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  1. #1
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    Default Dressage horse prices?

    Seeing as I am now retiring my TB mare due to chronic soundness issues, I've decided I am NOT taking on any more projects, young horses, or anything that is not currently trained, relatively sound and doing what I want it to do.

    Coming from hunter land, I have no idea how dressage horses are priced. Say I wanted a gelding, 15.2-17h, schooling 2nd level, safe to hack out, sane and sound. Not fancy, doesn't need to be an extravagant mover, breed unimportant, under the age of 18. I don't even have aspirations of moving up the levels, just want something broke I can get on and go. (Does it sound bad to say I have no goals beyond hacking safely and hitting up a few clinics/local shows?!)

    Price? Is under 8k unrealistic!? I would think that would be enough for 2nd level, trail safe, maybe an "off breed".... but I've perused ads and most of what I see are horses with holes.... major soundness issues, quirks, older, younger.

    I do work with a trainer who has a couple leads, but I'm just curious as to what the general pulse is in terms of the dressage market.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  2. #2
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    As long as fancy moving, show record, breed preference aren't must haves, I bet in certain parts you could get your perfect horse for under $5k
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
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  3. #3
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    I think that is do-able in our area. I tried to pm you about a suggestion but I'm having computer issues. I'll try again tomorrow.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
    As long as fancy moving, show record, breed preference aren't must haves, I bet in certain parts you could get your perfect horse for under $5k
    That's good news, thanks PSJ. I had hoped I'd be able to find something well within my budget, but online ads make me go WTF sometimes. I think finding this horse will just require some hunting around a bit, perhaps not online... That's ok, I'm not in a hurry...
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPFarmette View Post
    I think that is do-able in our area. I tried to pm you about a suggestion but I'm having computer issues. I'll try again tomorrow.
    Aw, thanks HP. I appreciate any and all suggestions. I'm itching to ride lately seeing as I've spent most of the last 5 years dealing with various lameness issues. :/
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  6. #6
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    Not really going to find any breed with a brain that does 2nd level well and can trail for under 8k. Now you can find a good horse with a brain with no formal training that rides down a trail for under that but around here even a qtr horse doing what you want will go for at least 10k unless you get up to the 15 and up yr olds.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  7. #7
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    I suppose my other option is to find a hunter in the 15-20 age range that is stepping down, though even some of those are going to be above 10k unless it has a very limiting soundness issue.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  8. #8
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    You didn't say what area you are in, and I think that makes a big difference. I would look into some of the TB rescues at horses that are already well into training or have been brought along by one of the pro as a project. Of course you will pay more than the $1500 they probably paid, but it will still be affordable.

    On the East coast, there should be plenty of those.

    Pretty much anywhere, if you are willing to accept an off breed: Morgan/Qtr cross or something...the price will be lower. It won't matter to you how ghastly the cross sounds on paper -- you won't be breeding, so just buy the horse in front of you.

    Put the word out in 4-H & Pony Club areas -- horses worked by kids now ready to go to college.

    In other words, don't show up at the local bigwig DQ's barn shopping. Those horses are bound to be overpriced unless they do have issues.

    Shop for the attributes you are looking for, just leave the word "dressage" out of it. That right there will probably save you afew thousand.



  9. #9
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    Yes, it should be possible. Sadly, this is a hard find though. Most horses with solid training through second level (with no holes) will either have a big show record and be priced higher, or will not be maxed out at second (and be priced higher). If there is a trainer in the picture who can put a change on it, it's likely to be priced higher as 'schooling third level'. The other group of horses that would otherwise fit would be upper level horses stepping down, but these likely have soundness or maintenance issues you say you don't want.

    So, the well-trained second level horse without show miles and no soundness issues isn't a common creature.

    You should be able to find something non-fancy in the 12+ age bracket that was largely ridden by a junior or ammy with some trainer supervision, but it may take some patience.



  10. #10
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    Not sure where you are, but if you look on Dreamhorse for Irish draught/sport there are a fair number in your price range. Some are eventers, so not sure what dressage level. Also saw several that reference 2nd level.
    Epona Farm
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  11. #11
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    I can think of several horses that are currently available for $8k or under that are 8 years old or younger, sound, pleasantly rideable in the arena or on the trail, and on whom you could pursue lower level lessons to your hearts content. They are not confirmed at second level but you could start riding them TODAY and have zero problems.

