I am new to this forum, I hope this question is allowed here.
I would like to get a better understanding of how breeders price their young stock (2 and 3 years of age). I have been looking for a young hunter prospect for a few months now, and have found the prices to be higher than what I was initially expecting? I thought I had a fair budget ($15,000 max) based on what friends have bought for around that price recently. I am not looking for AAA show quality, but something that will be competitive in the 3 foot amateur hunters at A shows, and would like the horse to be backed but nothing beyond that. Thus, I know 4 year olds are probably not going to be within my reach.
I really want to support American breeders, but I am finding alot of 2 and a half year olds are above my budget and the three year olds are $20,000 and above with not much work under saddle. I know friends and barn mates who have imported horses for $30,000 who are jumping around, so I am having trouble understanding how young horses are priced here in the US.
Any insight? I am getting frusterated! I really wasnt expecting to have to exceed my budget for a 2 year old, and still pay for board for another year until the horse can be ridden regularly.
Yep, that is what I found. I was looking for more of a dressage type, but everything was very high priced, especially for the quality. That said, I have not seen many (if any) of the horses I looked at that have sold! I was even at mares, less than 15.2hh, everything was still 15k++, and the quality was just not there to drop that kind of dough for me. In the end, I gave up and spent less than 20% of my budget on a pony to trail ride..
That said, I did see a couple 2 year olds in the 10k range that IMO would definitely be very nice hunter prospects. One was in a ugly stage, and was "only" going to be around 16hh (but he was big bodied and a A circuit quality mover), so they are out there if you are open to a 2 year old. And this was in CA.
Do a lot of digging, talk to breeders, and make offers.
For the buyer time is your enemy. The closer they get to 3 and 4 the more determined the breeder is to raise the price and just hold on. Lowest prices are 6 month to 2 1/2 or 3...we are weak at the 6 month old through to 3 because that is the hardest age to sell. If they have sold as foals great but then they jump into the weanling uglies. You use their baby pictures to try to sell them but you had to have had your act together to get those pictures and videos before the butt creeped up there and the neck turned upside down...I am not being funny this really happens.
If the breeder was successful and sold most of their foals they can afford to hold on til they are 3 and 4. If you find a breeder who hasn't had that kind of success then they will be more likely to bargain especially if you present as a show home. You will find your horses in your price range by figuring where the traffic isn't...we have a breeder in North Dakota who sells to Twin Cities people...there are breeders in Winnipeg and other places in Canada. These people sometimes can keep prices down because they can toss them in inexpensive pasture and they raise their own hay so the cost to raise them is less in some parts of Canada or remoter areas of the US.
If you are shopping the big breeders you may find prices higher because they are doing a good job at marketing...you KNOW about them...and they can stand on their prices. Ask stallion owners if they have customers with the right age youngstock from their stallions because not evertyone is good at marketing but that means their hores are harder for you to find...worth the effort if you are serious. PatO
Have you considered posting a Horse Wanted ad? www.warmbloods-for-sale.com and www.theoutsidecourse.com both give you the option of specifically outlining what you are looking for, incl. price. When you get emails, you can pick and choose which ones are worth investigating further. Maybe others will know of some more sites where you can do the same thing.
I have a long yearling that will be priced around $20,000. I also have another yearling priced under $10,000. They are priced according to their quality (movement, temperament, conformation, etc.), breeding direction, and show record, if any. I noticed that fillies are much easier to sell when you're talking under 3; then most who are looking for a riding age horse want a gelding. That is why I mention that gender matters.
OP, I think there are horses to be found in your price range, you just may have to turn over a fair amount of stones. I found a few ads for young'ins yesterday on Equine.com in TX that looked really nice, by big name sires, nicely turned out, some with show records for what I'd consider really reasonable prices. I think there were a few yearlings in there, but the quality was there.
Re; the poster that commented on the market being bad, that may be the case, but it certainly isn't getting cheaper to breed, feed or care for said young horses, so I think the expectation that prices should go down is reaching a bit. Perhaps if someone is in a bad position financially, that may happen.
I do think less horses are being bred, and the ones that are great bargains are selling early, so at some point there may be less of a selection in the future.
Well, I just noticed that these 2 youngsters has pretty significant price drops. Both are full siblings and gorgeous in person. Both have done very well in hand (sport horse shows) and would think that they would do fine and be pretty fancy for 3 foot hunters.
The 2 year old is just within the OPs price range and the yearling is a steal, IMHO. Of course, the 2 yo is probably not backed, but I don't think that the OP will find many WB breeders who back 2 year old. And it is late in his 2 yo season, so he could be started very soon.
And OP, you are in PA, so they are only located about 10 min from the PA/MD boarder in SE PA.
Same here - we price ours what we feel is pretty darn reasonably, but then it seems like folks either think since they are not super expensive, they either aren't very good or something is wrong with them. But from our perspective, we just simply want to move them along. It does seem like a lower price nowadays doesn't help them sell any faster! We've had several instances when we raised the price, they sold quicker!!
