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View Full Version : Made horses as opposed to bringing them up the levels



sunhawk
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:02 PM
I can see why they do it. I don't ride past training and have no desire too, and I am sure that a good upper level rider can bring a horse up from greenie to training faster than I can. I bet they also have a good eye for a horse and can pick a horse likely to move up the levels fast, but really, how much does it cost to start a horse from scratch and campaign it till it's ready to go advanced, and what would be the average amount of time that horse would need?
If you figured out the cost per hour of riding and schooling, the cost of traveling and entries, then how much money has been invested in a horse by the time it is ready for a 3*?
And what about that market for those hard working riders that start horses and compete them until they are worth some money?

mustangsal85
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:04 PM
There's a lot of threads on here about this subject.. search Nina Ligon and find the thread I started and I think there was some speculation on numbers.

IIRC it can take 6 figures just to campaign an UL horse. Add on the cost of "making" that horse and you've got a mortgage on a McMansion and a couple Range Rovers. :)

pony grandma
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:37 PM
It's not just the cost, factor in the risk also. A lot can go wrong and zero out (really n! factorially negate) your bank acct.

Personally I would not want to miss out on that feeling that you get when a greenie discovers their joy of xcountry! :D

scubed
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:40 PM
But there is also when they don't. I am on my 3rd greenie in 2.5 years because the prior two made it really clear that they didn't want to go cross-country (one is a star stadium/hunters jumping and the other really wants to be a dressage horse). The two before that were both injured just as they were ready to make the move up to preliminary (one permanently to lower levels, the other still hoping he will move up after rehabbing from his most recent injury). This is not a fool-proof way of getting your next upper level competition mount, fine for me because I have no upper level aspirations, but not so good if you want to make a team.

Highflyer
Dec. 6, 2011, 03:17 PM
Really, if you can spend $100k and get a proven *** horse with potential to do a ****, that is probably not a bad deal. Except most people will never have that kind of money in hand, and would not be able to justify spending it on a horse if they did (let's face it, there is no worse investment!)

As far as actual costs-- doing everything at the absolutely cheapest level, it has taken me five years and probably close to $20k to bring my horse from free, quirky, very green 10- year old, to consistent and occasionally moderately competitive Prelim competitor. That is including all his expenses living at my grandparents', vet bills, lessons, entry fees, gas, etc. It is not including the numerous times he has dumped me/ publicly humiliated me, broken my tailbone, collarbone, etc., nor does it include, of course, the many, many hours of my life I have spent, or the tears I have shed :) I could probably buy a slightly quirky/ older Prelim horse for $20k, but I could not have done that and ridden and competed for the last five years.

gold2012
Dec. 6, 2011, 04:10 PM
I don't know for sure, but something going 3*, with potential to move to 4* is prolly NOT 100k. I have heard of those horses bring mid-six figures, and offers of seven, turned down. Not saying it is the norm, but it is happening.

Of course, obviously, those are the creme de le creme of the bunch......did I spell that right? Prolly not.

It's cost us about 30k to bring the 2* horse to this point. Planning on advanced this spring....so needing some injections, and other things....and he isn't very competitive dressage wise....working on it! We recently were offered a nice amount for him to be a YR horse for someone.

I think part of the attraction for the serious pro to buy a horse is TIME. It takes time to ride horses. Even in the best case scenario, where someone warms it up, and untacks, you still have time commitment. if you have a prospering business, your time becomes very valuable. Bringing a baby up is time consuming, with very little guarantees. it almost is cost prohibitive, if you can buy something that 6 months down the road has you competing in the Olympics.

Just my .02 worth

Divine Comedy
Dec. 6, 2011, 06:58 PM
I don't know for sure, but something going 3*, with potential to move to 4* is prolly NOT 100k. I have heard of those horses bring mid-six figures, and offers of seven, turned down. Not saying it is the norm, but it is happening.

Of course, obviously, those are the creme de le creme of the bunch.

