I'm looking at a 3.5 year old warmblood gelding for the hunters. He is very well put together and is a nice mover. He has been in the jumping chute and looks good but this guy is still very immature looking. He has been in training with a pro for 5 weeks. He is out of a very nice stallion and the mother is a proven dressage mare. He has a fantastic mind. Anyway, the breeder is asking close to $30k for him. What would you pay for something like this? He is a really nice prospect but there is nothing proven about him at all.
Does he jump under tack?
Basically though, when you're pricing a young hunter, it's more about what they are than what they do. They don't need to be "proven" at anything if they are a really nice animal, because you can have at least a very good guess about quality right from the beginning of starting work over fences. (However, I, at least, don't think you can make the same educated guess in a chute.) So what you need to ask yourself at this point is, how nice is he? If all things go as planned how much do you see his price increasing as you get him going? $30k is a deal right now if the horse looks like it is going to be a six figure pregreen in a year. But if the horse looks like it's going to top out as a mid-five figure animal when all is said and done, then no, it's not much of a deal. No way to tell for someone on the other side of a computer. I will say though, if you wait for a "proven" animal, you're going to be paying an end price yourself.
I think what you would pay has a lot to do with how much money you have to work with. If 30k is not going to alter your lifestyle, then I might be comfortable spending it on such a horse. The fact that he has a great mind indicates that your time working with him will be enjoyable. I would , however, need to see "special" somewhere, for that price. Either exceptional eye appeal, exceptional movement, or exceptional mechanics over fences. Without something special, you may be making a less than six figure horse....and he might eventually fall in to the crowded catagory of JAH.....just another horse. Having something "special" makes the trip worth while!!!
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I definitely agree with you both. I guess I just need reassurance. This is the most money I could ever spend on a horse! I wouldn't say I have 30k laying around but this boy is special. I won't go into too much detail because I don't want this to look like a sales ad but his daddy is an incredible stallion and he is the spitting image of him. I honestly think that if he was as mature looking for his age he would be closer to 50k. He looks like he is 2 coming 3 instead of 3 coming 4 so I think a lot of people look him over. The breeder is a great person and has produced some fantastic young hunters. He hasn't been jumped under tack at all so I guess that's where it's hard for me. He is definitely special and has a fantastic brain. I think this boy could be great for me. I'm kind of dreaming at the moment though because I still need to sell my current horse. Hopefully it will all work out. I will keep you posted.