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Pony investment opportunity

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    Pony investment opportunity

    A nice large pony has crossed my path and I'm considering buying her as an investment. She has not shown, but she's bravely jumping around courses with filler and doing auto changes. She measures just under 14.2 straight out of the stall, so she's a great size. She's 10 years old. She was a polo pony, but for whatever reason, didn't work for that job. She's very kind and a kick ride. She has the scope and step, and she's obviously eligible green.

    I'm thinking I could buy her, put a few show miles on her in unrated divisions (I'm not too big), have my daughter show her in the short stirrup a little, and have a very marketable lease pony.

    However, I do not own a farm. So it's a fair amount of risk.

    Any experience or opinions on this?

    She sounds like a wonderful pony. That said, depending on her price, the time it takes to make her up, and, of course C-19, if you are paying board, etc, you could very quickly have quite a bit of money in her you won’t make back.


      Ten is getting up there for a pony with no record.


        Original Poster

        Originally posted by scrbear11 View Post
        Ten is getting up there for a pony with no record.
        And that's why I would lease her out, not sell her. Age is always a heavy consideration to a buyer, but not so much to a lessee.


          Doesn't a lot depend on the specifics? How much would you have to pay for her? How much would board cost? What price would she likely lease out for? Is there a decent market for leases this year given Covid, or would you wait to lease her until next year?

          Also, does your daughter need a pony to ride? If the pony's first job is to be your daughter's show pony for a few years, then it may not matter so much if you don't make money on her in the long run.


            All depends on what the market will bear in your area. A 10 year old former polo pony with no or little show record could still be difficult to lease out especially right now with COVID and with so few shows happening. It'd be one thing if you had your own place so the overhead wasn't that great, quite another when you have to pay board.


              Unless you're independently wealthy, if you don't own your own place and have the capability to do most of the showing/training then getting something that would not be what you'd want for yourself as an "investment" is rarely a good idea.
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                Pony sounds lovely. Might be a good ride for your daughter once she is schooled.

                But the words "pony"/ "horse" and "investment" just don't go together in the same sentence for most of us ammies.

                Sometimes we get lucky and end up with a horse that is worth way more than we put in, for time and board and training. But those situations are flukes and it is very hard for a one horse ammie to replicate that situation deliberately.

                Right now you have a nice pony with some talent but no show experience and no real jumping experience. People pay big money to lease ponies for their children that are proven winners and very safe. They don't pay money to lease the kind of sweet but unproven pony that they could buy cheap themselves. And they often want that pony to be embedded already in the kind of wrap around lessons and training and showing program that will help guarantee their child does well. I don't think a few miles in unrated shows is enough for a big lease fee. Around here that would be a free lease situation.

                A big question is, how much experience do you have in the high priced pony world? Have you participated in creating one of these unicorns? Who is your coach/trainer and have they participated in this process? Has your daughter competed at this level and can she ride well enough to bring in ribbons on a green pony?

                If this is your first foray into this level, I think it will be a learning experience but don't think of it as an investment.

                If you are already playing at this level, then you know the scene better than me but in that case I feel like you wouldn't need to ask this question here


                  The lease fee is typically 1/3 the sale price...of a proven, successful show horse/pony with a record that justifies that annual price tag.

                  I don't think you're going to see a very large annual lease fee on an unproven 10 year old, no matter how nice, even if it has a few miles in short stirrup. Now if it's won for a year or two at short stirrup that's a different story, but again, you have to put a record on it. Which means showing. Which means being able to show (C-19) and investing the money in those shows (and no, one or two shows isn't enough).

                  Also keep in mind that when people lease, it's because they want the opportunity to primarily show something that's ready to go or because they can't afford to buy something of that high a quality. So again, the marketable leases are very successful ponies.

                  I think the age and lack of experience/record works against you just as much in a lease as a sale - if not more, because some people are willing to buy with a minimal record for the right price while those spending an amount worth your while on a lease want something to justify that price.
                  Jennifer Baas
                  It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)


                    Typical lease price is actually half of purchase price nowadays. I'd take the risk on this pony if I had a not too expensive place to board it.
                    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


                      Invest in houses or shares. You can take out a loan if researched thoroughly and is known as a good debt.

                      Never take a loan out on a bad debt. Bad debts are cars, horses, holidays, furniture, etc.

                      Buy the pony, enjoy the pony, don't think about the money you spend as being recovered.
                      It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                        Is the pony currently jumping around with an age and size appropriate kid? Is she either a good mover and good jumper OR safe as all get out? (huge bonus points if both!) Do you or your trainer have pony hunter contacts? Will your daughter benefit from the pony in the meantime?

                        Honestly, if all of these things are a yes then it's about as low risk as you can get for horse investments.
                        Last edited by OnDeck; Jul. 29, 2020, 07:23 PM.


                          I've heard my entire equine career that horses never really net the ROI that people think they will.

                          What's that old saying? "How do you make a million with horses? ... start with two million"


                            Originally posted by Amber_M View Post
                            I've heard my entire equine career that horses never really net the ROI that people think they will.