I'd disagree with that just a little bit. I think the only eventing horse that is going to get seven figures is a proven four star horse, with the potential to WIN four stars, in the year before the Olympics.

I'd say a winning three star horse with the potential to win four stars is going to run between $200-300K.

But if the horse can run around 3* and do a 4* but might not be anywhere near the top? $100-$150K if they can pack someone around at that level. ($150K if they can pack someone around Rolex, $100K if they can only pack someone around 2-3*.

And I'm in the same boat as you gold2012, my horse isn't ever going to win the dressage, he gets too tense. But he could pack someone around a 2* no problem, and we're moving up to A this winter. I'll report back on his ability to pack someone around A at that point...:winkgrin:

yellowbritches
Dec. 6, 2011, 08:16 PM
I seem to recall someone saying to expect to shell out 100k from start to advanced (I think I was whining about the costs of running Vernon at the one star level, keeping him happy, fit, and healthy, etc). I think this is probably a pretty good ball park.

And, like scubed, just because you buy a nice young horse does not guarantee you will be riding it at advanced (let alone getting results that get you noticed) in X number of years. I have been blessed with some nice horse flesh over the last 9 years. Some boys that had "what it takes" to at least GET to advanced. But all I have to show for it is some unsatisfactory results at the one star level, and a lot of money, tears, and frustration spent on those nice horses who wouldn't, for one reason or another, use what they had. It isn't easy

Of course, I'm not already at the top...just trying to get there. Someone already there may find their results are better....but, I kinda don't think that's the case. They may just have higher volume.

gold2012
Dec. 6, 2011, 09:25 PM
I'd disagree 2-3*.

And I'm in the same boat as you gold2012, my horse isn't ever going to win the dressage, he gets too tense. But he could pack someone around a 2* no problem, and we're moving up to A this winter. I'll report back on his ability to pack someone around A at that point...:winkgrin:

LOL..I hear ya! Ours hasn't the movement, but he is obedient and has floppy ears...pretty sure he was a hound dog in previous life! Hoping will do a bit better in dressage, since he has changes! And he is puppy dog type. Will let you know if he would be a packer at advanced! Can't wait for February to get here!

secretariat
Dec. 6, 2011, 10:50 PM
My data show $100,000 to be about 1/2 the cost of making an advanced horse, on average, when all costs are loaded (excluding the rider's time) and the probability of success (achieving advanced) are included. The actual cost should be REDUCED by the sales price of any horses sold which washed out before advanced.

JER
Dec. 6, 2011, 11:32 PM
As a top-level event rider, you have to choose your focus. Unless you can afford enough staff and stalls, you can't have a both a crop of youngsters (which will inevitable get weeded out) and a string of going horses.

(You can do this in the UK or Ireland because of the way competitions are organized, with one-day HTs running during the week. But not in the US, at least not on the same scale.)

If you're a pro rider, there's no point in acquiring anything that doesn't want to do what you want it to do. In the UK/Ireland, the trad method was to get some potential Novices (3'6" Novice) in their late 5/early 6 year. These horses would have clear-round showjumped, hunted and/or hunter trialed. You would know if they were suitable for XC.

A talented, well-started horse should progress through the levels fairly quickly, without too many runs. No point in spending time at the LLs unless they're learning something, but you will see pro-ridden 5 year-olds going out a dozen or more times at N and T (in one season!).

The standard model in the UK was BE Novice (3'6") at 6, ready for Advanced at late 8/rising 9. A horse with sufficient talent and the right brain will do this easily.

But again, as a pro RIDER, if your focus is on competition RIDING, then you're not so wise to spend your time starting babies and cantering around N and T, especially if there's a good chance the horse won't be suitable for the sport.

:)

vineyridge
Dec. 7, 2011, 10:54 AM
Problem, JER, is that many Pros make their livings by selling and training, not by riding. They have to have horses available who can do 2* or 3* and anything lower to keep their riding going. It's necessary for them to have horses in training to have them to sell.