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Trying to figure out a budget or what should I expect to pay?

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  • Trying to figure out a budget or what should I expect to pay?

    Being new to this world you all call Eventing, I'm a bit lost at what my money will buy me. I am quite sure it is different from what I could expect in the Hunter world.
    What I am looking for is a solid citizen, with a good brain that has some solid experience under its belt.
    While the horse doesn't need to be "pretty" or a certain breed or height, I would like it to at least have the ability to do some training level stuff, even if it hasn't competed at that level yet.
    Age anywhere from 3 up to about 10. I would consider older if not a lot of maintenance or soundness issues.
    I also like geldings better than mares, but won't rule out a good mare.
    I'd prefer to stick around the Great Lakes area too.
    So tell me about how much would the above horse cost me?

  • #2
    Just a guess, but likely $8k-15k. Cheaper ones are definitely out there, if you're patient and the right situation comes along. If you want a big, fancy, competitive packer (dressage winner who jumps) expect to pay more.

    There are a lot of solid citizen-types out there with experience to let you learn and have fun. It's the talent to move up (prelim+) and pretty movers that make the price go up.
    “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
    ? Albert Einstein



    • Original Poster

      I'm really not looking for something to be the next world beater. Just something safe that can pack my butt around as I learn the ropes of Eventing. Training level is a far off goal at this point, so anything above that is not even on the wish list right now...lol


      • #4
        Originally posted by mommy peanut View Post
        I'm really not looking for something to be the next world beater. Just something safe that can pack my butt around as I learn the ropes of Eventing. Training level is a far off goal at this point, so anything above that is not even on the wish list right now...lol

        I'd consider changing your age range from at least 5 to 15. No three year old is going to have "some experience under their belt" and a "safe packer" no matter how good their brain.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
          I'd consider changing your age range from at least 5 to 15. No three year old is going to have "some experience under their belt" and a "safe packer" no matter how good their brain.
          Oh I know...lol I was just trying to put a general age out there. It would have to be really nice for me to be interested in a 15 yr old though.

          What I consider a safe packer might not be the same as eventers think of it?
          I'm fine with "attitude" as long as they are honest to the fence. I don't want a bored, going through the motions type. Does that make more sense?


          • #6
            I don't know your area...but around here--I'd say 10-25K would be the range. With most falling in the 15-25 range. If they have solid training level experience, their price may be higher.

            This is not for the uber fancy ones but nice capable guys. Remember--since we jump solid jumps, you want something that has enough scope that when you miss to a 3'3" solid fence, they can get you out of it.

            You may find horses outside that price range (both high and low).

            I'm also not sure I've EVER met a bored going through the motion type of event horse. I don't think that exists. You will meet some that run on the cold side...and some run on the hot side. But packer to event riders means that (i) if you point them at the fence...they will generally get you to the other side and not buck you off or bolt because you didn't jump perfectly with them, (ii) they stay in the dressage ring and put themselves in a reasonable shape even if you don't ride perfectly, and (iii) leave most of the rails up in stadium and don't cause the folks watching to gasp. Basically a packer will do the job not because they are well ridden, but often in spite of how they are ridden.

            Because of the nature of the sport, you will need to ride, but how well you need to ride depends on how generous the horse you are sitting on....the packers for eventers are the horses that you do not need to be the world's best rider to have fun on. Most of us want horses that can take a joke, but we don't expect them to keep doing their job if we do not hold up our end of the partnership.

            What you will often find is horses that are easy to ride in one or two phases but a bit tougher in the third. This is where you have to decide what you want and what are your strong phases. So if dressage is your weakest phase for example, you may not want to buy that horse who is great to jump but tough in dressage. Or if you are timid over fences, don't buy the super moving nice dressage horse that needs a more confident ride xc unless you really just want to do dressage .
            Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Dec. 26, 2012, 10:33 AM.
            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


            • #7
              I wouldn't discount the slightly older guys. I have a 14 year old and a 17 year old in my barn who are both outstanding horses, and doing exactly what you're describing for their riders. They are sound, sane, and packers without being boring or dull.


              • #8
                Why do people think 15 year old horses are on death's door? I know 20 year olds packing people around Novice and Training level, sound, solid, and wonderful horses. Shoot, a friend's 23-ish year old just WON Novice at the ATC's. And the above definition of packing is definitely true -- you still have to ride!

                I would widen your age bracket and be open-minded to possibilities. The sport is complex and it takes a LOT of time, money, and energy to put miles on a horse. My almost-17-year-old Appendix will still give you a helluva ride on XC; if you go Novice, you better know how to ride or you are going to get a LOT of speed faults and jump jumps that aren't even on your course, ROFL!
                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                We Are Flying Solo


                • #9
                  In addition to all the great information you've already gotten, I want to add some helpful hints.

                  1. Consider a lease. Being new to eventing the horse that gives you your introduction may not be the horse you want a year from now. I think the most important thing for a new eventer is a horse that will keep you safe while you learn the ropes of XC. That might mean a horse with less than stellar dressage scores, but worth the trade at first. After you spend a couple seasons and want to become more all-around competitive than you will go into a purchase better prepared for your long term goals.

                  2. If you decide to buy then use the resources available to make sure the seller is telling you the whole story (no offense to sellers, but we all know there are good and bad of everything and lots of horses sound PERFECT on paper). Use the horse search available on the USEA website to check their record. The random stop, an occasional R (retired on course) is all perfectly normal. But a horse that has yet to finish a Training level event being touted as a packer is a problem.

                  3. Lots of eventing horses have some sort of joint management system in place, be it supplements, joint injections or injectable support (adequate, pentosan, etc). Don't let it scare you. While we, as a collective, are staunchly opposed to using drugs to alter our horses' performance / state of mind (do a thread search ), we realize that we do ask much of these guys and will support their bodies in whatever way they need.

                  4. And lastly, feel free to come back on here with candidates and glean the COTH wisdom. There are many on this forum with oodles of experience and miles of XC under their belt that will help you in your search.

                  Welcome to Eventing!!!!
                  Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                  The Grove at Five Points


                  • #10
                    EventerAJ's numbers are fine. The question is how far you're willing to travel to get it and what exactly you define as "the Great Lakes Region." Such horses are fairly common in, say, Florida or Southern Pines or Virginia--predictably, these are the zones where there are lots of trainers bringing horses up the levels for resale. Such horses harder to find in the northern regions of Area VIII; the further south in Area VIII you go, like down to Kentucky or some parts of Indiana, the easier it gets.

                    I'm not saying they're impossible to find in Michigan. For Pete's sake, I owned one when I lived in Michigan. An acquaintance of mine was selling a similar horse, taller and more fancy than mine, and I'm pretty sure she had him sold within 30 days. So they happen. I'm just saying you may have to choose between being very patient for the right deal or be ready to pay toward the top of EventerAJ's numbers.
                    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                    • #11
                      Are you in Michigan?

                      We've got three solid citizens in our barn who were all purchased for around the $7-8 K range at ages 7-10 for junior riders. One had evented up through Training, the other two hadn't but had great brains (and eventually placed consistently in the ribbons at the AECs at Novice and Training). You can probably expect the price to go up from there with experience and mileage at Training.

                      A good place to start might be the local Pony Clubs. There are almost always college-bound kids selling good-minded horses in the late summer/ early fall around here. Most of them will pack around at least Novice even if they aren't "fancy."


                      • #12
                        i just sold a horse that is your description exactly. 7 yrs old 16.1 did a training level - safe and competitive... but not mind-blowing movement. no nonsense. also foxhunted first flight with green spring hounds. sold him for 9500... he was priced a little under market value, but I needed to move him before I was leaving for Aiken (now I am kicking myself b/c I am not going to Aiken! But better to sell and regret than keep and regret!). This is in MD.


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks for all the input. I'm not looking to buy right now, so those that are flooding my inbox with sale horses...please stop

                          You all have given me quite a bit of info and advice to use. Thanks!
                          I'll be sure to come back with more questions as I have them...lol


                          • #14
                            Generally, you should bookmark your area's eventing site - and meet some trainers in your area - they know of the good horses that are out there. At first things might seem pricey - I know that if a trainer can sell their horse for 20K they will because they are not stupid but sometimes if you find a trainer you like - and lease a horse from them for a while - that trainer can help you find the eventer you want in your price range etc - and with building skills - you might be able to take one slightly greener - get something more talented to go higher - because you have more eventing miles under your belt. And you will also not end up with a horse everyone else knew was a mess - because you will know the community of eventing in your area and be IN it.

                            I would THINK you could either do a lease on a 'packer' - which in my mind is exactly what bornfreenowexpensive described. And Rolex horses can be age 18. You might be the luckiest person in the world to find a lease on a 15 year old eventing schoolmaster..... THAT horse is more likely to have 3 solid phases than the younger one.

                            That said - I agree with the post on the 3 phases - sometimes it is smart to look for a horse that is strong where you are weak. Most experienced Novice event horses usually like to jump or like to please. So unless that is your real big problem - I would really look at the ones that are easier to ride and communicate with in dressage. I have riders who dont have patience with dressage and they pretend to listen to me and seesaw when I turn my back (grumble grumble) - and they usually come home disappointed because they came out of dressage in last and with NO penalities in XC or stadium, the best they got up to was maybe 5th.

                            And it hits home too because one of my horses is an AWESOME jumper - he is AMAZING and yet, he thinks dressage is a timed event. And that is our achilles heel.

                            Generally - for a Novice level horse that is easy to ride and has experience and has the scope to do a little more - I would expect the horse to be in the $6000-15000 depending on the horse's age, breed, movement....
                            Last edited by LaraNSpeedy; Dec. 29, 2012, 05:25 PM. Reason: accidentally pushed send


                            • #15
                              It depends on how fancy. I know of a couple of horses with the attitude and experience you describe in my area (mid Atlantic). 11 year old Tb is $10k and 7 yo WB with potential to go much higher is far more expensive.

                              IMHO if you want an experienced horse to teach you ages 10-15 are perfect, and 17 is better than 4.
                              Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
                              Ms. Brazil