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Trading horses? Good alternative to selling?

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  • Trading horses? Good alternative to selling?

    I've bought and sold several horses over the past few years, but I currently have a horse for sale and am not getting any bites on him. I would prefer to sell him, as I am (hopefully) going to graduate school in August. However, he's a little older (14), a little difficult to ride, and has not competed prelim yet (because I'm scared of it).

    Would trading someone for a less complicated horse be an alternative to trying to sell mine? (I've already lowered his price from $15,000 to $9,000 obo and have told several people I would take $5,000 to the right home)
    I'd love any thoughts on the matter.
    Yes, I ride a pony. No, he would not be ideal for your child. No, he is not a re-sale project...

  • #2
    We tried this with no success. The thing we found out that just as there is a reason we were getting rid of our horse, there was usually a pretty good reason for the other people getting rid of their's. It just never, ever worked out, for multiple reasons (including people totally disregarding what we would trade for and asking us if we'd trade for yearlings!!!).

    I have heard of it working, but I don't know how common it is for being successful.


    • #3
      I have a success story in trading. I had a 5 year old fjord gelding ready to show, but still green. Had him for a year and never even really got bites on him. I was contacted by a woman that had a cute 9 year old APHA that was coursing at 3'3" easy ride but had a spook that scared her. She drove the 5 hours to our place with her horse, we rode each others, and she left with the fjord. I sold the APHA within 2 months for more then I was asking for the fjord, and the fjord is just the love of her life. Neither one of us vetted and were very upfront about any issues that the horses had. Turns out the APHA doesn't really have a spook so much as he's cheeky but he will escalate if you don't nail him on it. The fjord is trail riding and getting tons of love and attention. Worked out for both of us, but I have heard horror stories.


      • #4
        I have traded a horse. Basically traded up, so it was a bit like trading in a car at a dealership. I used my horse as part of the payment and then put some money in on top.

        Another girl in my barn just did the same thing. But both of us traded our horses to trainers who are basically sale barns. I think the way to make a trade work it has to be through that kind of situation. The person you trade to has to have lots of horses to sell and know their market so they can sell your traded horse.

        Honestly I was very happy with my trade. I had 8 great years with him until he died at 18. While the horse I traded him for was 2 years of heart break.
        "Half the failures in life result from pulling in one's horse when it is leaping."



        • #5
          The best kind of trade is where each person feels like they got the better part of the deal.

          I traded to get my current horse. I had my mare priced at $25k, and the horse I have now was priced at $10k. My mare was very talented but not the right horse for me, and my new horse was older and had been out of work for almost two years, but he had a VERY impressive show record from prior to his time off, so I knew he had ability, would just need some work.

          I looked at the deal and decided that getting a horse who was more suitable for me (size and temperment) that I could get back in the show ring and thus eventually increase his value, was worth the time and work versus waiting god knows how long until my horse sold, and having an unsuitable horse that whole time.

          It's worked out great for both parties - the trainer who got my mare sold her to a family (not sure of the price but she was very happy with the deal) and my new horse has been a wonderful addition to my life. He's taught me a lot and helped me get my confidence back, and I was able to get back in the show ring under saddle last summer.

          So to me, the $15,000 difference has been insignificant. He is now probably worth at least the $25k that I had the mare priced at, plus he's done wonders for ME. That is priceless!


          • #6
            I have traded twicein the past few years...

            one was a large childrens pony mare for a small childrens pony gelding. I actually contacted the other person just from a for sale/trade on a horse selling website. Her student needed a large and my friend needed a small for her daughter. The trade was made at my farm and everybody rode both ponies, told of good and bad habits, etc. and then traded. It has been great for both of the girls.
            I made another trade with the same barn owner/trainer later the same year. I had a very fancy rocky rabbit filly that I had bred and my friends tiny 16 year daughter and I broke her. They moved and I did not have anyone else of size and skill to keep bringing her along. The other person had a large mare she could not get sold because the pony had some issues on the flat, but loved to jump. We traded the same way as above and my filly got a great home and now I see is excelling on the A circuit. The llarge pony was my 3 foot jumper project lst year and I am now fox hunting her. I would not trade her for the world.

            If you find the right owner and horse it can be really great for everyone involved.


            • #7
              Trading worked for me :-)

              I had some great luck in simply trading vs. selling 2 horses. First was an OTTB who was super easy, fun and vetted clean, but he never could stay sound for jumping. I had a friend who trail rode him with me several times and was fully aware of his issues. She ended up taking him as an occasional trail horse and I took her 3 yr old appendix mare who wasn't steady enough for her yet. I had a great home for my guy and she got a steady-eddy trail horse.

              The appendix mare was a cute horse, but didn't have the scope to really be interesting for me. I rode her for a year and put lots of miles on her and then I had her listed for sale. I ended up being contacted by a girl who wanted to trade for her young, hotter Tb mare. We ended up trading and I now have a scopey, beautiful mover of a TB with a bunch of potential. The girl is thrilled to death with the now 4 yr old appendix, they are planning to show training level dressage and 2' hunters next spring. Once again a great home for the appendix and I got a really neat horse.

              It has worked out for me as everyone has always been very honest about why they are trading and we are all comfortable with the deal before it is made. I think it was also important that everyone truly cared for their horses and we were always just trying to find the best match for the horse. A little bit here or there on price really doesn't matter that much if it is a good match.


              • #8
                Hey Quiterandom....
                Do I know you? haha
                Ummm we have a great two year old we'll be happy to trade for you're way too scopey horse You know that we've had one person trade well for a new horse.... But it's risky for sure!

                Seriously, do you want a 2 year old... he's super nice and quiet, half brother to a super nice fox hunter!


                • #9
                  I traded my first horse for my mare that I still have to this day (have had her for 9 years now). My gelding was not wanting to jump as high as I was wanting to go and I was ready to move on to bigger and better things. The lady who was selling the mare needed a good school horse and the mare was not that. She was too high strung for young kids but was extremely athletic. We decided to trade and the gelding did wonderfully at her place where he stayed until he passed away at the age of 24. My mare has done wonderfully and was able to take me on to bigger and better things. Now at the age of 18 with arthritis and really unable to work much, she has been turned into a brood mare and proving herself there as well!!! Good luck to you!! Hopefully if you do decide to trade it works out well for you!


                  • #10
                    ditto on the trade working if both people feel they got the best out of it -- I have a friend who traded a quiet mare who was not all that athletic for a really nice gelding who was TOO much for his owner. My friend has a great horse that can do whatever she wants, and she can handle his airs above the ground. The other woman has a horse she can comfortably enjoy.
                    The big man -- my lost prince

                    The little brother, now my main man


                    • #11
                      I did a greaat trade as well, traded my mare for a nice pony for my daughter. we didn't do the vettings, were very honest and up front. They got wonderful appendix crosses out of my mare and I got a great pony for my daughter.


                      • #12

                        I've done a trade once, over four years ago now. I ended up getting two OTTBs, one of which I had to re-home about six months after due to unforeseen financial circumstances, and one of which that I still have and is definitely in my barn and heart for life. For a long time I missed the horse that I had traded (and sometimes still do), but the one OTTB I got is very precious to me and I wouldn't trade her for anything. She's far from 'perfect' but she was much more suitable for me at the time and I've grown to love even her silliest quirks.

                        I would have to say that I would do a trade again, if the opportunity ever came up and it was (again) a better match for the parties involved.