                            What's that old saying? "How do you make a million with horses? ... start with two million"
                            Don't ever think it's not possible. I bought an unbroke 3 yr old paint mare (I know, not the 10 yr old mare OP discussed) who measured as a large and was an old soul. Easiest horse I ever backed and put a clean lead change on. She went to two local C shows and was sold at the second and went to her new home. I had her less than 14 months, she went barefoot, and lived off the pasture grass at my farm with minimal hay or grain. Bought her for $1,000 and sold her for 15 times that amount. It can be done, and done by an ammy!


                              Originally posted by mbhorse View Post

                              Don't ever think it's not possible. I bought an unbroke 3 yr old paint mare (I know, not the 10 yr old mare OP discussed) who measured as a large and was an old soul. Easiest horse I ever backed and put a clean lead change on. She went to two local C shows and was sold at the second and went to her new home. I had her less than 14 months, she went barefoot, and lived off the pasture grass at my farm with minimal hay or grain. Bought her for $1,000 and sold her for 15 times that amount. It can be done, and done by an ammy!
                              Yes and the next one can be lame the next day. It has a lot to do with luck. Relying on luck is not an investment, it is a gamble.
                              It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                                Originally posted by SuzieQNutter View Post

                                Yes and the next one can be lame the next day. It has a lot to do with luck. Relying on luck is not an investment, it is a gamble.
                                Yes. A pro has the capacity to take this gamble with multiple horses and hope that overall they turn a profit. A pro also does their own training, usually has their horse care arrangements worked out at considerably less cost than the boarder ammie pays, and has ways to get cash out of a project horse like using him in lessons or in house lease, before selling.

                                A one horse ammie might get lucky on one horse but not on the next --- just like a pro. The problem is any given horse can be the money maker or the dud and you don't really know until after the fact.

                                If you want to lease a pony for say $20,000 a year, then it needs a realistic sales price of $60,000. That's a pretty fancy pony. That's not a schooling show cross rails pony. Around here those are $5000 to $10,000 and no one does yearly paid leases on them. Even a $15,000 pony wouldn't really be worth leasing out.


                                  I've done pony hunter resales for over 20 years. There is some good money to be made on them, but I can't imagine trying to make a profit when you don't have your own place, as that greatly cuts into your profit margin. In my opinion, if someone is interested in purchasing an investment pony that is an older pony with no record, that pony needs to have it all - a great jump, a good stride, a good mover and good conformation that will get a piece of the hack and model, good temperament, pretty, and able to take a joke with a kid on their back. My only concern is that you mentioned she is a "push ride." Sometimes, those ponies can be difficult to lease depending on how much push they need around course and you may end up having a pony come back as a stopper.

                                  It's one thing to purchase a pony with the hopes of eventually putting your child on it to show, it's a whole other ballgame when you are looking to purchase a pony to make money on.
                                  Last edited by Daventry; Jul. 30, 2020, 02:21 PM.
                                  Home of Welsh Cob stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                                  Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness


                                    As someone actively leasing - prices are all over the place nowadays. The 1/3 the purchase price does not apply as widely as it did even 5 years ago.

                                    To answer the OP's question: a solid large that you can lease over and over again for SS will bring in a different price than a large that can do the children's division. I don't think I'd want to own the SS Large as an investment right out of the gate. But if it could do the children's and then eventually need to step down and do the SS - sure? Question is - what do you do with the pony when she needs to retire?

                                    And yes it could get hurt and need a retirement sooner rather than later, but you sound horse savvy enough to know that part...


                                      If you do it-don't be like me. Get a fancy pony, own my place so minimal output for the devil, have great trainer, pony is cute as the dickens. Kid falls in love with pony and now----- after serious talk and negotiations (I negotiate with mini terrorists apparently)- pony is staying.......................
                                      Attached Files
                                      Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                                        Or like me, got a horse off the track. Could not come from behind, did not know how to go in a circle, did not know how to go in a straight line.

                                        THE smartest horse I had ever trained, went on the incorrect lead once. I said uh uh, good boy on correct lead and never went off on the incorrect lead again.

                                        One month to the day Mum comes out. Did I get a he is going well comment or anything like that. Nope.

                                        Did get yhat horse should be doing lateral work by now.

                                        What would she know. 4 weeks of being worked 20 minutes a day. SHEESH!

                                        So next day I asked for shoulder in in fitting trot in the middle of a paddock as no arena. He did it. Praise, other way praise hop off.

                                        Next day in sitting trot I asked for travers. He did it. Praise other way praise. Got off.

                                        Next day in sitting trot I asked for half pass. Same thing.

                                        I lay in bed that night thinking how impossible this was. The next day I threw everything at him. Turn on the forehand. Canter half pass. %$$^ it let's try piaffe.

                                        That horse slowed right down and went forward again, without flicking an ear.

                                        I called an instructor as in one month and 4 days that horse had surpassed his rider. He was never sold.
                                        It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.