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Is there a market for 15.1hh WB's?

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  • Is there a market for 15.1hh WB's?

    I have a 3 year old warmblood with three quality gaits and a fantastic jump. This horse is sound and very sane, does lead changes in both directions and has plently of step & scope. I don't think she will have any problem jumping 3'6. To ride she doesn't feel like 15.1hh at all (you don't feel like you are posting every 0.02 seconds).

    What should I choose as a career path for her? Childrens hunter?

    Is there a market at all for horses this small?

  • #2
    You are going to hear lots of anecdotal people saying there is a market, but honestly, I think there is not much of one. There is much less discrimination in the eventing world. I would market this horse as an eventer.

    Maybe it's just me, but I have never had anyone interested in paying more than 4 figures for a horse in the 14.2-15.2 range. I'm sure others will disagree.

    If you think it will make up into a $7500 Childrens Hunter, though, and you are willing to let it go for that, I've had success there. But it is expensive to make up a Children's Hunter as they need a show record, and a show record is expensive to put on them.


    • #3
      The biggest market right now is in the dressage world where there are quite a few adult riders that are seeking smaller horses with rideable, but fairly big gaits. In the hunter world, not so much!


      • #4
        At age three she may grow a bit more. Probably not over 16H - but what do you know of her breeding? How big were the parents and perhaps even more tellingly, how big are the horses 2 gens back (grandsires/granddams)?


        • Original Poster

          Both parents are 16.1hh. All horses in her pedigree going back 2 generations are at min, 16hh. She is a late 3 year old so she may grow a bit.


          • #6
            If you are confident she could make it as a 3'6" horse, a solid small junior can be very valuable, but the show miles to get there is expensive and a long road. She will need a BIG step and definitely the scope for the big oxers. As a 3 year old, I'm not sure what to tell you if you are looking to sell her now.


            • #7
              The easiest horse I've sold lately was my 15.1h DWB mare. She has a HUGE step (you have to be mindful of what you're doing to not leave strides out of lines set on a 12' stride), and the scope to do the High Junior/AO Jumpers.

              I thought her size would make her a very difficult sell, but I found a kid who didn't mind her size, as long as she had the step and jump necessary to do the big jumpers. I hadn't yet started advertising and she was sold by word of mouth only shortly after the first show of the year. With that being said, she had a good show record with another kid in the 1.10m jumpers and had proven that she had the step and scope to do a lot more. And size isn't quite as important in the jumpers as it is in the hunters, so take that for what it's worth.

              Anyhow, my girl sold for a decent 5-figure price, but I think I could have asked two or three times more if she'd been 16.3h rather than 15.1h. So I guess my feeling is that I got pretty lucky to stumble across who I stumbled across, but not nearly as many people were turned off by her size as I thought would be. If your mare is really what you say she is (meaning she has a large-for-her-size step), then I don't think it's as much of a detriment as it may have been at the peak of the huge-horse-itis that seemed to hit 5 or 10 years ago. The question if you're aiming her towards the hunter ring is whether she can slowly lope down the lines set on a 12'+ step or whether she'll really have to motor to make it.

              But I also agree with shawneeAcres that there seems to be more of an actual market for smaller horses in the dressage world where people are legitimately looking for a smaller size. The h/j world still seems to be in more of a "will tolerate it" when the horse shows promise rather than a seeking-it-out type of mindset (though there are obviously plenty of exceptions to that rule).

              (As a side note, and FWIW, my mare was 15.1h out of a 16.3h mare and a 16.2h stallion. Her full brother is huge, she just ended up teeny tiny by whatever fluke of genetics and just never grew beyond her 3yo year.....so I certainly don't think that her young age is a guarantee that she'll end up bigger, though it's certainly quite possible).
              Flying F Sport Horses
              Horses in the NW


              • #8
                Are you selling her now, or just trying to figure out where to aim her in the future? I just would think she'll grow, but of course, you never know for sure until it happens. But if she ends up at that tall end of the smalls, so getting toward 15.3, and is a quality horse, she'll sell. I'd love to find something that size -- whenever I'm looking, seems they are all 16.2++.

                On growing -- my boy that is a late 5 year old (born in July) just grew 3/4" over the last two months. Surprised the heck out of me! I only know because I've been monitoring all these measurements for him because he's on a diet. So I sure would expect your 3 year old to grow some over the next couple of years.


                • #9
                  I'm curious on this topic as well - only mine is a 15.1 OTTB, chestnut mare - of course!!!!!!!!

                  "Luckily" for us - we are currently at a dressage barn so we'll get some good instruction going that direction.

                  I got on her for the first time today and she feels much larger than she looks. She's probably the best build horse I've seen, with a fabulous temperament, and lots of chrome. I'm trying not to fall in love - I'm 5'9"!!!!


                  • #10
                    15.1 is tough, but at 3... you might still get a couple more inches.

                    The one I sold last year at WEF was 15.1 as a three year old, and 15.3 on a tall day when I sold him (a couple years later,) and we had quite a lot of interest in him (and he sold at a very decent price.)
                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                    • #11
                      If the horse can honestly chip badly into a 3'6" vertical and still make it down the line to the 3'6" oxer without running hell bent for election, then perhaps you won't have a problem selling. I don't know how, at age 3, you can know that for sure.

