View Full Version : Spinoff: What would it take...

Nov. 10, 2010, 10:24 AM
...for you to sell that special horse?

There's a saying that "everything has a price." What amount of money would it take for you to sell that one special horse in your life?

I like to think the answer about my special horse is "no amount of money." But reality is that there is a figure somewhere that would shift the balance. I'm not sure what it is right now, but it's there. I've been offered six-figures for him more than once and turned it down, but that was when I was much more well-off financially, and in a much different place in my life. But I think I'd STILL turn down those same offers. I've never had any regrets about not selling him...and I think I would DEFINITELY regret letting him go.

So...what are YOUR thoughts?

Nov. 10, 2010, 10:45 AM
Good question. It's so variable and a decision to sell or not (even to consider the horse as a commodity or a singular life to be protected) comes from some really personal decisions.

I grew up po' folks and rode other peoples' horses for the first 10 years or so. I never had the opportunity to control what happened to horses, so I adjusted to that. I loved them and cared for them while they were in my care and that's all. It was realistic.

I also bought and sold horses along the same lines.

Then I bred one. Initially, he was an "investment" (don't laugh.) He had a price.

By the time I had developed him into a useful horse and anyone would pay what was fair, however, I realized that the folks who would want him didn't have the skill to preserve him. This was a kind, easy horse who could take one (or many) riders from nothing to Children's Hunters or 3' Equitation. He also stayed sound in part because I rode him and shod him really well.

Somewhere along the line, I began to feel that I had larger responsibility to this horse than one I had merely purchased. He exists-- to be happy or to suffer-- only because I said so and created him. That made it too hard to take the money and go.

But being that po' folks realist, with a long history of trying to improve my riding against some long odds, I don't want to own horses "no matter what" or forever. For this reason, I'll never breed another one and go back to my original strategy of doing the best I can while I own them (including finding the next great home) and that's it.

I won't own a horse I can't afford to care for and market well. Insofar as I can afford the "going" useful horse, I also know I can afford him as a retiree should things go fubar. So I'm not part of the camp who says they can't afford their retired horse (....and the animal they find more useful.) But man, that truth sucks. At present, it means I'm not doing what I want with my riding or horses, but giving the one I bred a great life in semi-retirement.

Nov. 10, 2010, 11:14 AM
Well, Lucky is not a show horse. He's a plain bay, lightly-framed OTTB without flashy gates or a stylish jump. He IS rock-steady, calm, and safe. He has the kind of brain that IMO makes a horse worth his weight in gold. But people don't pay big money for that, so I can't see being offered my tipping point.

However, if someone came along and offered me $50k or more, I would be very, VERY hard-pressed to say no. That would pay off my entire mortgage with change left over.

Nov. 10, 2010, 12:14 PM
There are so many variables, but to put it simply, $20,000 or so more than what I think they are realistically priced.

Obviously, who purchased the horse would be much more important to me that for how much.

Nov. 10, 2010, 12:49 PM
An amount that would greatly impact my life.

If I was extremely poor, obviously, that number would be different that if I was extremely wealthy.

Nov. 10, 2010, 01:02 PM
I don't know that it's so much the price, as the conditions that go along with it. I wouldn't sell my horse for any amount of money to a bad home, or one I even had suspicions about. If rich daddy wanted to buy him for the bratty kid who would rip on his face and beat him around and generally ruin him, then cast him off as useless...I wouldn't sell him for a million bucks. I'd have to live with it, and feel bad about it, for the rest of my life.

Now, if a perfect home with loving, knowledgable people offered me an outrageous price...I'd probably take it, and give another broken down racehorse (or two!) another chance.

Fat chance though:)

City Ponies
Nov. 10, 2010, 01:12 PM
I'd free-lease him to a deserving kid (with a phenomenal home I could visit once a week if I wanted) rather than selling him. He's another worth his weight in gold, babysits beginners but talent to go very far.

I've been offered mid-5 figures for him, which I laugh and giggle that I bought him for $500. Even my barn owner, who knows his story, offered me low 5. But nah... he's mah baby and I'm really particular about who even gets to groom him. I think mid 6's might make me budge, but it have to be VERY specific terms.

Nov. 10, 2010, 01:18 PM
For me personally, there would be no amount as long as I am comfortably able to care for her. (yes, she is a mare, maybe I'm crazy!)

