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  1. #1
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    Jan. 18, 2007
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    Default What degree of price off for horse out of shape?

    I have a client who for financial reasons has to sell her horse. She had him in training and the plan was for him to compete last fall. He was ready to go, but then life intervened, and she had to take him out of training. Things have not improved, and now he needs to find a new home.

    I'm trying to figure out how to price him. I know what he's worth fit, I'm not sure what he's worth fat, hairy and out of work since November. 10% less? 50% less?
    Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
    Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
    www.phoenixsporthorses.com
    Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com



  2. #2
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    Well, I am sort of thinking about this right now, as a friend called me today about a nice older packer sort and he is in the same sort of not-quite-ready-to-compete-boat. Albeit much lower level than a Fair Hill horse...more on the Sawmill Field for this one!

    I am thinking that one would take the number of months it would take to get him fit to compete at his confirmed level. Is he totally uut of shape, off for six months or more, and was competing comfortably at Intermediate -- then it might take how many months -- 3? 6? to get him ready to compete again (provided all sound of course). I think training/board might cost $1k a month, so just a round figure might be taking off $3k to $6k. That's a rough guesstimate -- see how that figures in your percentages.

    But depending upon how desperate the seller is, might even take more off.
    "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." -- Emerson
    www.eventhorse.wordpress.com



  3. #3
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    I think it's not so much the readiness to compete as the inability to try the horse properly and the fear that it's been sitting because something is wrong with it (which will be reinforced if you price it too cheaply.) Can she put him back in training for a month or two? Make a deal with someone?


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  4. #4
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    Jul. 3, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highflyer View Post
    I think it's not so much the readiness to compete as the inability to try the horse properly and the fear that it's been sitting because something is wrong with it (which will be reinforced if you price it too cheaply.) Can she put him back in training for a month or two? Make a deal with someone?

    I agree with this.. When I was shopping, my fear with an out of shape horse was how they may or may not handle getting/being in shape. Not sure of their physical readiness and ability, and you don't get to try the horse to their potential that they're being marketed as. Definitely more than 10% off in my mind, the buyer is taking more of a risk than buying a comparable horse that's already going.


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  5. #5
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    Nov. 3, 2003
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    Default

    Has the horse ever competed? Or was he just getting prepped to go to his first show? Without a competition record, he's not just "out of fitness" he's really just a out of shape prospect. The lack of a show record takes more off your price than the lack of fitness (IMO).


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  6. #6
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    Nov. 16, 2000
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    I would say at least 25% - was he for sale before she took him out of training? And if so, was there any interest at that price? So many factors - how hard is he to put back to work? Some horses need a lot more time to get fit again, or regain their composure under saddle than others. Maybe he's all hairy and a bit fat, but if he can get a bath and a haircut and strut his stuff for 20 minutes for a prospective buyer it will be less of a stretch for someone to see his potential. Also if he had a good competition record and videos of him doing well that will make it easier too.



  7. #7
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies so far. I'm trying to be a bit vague, but to answer questions, he should be pretty easy to fit back up, and has the ultimate point and shoot personality. I had a lease worked out for him (unfortunately the potential leasor then got laid off) and we pulled him out of the field and did 20 minutes of flatwork after 6 weeks of not being touched. He has shown at several local CTs and schooling things, and done well, but hasn't done a rated horse trial.

    What do you think about offering a lease to purchase type of agreement? Maybe 1st month as a free lease/trial , after that a paid lease with monies applicable to purchase price? Put a time limit on the purchase, say six months?
    Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
    Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
    www.phoenixsporthorses.com
    Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFarm View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far. I'm trying to be a bit vague, but to answer questions, he should be pretty easy to fit back up, and has the ultimate point and shoot personality. I had a lease worked out for him (unfortunately the potential leasor then got laid off) and we pulled him out of the field and did 20 minutes of flatwork after 6 weeks of not being touched. He has shown at several local CTs and schooling things, and done well, but hasn't done a rated horse trial.

    What do you think about offering a lease to purchase type of agreement? Maybe 1st month as a free lease/trial , after that a paid lease with monies applicable to purchase price? Put a time limit on the purchase, say six months?
    I think that is a good and generous deal, if it works out for the seller, financially (ie, they aren't depending on the sale of the horse for much needed cash). You'll just have to do some thinking on how all the different scenarios will play out (what if they decide 3 months they don't want the horse? What if the horse gets hurt? What if they end up unable to carry through for financial reasons? And I'm sure many others!).


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  9. #9
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    Apr. 10, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highflyer View Post
    I think it's not so much the readiness to compete as the inability to try the horse properly and the fear that it's been sitting because something is wrong with it (which will be reinforced if you price it too cheaply.) Can she put him back in training for a month or two? Make a deal with someone?
    This, exactly. As someone who will be looking for a horse over the next year, my biggest fear is taking a chance on something out of work only because soundness is a big deal to me. I want to know the horse can hold up to a regular work schedule.

