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Go into debt for a horse???

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  • Go into debt for a horse???

    Anyone else find the article "Own a Better Horse" in DT somewhat flawed?

    The suggestion that a dressage rider should buy the best horse she can afford is sound. BUT when the author suggests that one should equate buying a horse with buying a car, I have to stand back and wonder about this person's rationality. She suggests that most people own cars costing from $25k-30k and so riders should spend less on their car and more on their horse (ok, not awful advice but then here's the kicker), because one can find a good dressage horse for $20k-50k! So, go into debt, she said it, to buy your horse.

    Where was the editor for DT? Just wondering how what is such obvious stupidity got past the editor. I bet several people will miss my point so will repeat it. I do think that dressage riders should buy the best horse she/he can afford. I do NOT believe they should get themselves into debt for a horse. Horses are expensive enough to train, outfit, and care for - they are also mortal. So investing what most would consider a huge sum of money on something that could die or, even worse to some, be injurred which would still require care and more money - is not wise. There are many breeds out there that do dressage quite well and don't cost as much or more than a car. If the majority of us are not aiming at the Olympics, we would be much better suited by purchase a cost friendly animal who's movement and conformation are good enough. Then we can get a loan to pay for lessons so that we can pay for shows so that we can move up the levels.

    Rant over.

  • #2
    Who wrote the article and what do they do....

    for a living???? "No way Jose unless" you have money to burn. I work plenty of O/T just to be able to afford to board my horse and take lessons. Unless I had the time and money $$$$$ (i.e Win Lotto) then maybe I would splurge.

    It's a shame that many people think they have to spend that kind of money and end up putting themselves in a financial hole to have a good horse. Plus you're not doing no favors to the horse either if you have to struggle financially. Also if the author is equating horses with cars that is VERY sad for how many times have I heard good horse people say you should not treat a horse like a piece of sporting equipment/machinery.

    I would love to see what the reader mail feedback is to the editor for the Feburary or March issue of DT re: this article.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Elegante E View Post
      So investing what most would consider a huge sum of money on something that could die or, even worse to some, be injurred which would still require care and more money - is not wise.
      cars can "die" too. that's why people carry insurance on them.

      sorry, but i don't see my horses as a little side project or a hobby. i see them as a necessity. kind of like a car. i don't have a car payment, but i do have a horse payment. although, i'm really not sure exactly how it is any of your business what other people do with their money?

      Comment


      • #4
        What's the big deal? People take loans to buy all sorts of stuff, why not a horse? Look, if you don't care whether the horse you ride is good quality or not and you don't have much to spend, well then don't do it. But I think its a great option for many people who dream about owning a quality horse. I went into debt for my horse and it was a really good decision. I have a wonderful horse now that took my riding to the next level. And most likely he will last me many years. My car without any accidents will only last me 6 maybe if I take good care of it. I really don't see anything wrong with going into debt to buy a horse, just like I don't see anything wrong with going into debt to buy a boat/car/airplane/whateverwhoeverneedsorwants

        Comment


        • #5
          As with so many things, I think it all depends. In my opinion, for the average Jane-schmoe rider living paycheck to paycheck and working their butt off to get to first level, going into debt to buy a $25k horse seems like a stupid idea. It's a relatively high risk (worse case scenario: horse dies, no money for insurance, so you are paying interest on a dead horse) with little reward.

          If you're a reasonably talented rider, and maybe are in a two income family and can get yourself a really nice horse for $30k, but don't have that kind cash lying around, but can afford insurance and can handle monthly payments, well, why not? The risk is much less - if you have the horse insured, you can pay off debt if horse croaks. And if you're reasonably talented rider you might be able to bring the horse along and re-sell it.

          Personally, I would never go into debt to buy a horse, but I can see situations where it might make sense for someone else to.
          Chronicles of the $700 Pony
          The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony
          www.blithetraveler.com <-- My Blog

          Comment


          • #6
            It isn;t anyone's business what they do with their income or credit reports. Heaven knows the horse world is not populated heavily by financially responsible people.
            However...IMO...it is extremely poor reporting to publish an article on finances and debt in an equine magazine. Equine folks are highly probable of making stupid decisions and really don't need the "help" from a magazine that's not a financial one.
            And yeeesss...I know many people can indeed afford it or at least think they can....so no need to jump on my post for that.
            You jump in the saddle,
            Hold onto the bridle!
            Jump in the line!
            ...Belefonte

            Comment


            • #7
              What Reynard Ridge said.
              Patience pays.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by class View Post
                cars can "die" too. that's why people carry insurance on them.

                sorry, but i don't see my horses as a little side project or a hobby. i see them as a necessity. kind of like a car. i don't have a car payment, but i do have a horse payment. although, i'm really not sure exactly how it is any of your business what other people do with their money?
                It's my business when they borrow money and default - did you miss the junk bond fiasco?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am up to my eyeballs is horse debt right now. It stinks, and I shouldnt have done it, but i enjoy the horses, so its worth it..now if I can only get one of them sold..
                  ---^v---^v---^v----------------------^v---^v---^v---
                  For a moment there, you bored me to death

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The best advice I got from a very successful business person was, "Never finance a hobby."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Reynard Ridge View Post
                      As with so many things, I think it all depends. In my opinion, for the average Jane-schmoe rider living paycheck to paycheck and working their butt off to get to first level, going into debt to buy a $25k horse seems like a stupid idea. It's a relatively high risk (worse case scenario: horse dies, no money for insurance, so you are paying interest on a dead horse) with little reward.

                      If you're a reasonably talented rider, and maybe are in a two income family and can get yourself a really nice horse for $30k, but don't have that kind cash lying around, but can afford insurance and can handle monthly payments, well, why not? The risk is much less - if you have the horse insured, you can pay off debt if horse croaks. And if you're reasonably talented rider you might be able to bring the horse along and re-sell it.

                      Personally, I would never go into debt to buy a horse, but I can see situations where it might make sense for someone else to.
                      Exactly what RR said!
                      View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was dismayed at the article. I think it sends the wrong message, the message I got was...you need to buy your way though the levels.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It would make more sense to go in to debt on riding education. Then you could make horses to sell to those buying expensive horses.
                          Anne
                          -------
                          "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SerenaGinger View Post
                            The best advice I got from a very successful business person was, "Never finance a hobby."
                            Amen! I haven't read the article but I have to say it is amazing that a magazine article would encourage someone to go into debt to enjoy their hobby! I also think there are a lot of nice, lesser priced horses out there that are suitable for ammies that don't cost more than a car! The problem is that articles like that support the misconception in dressage that one needs such a beast to "be competitive" or "be taken seriously." Both quotes I have heard from people justifying the purchase of such a horse that ended up being way too much horse in both situations.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There was an article on UDBB a few years ago regarding the demographics of the "average" DT Subscriber. DT was flauting it's audience to potential advertisers.

                              I'm recalling the "average" income was $90k plus a year. I was really insulted. I'll net slightly less than a third of that this year, with three jobs (plus the farm.) And the most I've ever spent on a truck was $12k, and it was my one and only brand new truck. My HOUSE and farm cost less than many horses we talk about commonly on this board, and I've got 30 years to pay for it. Hell, my house cost less than the TRUCKS most people talk about... and I've got 30 years to pay for it...

                              The demographics on this board are somewhat skewed as well, but there are a few of us poor trailer trash who stick together... (and I'm not even talking WTD either!)

                              Yes, any horse, whether he was a rescue or a six figure horse, can go out tomorrow and snap a leg, colic or just plain stop performing.

                              *I* don't think you should need a mortgage to buy a horse. That's part of my vision statement of breeding. And lo and behold my 'backyard' horses hold their own, winning against those fancy 5 figure horses... <shrugs>
                              InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                You need to know where to insert the quarter if you want to go for a ride.
                                Anne
                                -------
                                "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I read that article today and thought it was skewed also. First of all I don't spend nearly that much on a car. But I do get her point. It WOULD probably be more worthwhile to get a horse who either a) has a job already and is good at it or b) buy a greenie/new to dressage horse who has real potential to be great in dressage. But I don't think a horse is a great thing to take a loan out for. I will never do it for the main reason being murphy's law. If I take out a loan on something that doesn't have a warrenty on it, it WILL break. Probably as soon as the monthly bills start rolling in.

                                  But that doesn't mean that someone shouldn't be able to buy that $20,000 horse just because there are cheaper ones out there. Why not save up your money to buy that horse rather then go into debt over it? Take what you would have paid per month and set it aside or better yet invest it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would never go into debt to buy a luxery item. In fact, I have a difficult time going into debt even for a necessity. But, you should also think about the flip side of the coin, and that is the integrity of the person who is holding that debt for you. When you finish your payments, will you actually get the papers for the horse? Sometimes, the person at the other end of the payment schedule does not really have the papers, or there is a problem with the papers, or the person is sick/dies without making arrangements for your receipt of the papers. Don't think this won't happen to you just because the person from whom you are going the installment route for your horse lives in a big house with the "trappings" of money.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by class View Post
                                      cars can "die" too. that's why people carry insurance on them.

                                      sorry, but i don't see my horses as a little side project or a hobby. i see them as a necessity. kind of like a car. i don't have a car payment, but i do have a horse payment. although, I'm really not sure exactly how it is any of your business what other people do with their money?
                                      But there is no 50,000 mile warranty or drive chain warranty, etc.

                                      Your right to do as you please is unchallenged. Your financial acumen is in doubt.
                                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Just so everyone knows, after an initial few emails in reply to ones I sent, the responses from the USEF Dressage Committee seem to be tapering off. I know the members of the committee are busy and it IS the holiday season.

                                        I encourage everyone who is interested to keep sending emails to all members of the committee, regularly, including links to all the threads on all bulletin boards regarding this subject. Paste comments from threads into the emails. It is probably important to let TPTB how the discussions are evolving and make them aware of new points (some very good ones, IMO) that are being raised. ry

                                        Comment

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