However, I would have to think real hard if someone offered me six figures for her. Nope, she's not worth that at this time, but in a couple of years with some mileage, very possible. I guess I would need to be put in the situation in real life with someone waving that kind of money in my face to know for sure what I'd do.

Nov. 10, 2010, 01:22 PM
Im with the poster that said who and where they would be going/living.

But if they were paying the amount of money I would want well then im positive there facilities and income are much better/greater than my own. But, just beacause they have the money does not mean its a good home !!!!

Nov. 10, 2010, 01:22 PM
agreed that it would really depend on the circumstances of the sale and where I was in my life personally and financially. But, I imagine if someone came along and wanted my horse for some sum in the six figures, it would be REALLY hard to say no. Never going to happen, but still... :)

Nov. 10, 2010, 01:28 PM
100K and a good home. Meaning a home that is not going to just use him for what he knows. Someone who will remain as "his person" for his lifetime. He would not be sold as an "in between horse" only as a forever horse to someone.

Harsh conditions eh? That is why this special guy is mine :)

Nov. 10, 2010, 01:51 PM
But if they were paying the amount of money I would want well then im positive there facilities and income are much better/greater than my own. But, just beacause they have the money does not mean its a good home !!!!

Yes. Not going to bother crowding with names, but I can think of several people that certainly have the means to buy and maintain any horse in tip top shape. It's how they are treated, and most importantly, what is done with them when they are no longer "useful" that would concern me the most.

Holly Jeanne
Nov. 10, 2010, 02:14 PM
Then I bred one. Initially, he was an "investment" (don't laugh.) He had a price.

I had the opposite problem. I bred one to be my next dressage horse. It took me three years to get it through my thick skull that she didn't want to do that and wanted to jump instead. So, although she was bred to be mine and I never intended to sell her, I've come to the conclusion that it would really be the best thing for her. Ironic huh. :(

Nov. 10, 2010, 02:22 PM
Im with the poster that said who and where they would be going/living.

But if they were paying the amount of money I would want well then im positive there facilities and income are much better/greater than my own. But, just beacause they have the money does not mean its a good home !!!!

Yeah, someone who offered me $55k is in a MUCH better position than I am to pamper him as he deserves.

Nov. 10, 2010, 02:59 PM
I suppose one can never say for sure until they are in this position, but I really don't think I would sell my horse for any amount of money. He's my buddy and my pet as well as a riding animal. I would not sell him for the same reason I would not sell my pet cat. Honestly, even if someone offered me $100,000 for him (he is not worth anywhere close to that), I would not have trouble saying "no." Just the thought of not having him in my life would be enough to stop me from taking the offer.

It also helps that my job involves a lot of looking at/dealing with large sums of money on paper. You know how some people are desensitized to violence? I'm desensitized to seeing/thinking about large sums of money. So the prospect of getting $100,000 does not dazzle me that much, even though I know in my head that it would have a significant impact on my life.

That said, I would have to sell him if I was ever in a situation where I could not provide proper care for him anymore. However, that has more to due with being humane than any monetary gain. In fact, if it came to that, obtaining a high price (or any price, really) from his sale would be pretty darn secondary to finding him a good, safe home.

Nov. 10, 2010, 03:09 PM
I am with the poster that said "a life-changing amount", whatever that would mean relative to each person's own situation. I have also been known to sell a horse for much less than value to a person who is a perfect match and truly loves them.

Nov. 10, 2010, 03:45 PM
I'm going to have a different perspective than some folks on here because I grew up dreaming about owning a horse, couldn't even take lessons as a kid, and made it my goal in life to own my dream horse(s). I worked 2 jobs and saved up to get my gelding 5 years ago. He *is* the horse of my dreams, and I wouldn't sell him for any amount of money. I got him from a rescue (was almost starved to death) and made a promise to him that he would have to deal with me forever - I intend to keep it. ;)

My mare.... I searched for over a year until I found her. And I love her with all of my heart. If I was ever in a financial straight where I *had* to sell a horse and I had no other alternative, then I would sell her (loving home and first right of refusal would be a must, price would be secondary). However, if someone just walked up to me and offered me some ridiculous amount of money, I would never sell her, no matter what the price.