    I would take a chance on a horse out of work if the seller offered a lease arrangement-- longer than a month, say 3-6 months-- so I knew there wasn't anything odd hiding. I know buying horses is a risk, but as someone who has taken chances on horses that were deemed "sound" but out of work, only to bring them back to work and find they were actually quite lame.... with a nice horse out of work, a lease to purchase option might be more appealing to buyers.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


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  10. #10
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    I guess I wouldn't worry about it. The horse has not competed at any recognized level, only done CTs and schooling shows. He'll probably sell to that market. Price the horse for the here and now of what he is worth, not what he might be in the future. If he has a good temperament, then he should find a buyer based on what he is now. I would price according to what other horses of similar age, size, and experience are going for in my area. I always leave my pricing with a date, so that if something changes like more training, more show results, etc. then I can increase the price if need be.

    I would also go for an outright sale versus the lease/purchase installment sale deal. There are so many moving parts in the latter type of contract, including the need for insurance, the chance of injury, the chance of default, etc. I would simplify the sale as much as possible.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFarm View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far. I'm trying to be a bit vague, but to answer questions, he should be pretty easy to fit back up, and has the ultimate point and shoot personality.
    Then this is exactly what the owner needs to do if she wants top dollar - having chosen to give the horse time off (not a bad thing), I'd expect to spend several weeks getting him jumping fit again ...
    what I wouldn't do is risk injury by showing him to buyers at his previous level (not implying you did this but I've seen a number of owners who are desperate to sell do so).

    What do you think about offering a lease to purchase type of agreement? Maybe 1st month as a free lease/trial , after that a paid lease with monies applicable to purchase price? Put a time limit on the purchase, say six months?
    If this horse is advertised as jumping 3', I'd want a "free lease/trial" month to flat him, then at least a 2nd month to get him jumping fit - at this point, I've done all the work, so then an equivalent amount of time to enjoy him (in this example, further 2 months "free" lease): of course now I've invested minimum 4K into this horse so I still expect to get some benefit re his sale price (as per initial contract).
    There's also the possibility that I realize horse & I are not really suited, so now owner gets back a nicely fitted up horse that she will be able to sell for more $$

    If I'm buying the horse "as is" I'd expect significant price reduction, but there's always a buyer that won't



  12. #12
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    Feb. 3, 2000
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    Default

    A lot depends on what level you are talking about.

    For instance, I absolutely would not look at a Prelim or above horse tht was not demonstrably sound under Prelim level work/condition.

    Novice and below, if it came from a reputable barn (like yours) with assurances that the horse had been sound when competing (backed up with permission to ask the vet), and was currently sound, I wouldn't be so concerned.

    The second thing that would be of concern, is the ability see that the horse is capable of what is advertised. Some horses keep themselves fitter than others.

    If this is a BN horse, it needs to be fit enough for a half hour ride, including a half dozen jumps up to BN height, and then, on another day, a cross coutry school of a half dozen jumps. You can take lots of breaks if needed.

    I know some horses that can do that straight out of a field, and others that need a couple of weeks of light work to get to that point.

    I think it is more a question of how much longer it will yake to sell than the price. I think it would be worth investing a couple of month's board in getting the horse fit, and then mrketing at the original price.

    I think if you reduce the price by the same amount (2 months board) it will take you more than 2 month longer to sell.

    ETA
    I wouldn't do a free lease. If I were the buyer in a case like that, I would be tempted to work the horse as hard as possible for that month, to find out if there were any holes in the soundness or performance that were disguised by being out of shape. What do you do if the horse goes lame in that trial period? Or turns out to be hotter than the buyer can handle, and someone gets hurt?
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janet View Post
    If I were the buyer in a case like that, I would be tempted to work the horse as hard as possible for that month, to find out if there were any holes in the soundness or performance that were disguised by being out of shape.
    This is why trials are so fracking scary
    - anyone that would do this is no horseman


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    This is why trials are so fracking scary
    - anyone that would do this is no horseman
    Absolutely.
    "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." -- Emerson
    www.eventhorse.wordpress.com



  15. #15
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    Jan. 9, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by normandy_shores View Post
    I agree with this.. When I was shopping, my fear with an out of shape horse was how they may or may not handle getting/being in shape. Not sure of their physical readiness and ability, and you don't get to try the horse to their potential that they're being marketed as. Definitely more than 10% off in my mind, the buyer is taking more of a risk than buying a comparable horse that's already going.
    Yes, what normandy_shoes said. I'm horse shopping now and it always worries me when people say that the horse CAN do such and such, but isn't doing it now. I am very skeptical that the horse can actually do the thing they're claiming it can do. Even though you're not going to inflate his level of skill or experience, I think most buyers will assume that's what's happening or that he has an undisclosed soundness/health issue that will cost them hundreds of dollars to discover.



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