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Am I kidding myself with my budget?

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  • Am I kidding myself with my budget?

    I've started looking for my next event prospect. I am interested in a young, green TB, don't mind shorties (actually prefer them, my current eventer is a top of the line large pony), no preference on gelding or mare, and have the intention of getting to prelim eventually. I'd like to keep the budget under 5k, but am willing to spend up to 8k for the right horse. I was looking at listings for OTTBs and my coach recommended I also look at horses who have already had downtime off the track.

    Is my budget realistic for a horse who isn't right off the track? I haven't bought a horse in a very long time and never one with these types of requirements. I can technically afford more, but I'm very cautious with spending and like to have a large cushion. From the listings I'm seeing, I'm wondering if my low budget is just wishful thinking. But perhaps the horses who fit my requirements just don't have sale listings up?
    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

  • #2
    I found my current one on the high side of your price range 2 years ago...although it was a situation forces sale type of thing. He's 15.3 but quite talented even though he needed some re-schooling over fences. They are out there but he was not advertised directly, found through my trainer. Good luck!
    No Trouble
    2/2/05 - 7/29/13
    Rest In Peace my quirky brave boy, I will love you forever.


    • #3
      Found my current horse for WELL UNDER your maximum price.

      Canter and LOPE regularly have gorgeous horses for under $2K. If you can't get a wonderful OTTB for less than $2K, you aren't trying. ;-)

      A friend who regularly rides at the 3-star level has never spent more than $2,500 for any of her horses.

      Yes, make sure you get the word out you are looking and don't worry about going through your trainer. I found my current guy because a trainer acquaintance of mine was looking to get rid of a horse with great potential but had no time for him. She called me.


      • #4
        I paid not a lot more for my then 8 year old 16.3 hh, beautiful OTTB who was competing Training, finishing on his dressage score and I think was qualified to move up to prelim (may have needed one more run at Training, I don't remember for sure). He'd been schooled advanced x-country and needed dressage work but was a great mover. I actually bought him as a dressage horse, and only got him for that price because of the situation. He hadn't really been marketed and was the first horse the owner had ever sold, I was riding with the same trainer, and he made it clear he really liked me on trial - plus at the time that was my limit to spend, and increasing as I took longer to buy. The owner didn't need the money but he had been her daughter's horse and the owner was a beginner who just didn't do well on him, and she wanted him to go to a good home where he could be used for his ability.

        So yeah, it may not be easy and obvious, but I most definitely think you can find what you're looking for out there!
        If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


        • #5
          I don't think your budget is unrealistic at all. If you're looking for a young TB that's had enough training under its belt to no longer be considered green, then perhaps. But I think you could find something quite nice within your price range.

          I would look at some of the CANTER listings where the horses have had a few months of under saddle training rather than the ones who are still located at the tracks. Many of the chapters do this... I know Ohio and Mid Antlantic do, for sure. And most of the horses are well under your max prices!


          • #6
            I know of at least 5 or 6 that would fit this criteria that I would buy tomorrow if I didn't a) have to pay board on anything I own and b) have no time to ride. I have bought horses just because they were really cool and immediately leased them out to working students just because I couldn't resist in price ranges from $2k - $6k. I got my current boy with a few weeks of downtime off the track and moved him up to training level in just over a year - and I'm a super busy adult ammy with a time consuming job and during the year also bought a new house and started a new job - so he was amazingly easy. PM me if you want links to specific horses.
            OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


            • #7
              Besides CANTER, New Vocations always has gorgeous horses. I think the only limitation in their contract is that they don't want you to resale for 1 yr. We got a lovely OTTB from After the Races (a Philly Park adoption group) for less than $1K. Full transfer of ownership (although they want 1st right of refusal). Very nice group to work with. Good luck!


              • #8
                Lately I've been tracking down some horses that went through our track listings and are now onto their next careers, and I am actually finding a good number who have been restarted and are for sale in your price range (well, by "good number" I might mean, enough that I have blog material for the next week or so).

                I even found one I think is really really nice (though not sure how much work she's had, but she's at least been hacked around and ridden off the track) in our area for $1K straight from her race trainer. Granted there could be a lot wrong with her but just from the pics, there's something about that one. And one still owned by her race trainer in WV schooling 3' - more of a hunter type, but still in your price range (well, the high end of your price range).

                So they are out there.

