for is to sell for more than you paid. You will not recoup your other costs. Also, since you are attempting to make up an Eq. horse, if you do not get qualified, the chances of a good sale are low. You will own the horse other people will see as the bargain they can try to improve.

No matter which route you choose, you should try to spend a couple weeks at WEF this winter. All the top kids are there and the courses are hard. It will give you a good look at where you need to be.