To buy a baby baby (foal or yearling even), you really have to be fairly experienced at look at them and also know bloodlines really well to know you're comparing apples to apples... though with 2 year olds on, it gets easier to see what they are really going to be... so I think people who don't know AS much use price to gauge which one is "better". Surely one priced at 12k is better than one priced at 8k right? Theoretically, but, not necessarily!
people sometimes can keep prices down because they can toss them in inexpensive pasture and they raise their own hay so the cost to raise them is less in some parts of Canada or remoter areas of the US.
They probably also don't ever put a hand on them from weaning until they bring them in to sell or break. Ours are handled regularly, fed properly for their growth stage and because of this, breaking them consists almost totally of putting on a saddle and bridle and getting on them and riding. Well, there's a little more to it than that, but because of the handling during their upbringing they're all pussycats to start. Yes, some are less if they don't look as if they will have as much potential, but I really get tired of people who expect you to give them away for $3000 - $5000 at any age, and especially as well handled and well brought up 3yo's with 30 to 60 days under saddle, just because some backyard breeder with an unregistered, poorly bred horse does it.
Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
Now apparently completely invisible!
Thanks everyone for your input! It appears as though prices really vary by region, with hay prices, training prices (if applicable) etc all varying significantly as well. I haven't ventured out of my immediate area, but it looks like with some leg work I should be able to find what I want!
Well, with "farm" diesel at just under $3.00 a gallon and the cost of machinery and repairs, I don't think anyone is raising horses "cheaply" but we certainly have less expense than the person boarding their mares and foals. Those are savings we can pass on to the buyers.
Ours are raise out, but not wild, and not "picking a living" on pasture. We feed grain and hay year 'round and "take care" of them. Our program is working well to turn out quality horses but the reality is that Western South Dakota is a long way from everywhere and our prices need to "entice" buyers into coming here.
but I really get tired of people who expect you to give them away for $3000 - $5000 at any age, and especially as well handled and well brought up 3yo's with 30 to 60 days under saddle, just because some backyard breeder with an unregistered, poorly bred horse does it.
Well seeing as I just bought a really lovely 3yo purebred Connemara filly, lightly backed and ready to go for $3500, I am still in complete bewilderment at how it seems ALL these breeders of non-warmbloods seem to be doing just fine selling horses for 80% less than what the WB breeders keep claiming they need to sell their youngstock for.
Pretty much every single breed I looked at that was a non-WB was less than 6k for the 2-3 year olds. Even one breeder had a lovely appendix QH priced at 5k, and a Oldenburg priced at 20k (both about equal in quality for their breeds, over 16hh, lightly started 3 yos). Same seller!
So, many of the WB breeders will just keep losing buyers until they figure out how to manage like every other breed out there.
My theory on horse pricing is that they are relatively fmv (sometimes high or low) before weaning. Then from the fall on, there may be great deals to be had for a year or two. Then the price is going to go back up once they are under saddle.
In a way, a sound three year old started under saddle is probably at its greatest value so far in its life--it has the most untapped potential at this point in its life and has probably shown its initial trainablity too. Once it is showing, it's potential is continually realized, and the price will adjust according to performace level and training.
So, in a round-about way, I don't think you are going to get great deals at the 30-60 days under saddle point, and think the best deal to be had is on a two year old or long yearling that didn't sell as a weanling. But there is more risk there too (higher risk = greater potential "deal") Or find a 3-4-5 year old that never got started for whatever reason by the owner.
That said, there are great deals to be had, people who need to sell, etc. I think taking out a horse wanted ad is a great idea and would also suggest posting on the google Sporthorse breeding group--I'm sure someone has the link or will do a post for you.
You should not have any trouble finding something in your price range, but you may have to go a little out of your immediate area. Check breeder websites. Not every horse is going to have an individual online ad, it gets too time consuming and costly for the breeders.
As for the comment about the different pricing on Connamara, Appendix QH and WBs...well I would say most WB breeders that breed premium quality warmbloods that have a good chance at being successful at the higher level competitions would have SIGNIFICANTLY higher input costs. Very well bred premium warmblood mares do not come cheap. Semen from internationally recognized WB stallions also doesn't come cheap. "Purebred" doesn't matter much...it's about the pedigree and the quality of the pedigree. There are Oldenburgs (or insert any other WB studbook) that make nice schoolponies...and Oldenburgs with enough potential to make it to the international ring. They will be priced accordingly.
PP, I didn't get that either. Why are WB's that much more expensive to raise than other breeds? I was always told it's in the quality of the mare and what they had to pay for it, but the mare itself was more expensive to begin with because of the papers too. So again we go back to WB's being more expensive to raise than other breeds??
Really, it's all about supply and demand. People will just pay more for a quality WB, so there's your pricing.
So yes I also found that anything with WB papers was a lot more expensive than crossbreds or other breeds. I finally found a papered WB that was more reasonably priced that was nice quality and I really liked, and I also asked the breeder "what is wrong with him"--LOL! Really it was nothing, she just wanted to move him. So you have to turn over a lot of rocks to find the right one at the right price. And be prepared to look outside of your local area. The prices really do differ a lot depending on location.