                      You will have to make the horse up at some level to prove to buyers that a 15.1 horse can meet this challenge. At age 3, no one is going to believe you.

                      I agree with others though, at age 3 the horse may grow another couple of inches. My current show gelding was 15.2 as a long 3-year-old and he's just a pinch under 16.3 now.


                      • #12
                        The market would be the same as it would be for any other horse that's 15.1.

                        That being said since it's a warmblood, they typically grow until they are five. Stay tuned.
                        Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


                        • #13
                          I agree that she will probably do some growing. My TB mare grew till she was 8. I am not even joking. She had a baby at 3 when she was at a TB breeding farm. I got her as a 5 yr old and she was a little above 15.3, but now she is a around 16.2 maybe just under. She just kept on growing. I always say its because I plan(ed) to sell her and she is trying to become the horse I want. I am 5'8" with long legs so a slab sided TB thats 15.3 looks ridiculous. Well now I do not fit her that bad. She still needs about 200 lbs of fat and muscle to really be filled out(thats another subject) and then I will probably look perfect.

                          recent shot of us:

                          If I was looking at a 15.1 hh horse at 3 and a WB then I would expect it to grow at least a little bit. I wouldn't count on 16 hh, but I have been shocked in the past by some horses late growth. If she makes it to 15.3 hh and has the scope and step to be successful in the small juniors then she would be pricey, BUT at this point I would not pay much for her due to her size and lack of experience.
                          I love cats, I love every single cat....
                          So anyway I am a cat lover
                          And I love to run.


                          • #14
                            Well, I have one right here in my back yard and would love another!

                            That said, though I occasionally dabble in the hunters with my horses, I am primarily a dressage rider. In the dressage/eventing world, there is a very good market for the smaller horse, and I think the comments about the differences in the markets are pretty spot-on. In fact, I acquired my current short WB mare (who has beautiful hunter movement and a textbook jump) for a great price several years ago because she lingered on the market as a hunter prospect.
                            Equinox Equine Massage

                            In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                            -Albert Camus


                            • #15
                              Is there really much that is 15.1 in the small junior ring? I see a lot of 15.3 to 15.3 7/8 with its shoes off (that size is fine value-wise IMO), but 15.1 -- I haven't seen many of those.

                              Good luck, Slow Motion -- sending you growing jingles! I agree that 3 is young and you will hopefully at least get another inch or two on her. Hopefully two, 15.3 is very marketable in hunterland.


                              • #16
                                I am betting the horse will grow as most have said, also if she makes 15.3, which is very possible, how she is built and movement, etc will be a big factor. Though some people refuse to look below say 16.2 there is a market of shorter folks who will be glad to have a shorter horse as long as it can do the job. Isn't Hickstead just barely 16 hh?


                                • #17
                                  Biggest selling obstacle right now is it is 3 and unshown so, regardless of the fact OP thinks it has the step for 3'6"? cannot prove it with a rider down the 13-14' lines on a regular basis even if it was 17.2, just because it's big does not mean it has the step.

                                  Personally, if OP wants to sell in the next year, I'd point it towards Childrens Hunter with the possibility of a move up and get it going in the 2'6" Baby Greens next spring. Get it sold and let the buyer make the decisions. Alternatively, she can keep it 2 more years and go thru to First years and market it then...but that is going to probably cost more then she can realize out of a sale, especially if it is not successful.

                                  Not singling anybody out personally here but...keep reading and hearing all this "plenty of step for 3'6"+ Hunters" but never see anything below 15.3ish in the 3'6" Hunters on a USEF rated level.

                                  Your buyers are going to be as skeptical as I am unless it can be proven. At any age or height.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                  • #18
                                    There's quite a few very nice Dutch Warmbloods of about that size doing horse driving trials (combined driving events).

                                    If she's only 3 though, then she's some more growing to do.


                                    • #19
                                      Same Issue

                                      Interesting thread. I also have a 3-year old WB cross filly on the market right now. She's sitting between 14.3 and 15 hh, and has beautiful expressive gaits. She's dressage bred, but I have had interest from both dressage and hunter riders. She's been on the market for over a year now, and I have had a number of people interested in her, until they ask about her size. My experience has been that height below 16 hh appears to be a show-stopper for a lot of people. Because she's over 14.2 (and still may have some growth in her), she's sort of "tweener" -- not eligible as a pony, but not tall enough for many riders. It has been somewhat of a frustrating experience, as I believe she's got a ton of potential (I know, we all think our homebreds are great, but she really does!). I've dropped the price into the mid-4 figures in hopes that a good young rider or smaller adult amateur might snatch her up and do well with her -- my thoughts (though yet unproven) is that is the best market for the smaller horse.

                                      Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlQWzXNBTJ8


                                      • #20
                                        If she is super fancy and talented and easy she will be worth the same as any other super fancy and talented and easy horse.

                                        If she is not, she will sell for about 50% less than any other horse over 16.2HH comparable to her.


                                        I did hear of one 15 HH (barely) chestnut mare sold this summer to a BNR for $$$$$

                                        But that was a jumper.
                                        When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager