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Go into debt for a horse???

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  • #21
    Financing horses

    <<The best advice I got from a very successful business person was, "Never finance a hobby.">>
    I do like this advice, however horses and riding are much more than a hobby for many people, including amateurs. My husband would never agree that my horses are a hobby, in his eyes it's an obsession (I like to think of it as a passion). If horses are your passion and you can afford driving the car a few more years or borrowing money from a savings plan, by all means, buy the best horse you can afford (be sure to insure it) and go for it!

    That said - I do agree that you don't have to spend that kind of money for a capable dressage horse if you are willing to look at alternative breeds or creative alternatives. I personally have opted for buying a youngster and waiting it out.
    Trish

    Comment


    • #22
      I agree and thinks this falls soundly into the housing slump that we are dealing with right now. Foreclosures are happening every month b/c people maxed out what they could afford and bought on the hope that the market would continue to boom and their interest only loan would continue going at a lower rate. There was little thought to the future and realistic predictions.

      I can't say I have always made sound financial decisions and can say most of the poor ones have involved horses but I would never get a loan for a horse unless I happened to be in a situation where I owned nothing on a low mileage car and had the mortage paid off. Then and possibly only then would I think of doing that. Luckily I have a husband who would hit me upside the head if I came to that.

      But you can call the horse habit whatever you want, addiction/obsession/need/etc, but unless its your profession its a hobby.

      FYI- Economic forecasting is saying that the slump will continue through 2008 before things bottom out.
      Grab mane and kick on!

      http://www.ashleykriegeleventing.com/

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by PiedPiper View Post
        FYI- Economic forecasting is saying that the slump will continue through 2008 before things bottom out.
        Maybe a good time to buy a youngster as an "investment"
        I wasn't always a Smurf
        Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
        "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
        The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

        Comment


        • #24
          I agree with RR except that the danger is not so much that the horse dies without mortality insurance. The risk is colic surgery or navicular syndrome, etc. etc. And it is not even really a gamble. A horse is a "depreciating asset" in many cases--as he will usually be less valuable every year after 12 or so. If you do not have your own farm, you may be stuck paying board, shoes and vet on a horse that you cannot ride for a very, very long time. Do you have money to buy another to ride while one is recuperating? I can tell you stories of well off people who have 4 or 5 horses at a boarding facility, only to have 2 or 3 of them on stall rest at a time.

          I know people who have bought fancy WBs on credit and it has always ended badly. They usually buy a lower priced horse (say $15k to 20k) that is being dumped because of soundness or training issues. If they could afford a horse without issues, they wouldn't need to buy on credit.

          In the US we are drowning in debt. Individually and as a society. Look at the subprime mortgage mess and credit card debacles. I highly recommend the documentary "Maxed Out" to find out what is really happening with debt in this country. Most people do not know yet that you cannot wipe out credit card debt in bankruptcy any more. The credit card companies can chase you for the rest of your life.

          I think that the article by DT was irresponsible, and it is sad to see dressage (and all equestrian sports) becoming more and more elitist. Soon it will be time to kiss it good-bye, baby.
          "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

          Comment


          • #25
            "Going into Debt" and "Carrying Debt" are two different things.

            Going into debt is bad.

            Carrying debt may not be bad and it would depend on the circumstances. Examples, car payment and mortgage.

            Comment


            • #26
              Yes, you should buy the best horse that you can afford. BUT if you have to get a loan to buy the horse, you cannot afford it. This society is so comfortable with debt - and has such an instant gratification mentality - it scares me. What happened to saving cash up over time to buy that horse (or any other luxury item for that matter) when you actually have the money?
              Treat Jockey for Spellbound and Smidgeon

              Comment


              • #27
                Unfortunately, that expensive horse IS a big part of quite a few goals. I think part of the angry reaction comes from that myth that all horses can achieve any goal the rider may have, if the right person just loves them enough - and that all expensive horses are just overpriced cheap horses, and no different athletically, gait wise or balance wise.

                Conversely, here, we often hear that if a person has competitive goals, that's bad, and they shouldn't. Tis far nobler to walk the pasture and trail ride, and to not have those goals. That I think more comes from people who are looking at those moving up and achieving more than they and saying sour grapes, than any principle that says that people shouldn't have different goals.

                I think people should have different goals - very different goals, as suits their personality and what they value. The only problem comes when they try to achieve those goals in a way that simply won't work. And I believe that's what the author of that article was trying to address.

                The expensive horse? I hate to say it, but there IS a difference - a huge difference. And I have seen SO MANY people trying to make NICE - average horses to be more than they are - making them unsound, making them sore, making them miserable, making them feel - well, yeah, inadequate and unappreciated. Yes, I do think the horses understand that.

                The most sad one being that you can watch people have horse after horse after horse become unsound trying to do move up the levels, and finally say to yourself that there IS a difference - the really athletic well balanced horse quite a bit of the time, has a better chance of staying sound for the training! The training up the levels is long and difficult, and requires a horse that can come out and work - really work, frequently, for - well - years.

                While some 50k horses are overpriced and aren't worth it, there are quite a few that are, frankly, very athletic, very capable, and very able to do demanding upper level work. After trying to take 3, 4, 5, 6 horses up that path and wasting 5, 10, 15, 20 years, yes, many riders DO say - yes, I really do need a horse with excellent conformation, gaits and balance, to be able to do this work, and they go and get one.

                I don't think it's right to trash the author of that article, in fact, I think it is extremely unfair. That IS the right choice for quite a few people. That is exactly what quite a few people want to do and have done and will continue to do.

                For most people they will not choose to do that. They will not buy the most expensive horse they can get, they are more likely to buy the LEAST expensive horse they can get, or near to that, because they feel that will allow them to do what they want - most people are interested in casual riding, and while they may work very hard on their horsemanship and their own skills, even if they take very seriously what they do and really care about their horses, they aren't aiming for medals, awards, or moving up the levels and becoming an expert, skilled rider. Their goals are modest - compete at some schooling shows, perhaps 1-2 recognized shows a year, and most likely, as 90% of people do - remaining at intro, training and first level their entire riding career. The horse isn't strained as much and less than ideal balance and conformation isn't going to get put to the test as severely as with more demanding work.

                Look at what most people do - and see the 'breed' thread to see that most people are not buying 50k horses. I can count up 50 local riding friends and of them, 1 has that expensive of a horse. And it's the right choice - for her.

                Each family is going to decide what their disposable income allows and what their values are. I know a very wealthy family who always refused to buy their daughter a horse she could reach her goals on. She had to earn that herself and she is riding a very cheap off the track tb and struggling. They could afford a 250k horse. They chose not to.

                I know much LESS wealthy families who have taken out loans and are working very hard to give their child a horse that cost nearly that much, so she can reach her national YR goals on it.

                People take out loans all the time. It's up to the individual to decide what is right for them. People take out loans to get their kids racing car trailers and cars and outfits and to pay for costly private schools, and to pay for house remodeling they don't need, cars much fancier than they need, and buy vacations anyone could, technically, live without. And it's THEIR choice, and up to them. It's no one's business to go into an outrage at how SOMEONE ELSE should spend their money. What I spend on my horses each month, my friend spends on eating out and having cocktails and going to Sedona each winter. I don't have hysterics about it - it's her choice!

                Whether that choice is right for one specific individual is up to them - to suggest no article should propose buying a costly horse is I think a very wierd sort of denial that people have different goals and need different types of horses.

                "Going into debt" is a relative term in riding. Having horses is expensive. There aren't a lot of homeless unemployed deciding to buy a 50k horse based on that article. For most of us, it's a choice - do I want to spend money on this, or that, what can I do without that would let me have this horse, or this vacation, or whatever. Shall I get a loan for this, or that. It isn't in most cases very much of a sacrifice, and most people only get a horse they can comfortably manage to pay a loan off for or write a check for. IF they choose to make more of a sacrifice - that's up to them!

                I think it's great that an author of an article can tell it like it is, and admit that in some cases one isn't too darn likely to reach their specific goals on horses that can't fulfill them...in addition, I think it is EXTREMELY unfair to a horse to try to make him something he isn't, and I'd much rather see someone buying a horse that is more suited to their goals. than pushing an unsuitable horse - even inexpensive horses deserve to be trained lovingly and appropriately, and not overtaxed physically. Each horse has a job that's right for him and each person has some different sort of goal or job for their horse. The only problem is when someone tries to make the wrong horse do that job.
                Last edited by slc2; Dec. 19, 2007, 10:29 AM.

                Comment


                • #28
                  I too found that editorial disturbing. My personal feeling is that you shouldn't buy a horse if you can't afford for it to die the next day! After all, horses are fragile and my experience is that by the time they really need insurance, you can’t get it any more. (I tend to keep using them well into their 20's and 30's if they are healthy and sound) The other thing is that insurance is such a bad "investment", on average you will pay more for insurance than you will ever receive in benefits.

                  The real reason to buy a horse is to enjoy riding, training and working with it. My personal feeling is if the horse is a vehicle for self gratification, you can't really enjoy owning him. If you are worried about affording proper healthcare, you can't enjoy him.

                  Having said that, I buy horses I find easy to live with and enjoy working with them and just seeing how good they can become. At one time it was important to show to prove I could ride well, as I became a better rider, it became less important to me what others think and more important that I was happy with my horse's performance. I work with a trainer 2X/week but have little interest in showing beyond giving the horse a good experience.

                  Everybody has their own reasons for owning, riding and showing horses and I don't mean to discount anyone's reasons or experience.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Going into debt for a horse? What is this, the middle-class version of buying $1000 purses while living in a trailer park? This thread is so interesting I now have to go read the magazine. I think an amateur going into debt to buy a horse is insane. Yes, it's undoubtedly hurtful and sad and thwarting when you can't afford a very high-quality horse when you have the ambition and the drive to achieve something that lower-priced horses can't do. But the only justification for debt is a financial return - houses and college educations are profitable debt; cars are usually neccessary to enable people to reach a larger range of proftable jobs. Horses are money pits. Gorgeous, wonderful, great money pits. And yes, it's a personal choice where people choose to put their money, blahblahblah, but it's disturbing that people want to ignore their financial circumstances and place themselves in debt to indulge a luxury hobby.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Never finance a depreciating asset.

                      That definitely means a car/truck ... yet most Americans take out loans to buy vehicles.

                      Is a horse a depreciating asset ... I guess that would depend on the transaction.

                      Sorry to all you neigh-sayers .......

                      BUT.....

                      I really see NO difference to the average Americans between financing a CAR v. a HORSE!

                      I don't have either financed.

                      If your goal in life is to build wealth ... then you would not finance either.

                      That being said....

                      not everyone wants to build wealth.

                      So be responsible and if you can afford a 50k horse or car payment and that's what you really really want. Then go for it I guess. Just make sure that whatever you buy is well insured. But your better bet is to save the money up and purchase outright.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        One significant diffrence between going into debt for a car and going in debt for a horse is that the car does not suffer if the owner makes a poor financial decision and can't keep up payments and/or maintenance. Many horses with owners who can't afford to keep them just end up being sold (hopefully to someone who can afford them), but some end up with poor or non-existant training or care; their value declines and a downward spiral starts. Financial irresponsibility of the owner is never a good thing for a horse.
                        I don't mind if you call me a snowflake, 'cause baby, I know a blizzard is coming.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          .

                          Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                          Unfortunately, that expensive horse IS a big part of quite a few goals. I think part of the angry reaction comes from that myth that all horses can achieve any goal the rider may have, if the right person just loves them enough - and that all expensive horses are just overpriced cheap horses, and no different athletically, gait wise or balance wise.

                          Conversely, here, we often hear that if a person has competitive goals, that's bad, and they shouldn't. Tis far nobler to walk the pasture and trail ride, and to not have those goals. That I think more comes from people who are looking at those moving up and achieving more than they and saying sour grapes, than any principle that says that people shouldn't have different goals.

                          I think people should have different goals - very different goals, as suits their personality and what they value. The only problem comes when they try to achieve those goals in a way that simply won't work. And I believe that's what the author of that article was trying to address.

                          The expensive horse? I hate to say it, but there IS a difference - a huge difference. And I have seen SO MANY people trying to make NICE - average horses to be more than they are - making them unsound, making them sore, making them miserable, making them feel - well, yeah, inadequate and unappreciated. Yes, I do think the horses understand that.

                          The most sad one being that you can watch people have horse after horse after horse become unsound trying to do move up the levels, and finally say to yourself that there IS a difference - the really athletic well balanced horse quite a bit of the time, has a better chance of staying sound for the training! The training up the levels is long and difficult, and requires a horse that can come out and work - really work, frequently, for - well - years.

                          While some 50k horses are overpriced and aren't worth it, there are quite a few that are, frankly, very athletic, very capable, and very able to do demanding upper level work. After trying to take 3, 4, 5, 6 horses up that path and wasting 5, 10, 15, 20 years, yes, many riders DO say - yes, I really do need a horse with excellent conformation, gaits and balance, to be able to do this work, and they go and get one.
                          I actually see more of the opposite. People who upgrade to a horse with PSG capability without ever sitting the trot or even the jog on their QH well. I see more riders outgrow their horses when I haven’t seen their riding improve at all! I looked at several very nice horses to buy and reluctantly admitted that I had not outgrown the horses I was on. My rides on the nicer horses were just ok and that large movement was out of my league for now. If you cant get your average horse to at least attempt some of the movements then why pay 25k for a horse that you think will magically make it happen for you.
                          ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                          http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I think people are taking this out of context. I dont' know Cindy, but she is a respected judge and clinician and trainer who works well with many different types of horses and riders. I have to believe she is saying if you want to climb up the dressage competition ladder, you need a horse who is athletically, conformationally, and mentally suited for it. And that means you may need to buy a fancier moving horse with training - and those horses are not inexpensive.

                            That does not mean you should give up on your $5k horse, nor does it mean you should buy something you can't afford. But - if you can afford it, and you want to climb the competition ladder, make sure you buy the best horse you can comfortably afford? I'd guess that is what she is recommending?

                            Having said all that, there are plenty of nice horses with three decent gaits and with the mentality to do mid and even upper level dressage that are available. Check with smaller breeders, look at alternative breed horses (Morgans, Tbreds, Friesian crosses, AWS, Paints, etc). Spend more time looking at the less obvious horses - and learn to spot three good gaits.

                            Too often, I see people wowed by the million dollar trot (hey, there are TWO other gaits that are much more difficult to improve, and can you even ride that trot?), or wowed by the big name breeding barn or big name trainer (is it work the extra $15k price tag to say your horse came from XBigNameX?), or wowed by the "My Horse is Imported" syndrome. There really are plenty of horses in the "under $10k" prince range that are quite nice, but the average AA rider passes them up because they want a name brand horse.
                            www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                            Director, WTF Registry

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              The expensive horse? I hate to say it, but there IS a difference - a huge difference. And I have seen SO MANY people trying to make NICE - average horses to be more than they are - making them unsound, making them sore, making them miserable, making them feel - well, yeah, inadequate and unappreciated. Yes, I do think the horses understand that.
                              But don't confuse "expensive" with PURPOSE BRED.

                              For a long time it pained me to admit how much easier it is to ride my stallion than any previous horse I'd ridden. How easily (sometimes too easily!) he takes to dressage. How natural it is for him. His kids, a generation later, out of carefully selected *forr dressage* dams, are even easier.

                              And that's why despite the opinions of some, that you should just rescue, I am still breeding. Because it is SO MUCH easier to get there on a horse that is BRED for sport. Built to do what you are asking it to do. I agree 100% with that. BUT, that doesn't mean they have to be European. Have they been breeding for sport WAY longer than we have? Absolutely. So might it be quicker/easier to find one within the Euro WB breeds? Yes.

                              BUT, there are breeders who are very, very carefully choosing from the remarkable breeds we have available right here, and bringing up generations for sport. Usually there's at least one comma difference in price though.

                              I don't really care how *anyone* spends THEIR money. If they can buy a stunning, imported horse of theri dreams, more power to them. But as pointed out... can THEY ride it? If they can, GREAT! Go kick @ss at shows! YOU GO!! And I mean it.

                              Meanwhile, I don't think that folks who work 2 and 3 jobs to afford board, who can't pay five figures, should believe they *can't* show and be competitive, and move up.

                              Just find the best horse for YOU, really. It's simple. Not easy, but simple.
                              InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                              Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by fargaloo View Post
                                One significant diffrence between going into debt for a car and going in debt for a horse is that the car does not suffer if the owner makes a poor financial decision and can't keep up payments and/or maintenance. Many horses with owners who can't afford to keep them just end up being sold (hopefully to someone who can afford them), but some end up with poor or non-existant training or care; their value declines and a downward spiral starts. Financial irresponsibility of the owner is never a good thing for a horse.
                                I agree with this......