    One of these horses will be at the Hamburg Equifest on Sunday, demoing for Kathy Copa, who would probably also have some connections to exactly what you are looking for.



  12. #12
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    My friend has a national and regional championship winning Arabian that is showing second level for sale, you could get him for 5k. He is lovely. CJA Conclusive.

    The market for Arabians is bad, yet they are out winning at usdf shows. So odd.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    My friend has a national and regional championship winning Arabian that is showing second level for sale, you could get him for 5k. He is lovely. CJA Conclusive.

    The market for Arabians is bad, yet they are out winning at usdf shows. So odd.
    PP, I've noticed the same....

    And that horse is totally yummy.

    I used to ride a friend's Anglo Arab jumper when I was a teen, and was involved with my aunt's halter and WP Arabs, and they do hold a special place in my heart.

    Meup, where exactly do these horses hide, because I don't see them advertised.

    Kyzteke your post makes perfect sense, and a good reminder that what I'm looking for may not necessarily need to have the word "dressage" attached to it.

    I'm in Western NY, which is a relatively small horse community. Two big hunter barns dealing in the mid-5 figures to 6 figures + and a spattering of dressage trainers.... eventing is becoming more popular. I am now riding with an eventer and that community is relatively new to me, having grown up with more exposure to H/J and breed circuits.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    Meup, where exactly do these horses hide, because I don't see them advertised.
    The two I am referring to are not advertised currently, but they are for sale to the right home.

    Kathy Copa also has connections to horses that are for sale to the right home but not advertised.

    Just yesterday I got a call from someone who was willing to give me her horse for free, or it was for sale to someone else that would give it a good home for $5k to $10k. (This one is in TX and would not be suitable for you, but just another example of how nice horse get sold without being online.)

    Often it is a waste of time to put a horse up on equine.com or whatever. You have to show the horse to a thousand non-serious people, and when a good home is a requirement it is better to get it done quietly through personal connections.

    Not revealing where exactly the two specified horses live to the world at large so that as far as COTH advertising is concerned they are just "two horses somewhere in the US," but arrangements can be made for you to meet them next week. The owner would prefer to rehome them through pre-existing personal connections so this is really not a shout out to the world at large.


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  15. #15
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    I know how horses get sold through personal connections and networking, but in the age of the internet, I'd expect pics/vid/ad to be *somewhere*. So much networking happens online nowadays.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    I know how horses get sold through personal connections and networking, but in the age of the internet, I'd expect pics/vid/ad to be *somewhere*. So much networking happens online nowadays.
    I do not want to violate COTH's advertising rules so if you would like to learn more about the horses send me a personal email or call me. Or come to the Equifest, see if you like that one, and strike up a conversation with Kathy Copa about alternatives.



  17. #17
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    I work all day Sunday, but will keep Kathy in mind.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  18. #18
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    I plan to stay away from any tbs or wbs in the future unless I am prepared to spend tens of thosands. In the less than 10k range chances are the horse has soundness issues lurking. Plenty of fun and competitive horses out there that are Morgans, Arabs, ponies, etc.

    Ping Denny and ask him what Morgan breeders to contact, or ppst on his Facebook page!


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    I can think of several horses that are currently available for $8k or under that are 8 years old or younger, sound, pleasantly rideable in the arena or on the trail, and on whom you could pursue lower level lessons to your hearts content. They are not confirmed at second level but you could start riding them TODAY and have zero problems.

    One of these horses will be at the Hamburg Equifest on Sunday, demoing for Kathy Copa, who would probably also have some connections to exactly what you are looking for.
    Can you give me details on Equifest? I looked it up online and it said Wed March 20 9am-6pm? Is this accurate? TIA!

    OP, have you looked at Dreamhorse--there are lots of deals out there, if you're willing to travel.
    I LOVE my Chickens!



  20. #20
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    sure, it can be done.......But true 2nd level will be hard to find, and with extensive trail experience. I don't think you will find a full WB over 16h, 2nd level and trail experience though...

    Most dressage people don't ride on "real trails" so that is something I had to give on buying my second horse.



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