I <3 my kids. They are my dream come true! :yes:

Nov. 10, 2010, 03:58 PM
Low-mid-5 figures. I love my girl, but I know that she is limited on how far she can take me. She definitely isn't a beginner's mount as she is headstrong and stubborn, yet needs a fairly quiet ride (except for a few "Yo! Listen up you darn pony!" moments). I'd prefer a good lease situation than an out-right sale.

Nov. 10, 2010, 04:04 PM
There is no amount of money that I would consider for my horse of a lifetime.

She is way too good to me and has been since the day I bought her.

Nov. 10, 2010, 04:35 PM
I was exceedingly lucky to find my horse of a lifetime at the top of my budget, and well below what he was worth. (The owner knew this, and lowered the price for me because she saw how well matched we were - he's the only horse she has ever sold.)

He's my 6th or 7th horse, depending if you count one of my mom's horses who I rode for several years. I've sold all my other horses to the right homes, each for far less than I could have gotten in order to place them well.

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't sell my heart horse for 10 times what his top potential worth is. But then we're in the process of buying a house for his sake - so he can have as much turnout as we want, be in a barn at night in winter and day during the summer, and ensure we have somewhere to keep him when he's ready to retire. We won't have a mortgage. I wouldn't quit working if I could afford it, as I absolutely love engineering. So there's not really any kind of significant life change I could see happening that would make me sell him.

Now, if it were down to a situation of medical bills needing to be paid and he could save a life if I sold him, it might be different. I pray I never have a situation where selling him is the way to handle some sort of tough situation. If I did, I am pretty sure I couldn't do that unless it were to a great home.

I would lease him once he needs a step down in work from the work I do with him. I actually think I will likely lease him when he's older (by about 12 years!), as he's a horse who likes to have something to do. If I have kids, maybe he'll be a kids' horse. But if I lease him anywhere, I'll check on him regularly or make him stay at my house. I absolutely adore this boy, and while I loved my other horses and cried many tears over selling them, I had no idea how much stronger the attachment could be to a heart horse.

Nov. 10, 2010, 07:01 PM
To me, it depends where they go. If I don't like who offered me money (whether 5k or 100K), then she wouldn't go there. I care Very deeply for my horse(s) and care how they are taken care of.

Now of course if I was really poor then ok. But I STILL would want a good home.

Nov. 10, 2010, 08:41 PM
A good $50,000+ offer for my young horse that’s going to be something amazing in about five years.
And I don’t know if I could sell my first pony on money alone – I think an offer of $15,000-$20,000 and a great home/family/kid would be clinch the deal for me.

Nov. 10, 2010, 08:52 PM
I can't imagine living in such a way that the sale of a horse would make or break me, but I can imagine where the monthly or yearly upkeep might be so draining that keeping a horse would not be feasible. In which case, I would prefer to give away a horse-of-a-lifetime, provided his care and needs would be guaranteed, rather than sell him. To sell such a horse would cheapen his meaning for me.

Nov. 10, 2010, 09:06 PM
I don't let myself get attached to my horses. We buy and sell horses every year and there are always more nice ones coming in. Honestly I love them all and would end up with way too many horses if I kept all the ones that I liked (which are all of them, even the difficult ones). However I could totally see keeping a really good grand prix horse regardless of what I was offered. I love how much heart upper level jumpers have and personally I find it much more difficult selling a really great jumper than a really great hunter.

Nov. 11, 2010, 10:51 AM
There is no amount of money that I would consider for my horse of a lifetime.

She is way too good to me and has been since the day I bought her.

I didn't mean to single you out- this is to all the peeps that said "No amount of money"

What about $8 mil? :) What about 4 mil?

It reminds me of that hooker joke.

Nov. 11, 2010, 12:04 PM
What about $8 mil? :) What about 4 mil?

It reminds me of that hooker joke.

It's hard to say without having the actual offer. But it's hard to imagine taking any amount of money without extenuating circumstances. The heart horse/horse of a lifetime feeling is so different from just a horse you really, really love. Any other horse I've ever owned, and probably any other horse I will own in the future - there would be a price to make me change my mind. But this horse actually seems to love me. Yes, he has his people who he loves the treats they give him, etc., but he leaves his food when he hears my truck so he can watch for me. If I'm standing talking to someone within sight, he watches me until I go to him, and interrupts with frequent whinnies. He actually didn't really like people or attention before I got him, but for whatever reason he decided he loved me, and it changed his whole outlook on life. Hearing what he used to be like makes me never want to sell him and have him possibly be unhappy again.