                                but.....

                                I will take it one further and say that .....

                                It's a problem w/horses of any pay grade.

                                Race horse castaways, backyard ponies ..... the sugarcreek auction yards of the world are full of horses that are headed to the knackers because someone didn't 'do right' by them.

                                $500 vs. $5000 vs. $50,000 = doesn't really matter when the bottom falls out (be it the horse doesn't live up to it's expectations or the owner runs out of money) the possibility for the horse to end up on the losing end of the stick is still there.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Finance your hobby!


                                  Financing my hobby was one of the best financial moves I ever made.

                                  So

                                  Because of my hobby, about a decade ago, I bought a farm, financed as far as I could. Maxed out every line of credit, borrowed from every relative, had 4 credit cards in rotation at the time. I would not have bought the property except the board on 2 horses was more than the mortgage payment. And one of those horses had been "financed" a few months earlier by selling my car.

                                  The property has more than tripled in value and will provide the bulk of my retirement income when it is disposed of in a few years.

                                  The horse was worth selling my car.
                                  You learn so much from an excellent quality horse that you cannot learn from an average talent.
                                  "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Ilex View Post
                                    It's a problem w/horses of any pay grade.
                                    Oh, I agree completely. In fact, I'd guess that it is more likely to happen to a $5,000 horse (whose owner may be living from paycheque to paycheque) than to a $50,000 horse (whose owner is probably not raiding the grocery budget to pay for the horse). I know the article is likely aimed at a small slice of the horse-buying market, but I just hate to see this attitude being promulgated. Bad things happen to good horses when owners can't or won't live up to their responsibilities.
                                    I don't mind if you call me a snowflake, 'cause baby, I know a blizzard is coming.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      No, please don't write letters to the editor to fix this, I want people to think that they have to spend enormous amounts of money on horses! That's how I got a GP horse for under $10,000...a 4th level horse for $5000.00....a PSG horse for free....a former Olympic Team member (3-day) horse for free...and the list goes on and on. People buy these horses, they can't afford them anymore and I get them for a song. Please don't stop my steady stream of lovely horses, I'll cry...

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Somehow this thread goes hand and glove with the one about qualifying scores for third level......
                                        Anne
                                        -------
                                        "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          I don't see any way in which that article is 'promulgating irresponsibility'. People are not entirely stupid. No one is going to read that and say, 'Dayyum, I'm gonna get me a loan and buy Brentina!' so easily. It is more a nod to people considering it, able to do it, that there are times when that is what is needed. I really do not feel a paragraph in a magazine article is going to make people any more or less responsible than they already are.

                                          No one is going out there and finding team horses in backyards. Horses have always been expensive, and good horses are more expensive. For certain kinds of goals, this is what people do need to do, and it often means a loan or taking money intended for something else.

                                          I don't like to see kids skipping college in favor of riding of course and often post stay-in-school advice here - unless...unless it's a very talented individual, and a real structured, intelligent program intended to wind up giving them a very solid livelihood.

                                          Banks giving loans generally enforce a certain level of responsibility. A person has to have a certain amount of backing to get a loan - collateral -a house, something they can put up of value. People do not lightly enter into something that could take away their collateral.

                                          Too, loans for discretionary purchases are not handled quite the same by banks as house and car loans aided by the automotive companies and federal housing agencies. My understanding is that banks are not all that cavalier about them.

                                          A bank doesn't ask 'do you have enough money for vet bills' directly, however, I have had a couple friends who went to the bank to try and get a loan for an expensive competition horse and were denied (both youngsters in college or just out), with the same argument I've heard given to some new home buyer wannabes - 'You can't afford to keep it up'.

                                          The only person I ever knew who got loans on things they couldn't really manage, had put fraudulent information down on the application. Unless one is willing to be fraudulent one is unlikely to get a loan for something they can't maintain (in a few months, even for a house, LOL!).

                                          The interest puts such a requirement on people (as well as the possible long term fallout of not keeping up) that I know no one who wants to enter into a loan so lightly or irresponsibly, and surely even fewer banks, who give loans to people who are not capable of managing what they buy (except houses, and that's going to go away).

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