                And of course you have folks like us with horses for sale in that price range all the time. But if you're shopping I'm sure you'd like to maximize your options

                It's a small list, but you may want to look at the horse listings on the retired racehorse training project site. There are a few interesting ones (including both the ones I mentioned).
                "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                My CANTER blog.


                • #9
                  There are plenty of re-sellers out here with already some let down and re-start in your price range..where you have the luxory of seeing the horse get ridden and even jump u/s or loose. Bonus of picking from a bigger group of Vets than those limited to going to track. Plus seing the horse not on track gives you better perspective of its true self. You might pay a bit more but you can also see alot more...


                  • #10
                    You're biggest hurdle may be your location. As long as you're willing to travel it shouldn't be too difficult.
                    I saw this gal, looked nice
                    "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"


                    • #11
                      I'd think if you're not married to the idea of a 17h horse your budget is very generous!
                      Click here before you buy.


                      • #12
                        Just one more saying you've got plenty of budget to work with.

                        One of my boarders is shopping with the same sort of budget for a similar type horse, and I have seen some really good looking horses that *I* would have bought several times over if I had the money to pay for two sets of shoes

                        FWIW, two of the nicest horses I've had the pleasure to bring along were both bought for 1k. Each had a little down time off the track. The mare (who move up to prelim with her YR this spring) was basically a blank slate. The gelding (my Vernon, who I took prelim before selling on to be a schoolmaster) kinda sorta knew how to steer, w/t/c (kinda), and was hopping over little baby jumps and hacking out.

                        The deals are out there! Don't limit your search to JUST the OTTB placement organizations (which are great, no doubt!). The above two horses were found while window shopping. The mare on equine.com, Vernon on a local equine classified website. A friend is going to look at a real interesting looking guy that she found on Craigslist.
                        Last edited by yellowbritches; Apr. 3, 2013, 08:15 PM. Reason: spelling


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks for all the replies! And thank you those those who have PMed me helpful links. I am not opposed to traveling and actually expect I will have to.

                          Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                          I'd think if you're not married to the idea of a 17h horse your budget is very generous!
                          Oh god, no! Quite the opposite actually. I'm bad and tend to ignore ads where the horse is over 16.2. I keep getting distracted by the little ones and ponies!
                          "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


                          • #14
                            mg, I've seen LOTS of great 16 and under critters recently. They're my preferred size, too, so I always note them. Good luck!


                            • #15
                              I have 3 tb mares on the giveaways forum that I would love to place into an eventing home but no one is inquiring on them except beginners.
                              Derby Lyn Farms Website

                              Derby Lyn Farms on Facebook!


                              • #16
                                I'd think if you're not married to the idea of a 17h horse your budget is very generous!
                                Totally agree. My new little TB is fabulous, 15.3 at 5 years and beautiful mover. She's never raced. We have a local breeder who is breeding TBs for sport and doesn't race them at all. So they're started right, at 4, and my girl as a five year old with 4 months professional training from my own trainer, was exactly 5k.

                                This is HIGH for a baby TB, but the point was that I was able to buy from my own trainer - she'd already gone through several of these horses, and this is the one she wanted for me. So I don't mind paying a premium for having had her filter through any that are unsound (there weren't any of those!), ones that are lazy or slow or too big, or more of a hunter ...

                                The real hurdle with buying TBs is to find the right source. When we'd been looking around at other track or reseller sources, we found that consistently, any eventer type trainer was filtering through the horses and keeping the best for themselves, or for their own students. Of course. Who wouldn't ? So you need to track down someone whose heart and earning potential is in reselling, and not in eventing.

                                There's a place called 3 plain bays or something similar that tends to come up as thoroughly reputable with lots of satisfied clients.


                                • #17
                                  I got my OTTB free, picked him up from the racetrack
                                  ride like you have never ate the dirt


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Derby Lyn Farms View Post
                                    I have 3 tb mares on the giveaways forum that I would love to place into an eventing home but no one is inquiring on them except beginners.
                                    I PMd you


                                    • #19
                                      Green and short? You've got plenty!
                                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


                                      • #20
                                        we've got two! A 3yr old and a 6yr old, both on the smaller side, both great event prospects, so that is definitely workable. In fact, the shorter ones are easier to find for cheap because there isn't much of a market for small, green, thoroughbreds
                                        "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline