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Sporthorse sale spinoff: Won't parents still buy???

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  • Sporthorse sale spinoff: Won't parents still buy???

    I fell into an intriguing observation speaking with the owner of Lands End The Colonel's Fox. Please let me describe it so I can put the question I have in context. A son of The Colonel -- the dam was a bit common and it shows, but otherwise although he's quite green, his temperament is awesome and he's got movement and autoswap -- is selling in the "dreaded" price range where everyone has been saying nothing is moving...in a part of the country flooded with show ponies. And he's never set foot in the show ring...and there's no connection (family, friend, etc.) between seller and buyer.

    So why's it happening?

    Here's what I'm wondering. You've got an under-ten-year-old child. That child isn't going to be "that child" forever. Are you going to WAIT for your financial situation to become more stable before getting that child the pony or horse of his or her dreams? I suspect you'd hold off for yourself, but will you hold off (are you holding off) on your kids?????

    I dunno. This Colonel son's situation seems to imply that there may still be a market...for the children. What do you think?
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

  • #2
    Originally posted by pwynnnorman View Post

    Here's what I'm wondering. You've got an under-ten-year-old child. That child isn't going to be "that child" forever. Are you going to WAIT for your financial situation to become more stable before getting that child the pony or horse of his or her dreams? I suspect you'd hold off for yourself, but will you hold off (are you holding off) on your kids?????
    There are always going to be the buyers out there where dropping high 5 / low 6 figures on a horse or pony is no big deal, but I have to think they are the exception and not the rule.

    However, I believe that for most people, in these economic times, that when it comes down to either funding their 401K or IRA or 529 account, or buying their little precious the pony of their dreams, the pony is going to lose out. Frankly, unless they had unlimited income (as some in this horse world do) it would be financially irresponsible to do otherwise. But again, that's JMO. There will always be adults out there that will jeopardize their own financial future in order to make sure that their kid has everything that they want.

    Comment


    • #3
      I am also unsure what you are asking? It sounds to me like you are suggesting that parents should put themselves into a financially risky situation in order to make their children happy by buying them a pony - since, you know, your child won't be a cute little impressionable child forever. I can't support that. As a trainer, I have customers at this moment that I would love to have purchase something for their little riders. This *is* a great time to buy, and as trainer, I have made that clear. However, if they say to me that it is just not possible right now, then I back off. For my people who are in this situation, I've let them know to keep me updated if anything changes and that I will let them know if I see any spectacular deals that they might want to know about, and everyone is happy - well, maybe not the kids, but being financially responsible is not something they understand yet, especially the ones who are used to getting everything they want. I do not expect any parent to put themselves in a worse spot than they are currently in just to have their child happy and showing. If they choose to purchase at this time, I wouldn't question their finances or stop them, but I also would not pressure anyone who balks.

      Personally, I am hoping that within the next year a very special time comes to pass... a time when people start to see a little more financial security in their future and therefore start purchasing these lower-priced ponies/horses again. The critters will still have appealing price tags, and with a little more cash exchanging hands, people may be apt to snatch up some deals. Might not happen, but I'm hoping.
      ...for there are wings on these hooves, the speed and power of foam-capped waves...
      *~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*~v~*
      Proud member of the artists clique

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      • #4
        "Nothing selling" is a relative term. In this case, it could mean that the buyers chose a less expensive/greener pony than they might otherwise have purchased, or it might just mean the child fell in love and the parents were not in the kind of financial jeopardy that is affecting so many others. My trainer in FL has sold quite a few horses at WEF this year, in a variety of price ranges. Things are moving, but generally it is slower than in years past.
        **********
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
        -PaulaEdwina

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        • #5
          Personally I would rather ensure my children have a roof over their head then a horse or pony in the barn.

          Also I find nothing wrong if they currently have to wait. Believe it or not there are plenty of "gasp" school horses still left in this world. I grew up on school horses and didn't get my own horse till I was 16 and had a job.

          While I would love to give my son his pony and our baby a pony when he's old enough, and not make them wait like I had to. I certainly don't resent having to wait till I could pay for them myself (care, show, and vet). In fact I find that it makes it easier to balance my financial responsibilities to my horses because I always had to. My friends who had their ponies handed to them and all their showing paid for are now at a lost and have no since of priorities, their horses suffer and their children suffer. ( and I am not saying this is the norm, just what I have experienced)

          I personally find that there are far more important things in life and my childrens welfare will always come before horses.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm not totally sure about the question either..... I took it to be pretty much what GreystoneKC outlined - and I feel the same. I wouldn't be dropping big bucks on a pony right now if my kids were still pony age/size. Of course, I didn't do that when my kids were into ponies

            I can say that as a parent, I recently moved heaven and earth to buy my #2 daughter's horse at a time when I really wasn't in the best position to do so. Granted, his price was very low and there's no way she's going to outgrow him. In a better economy & better place, he's probably worth a good bit more than I paid: he has loads of experience, a great temperament, is an uncomplicated ride, and doesn't know the meaning of the word 'stop'. However, he is a bit older, not the fanciest thing, and not an easy keeper. I think that because of the current economic climate, those things made his price drop.

            I would think that in 'these times' a pony needs to have experience and be fancy to be guaranteed a higher price tag in a market that has lots of ponies to offer.
            Y'all ain't right!

            Comment


            • #7
              With the new tax plan that will take over very few people will be buying ponies for their children. Most of those starting out are HENRY's(High Earners Not Rich Yet) in the 300,000 income bracket. When they are taxed like an ARod or Oprah their discretionary income is gone. They can pay bills but the money for luxuries is gone. In this industry I do believe trickle down worked but I doubt trickle up will. The 3 girls looking for ponies in our barn are now in tennis and gymnastics. Not many people buy a fancy pony to ride around at home. The cost of showing on top of everything else takes discretionary income. Maybe Nancy Pelosi will start a ponies for kids stimulus plan.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by phoenix mom View Post
                With the new tax plan that will take over very few people will be buying ponies for their children. Most of those starting out are HENRY's(High Earners Not Rich Yet) in the 300,000 income bracket. When they are taxed like an ARod or Oprah their discretionary income is gone. They can pay bills but the money for luxuries is gone. In this industry I do believe trickle down worked but I doubt trickle up will. The 3 girls looking for ponies in our barn are now in tennis and gymnastics. Not many people buy a fancy pony to ride around at home. The cost of showing on top of everything else takes discretionary income. Maybe Nancy Pelosi will start a ponies for kids stimulus plan.
                That would be nice we're always the last ones to get thought of though! Most people think were rich already because we are involved with horses!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nope, I am that parent and we arent' buying. Daughter was going to get her horse this Spring. Not anymore. Dad owns his own business and is trying not to lay any employees off so he's bringing home less cash. There goes our board money. Luckily she has been offered a very nice horse that needed excercise to ride and use in Pony Club. This has been a win/win for us because she is getting the saddle time and their horse is staying fit. She is still taking lessons with her regular trainer and will continue to event with that barn but it will be on one of the school horses again this year. She is disappointed but she understands, she sees the news.

                  Would I like to buy her a horse? Heck yeah! Especially now when we've been offered some practically for free but she has two sisters with their own interests and it isn't fair to divert all of our discretionary income to one child's hobby.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If your discretionary income (translate- horse buying, showing, etc.) is tied to the stock market, then there's one answer. Blue chip stocks that once paid good dividends and were sold for nice gains (again- translate- maybe I WILL buy that horse)have cut dividends and tanked in price.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was blessed as a child; especially being an only child for 9 years. Anyway, my parents(especially my father) realized from a very young age that riding/horses is the one thing I love. I mean yes I did try other sports but always always diverted back to horses. As a soon to be college student who just bought her first horse(well when I say first horse, the first one that I've purchased myself) my father just announced this week that he's planning on taking over board while I'm in school. I guess those are my two 'sports' riding and school. heh.

                      Anyway I suppose my point is that there are some parents out there that will do whatever possible within their means/reason to make their child happy. Whether it's buying them a horse, even one that will have to last them a long time, finding a nice schoolie for them to use or maybe attempting to finance a lease. The back story to my dad's enduring support is a long one, so I'll spare you the details however I really don't know what I'd do without my dad, he's my best friend.
                      I know now, the place that I was trying to reach, was you, right here in front of me

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't quite understand the question. But I think there are plenty of ways to make a child feel loved and good about herself that does not require a pony so expensive that it puts her family's finances in jeopardy.

                        I hated it that my family refused to put more money into my riding than a set of 10 lessons or so each birthday. They were wrong and abusive... forcing me to work for others, ride "the bad ones" and thereby learn a lot.

                        They turned out to be less abusive when it came time for me to go to college. I was given a spectacular undergraduate education with no debt.

                        I thank my family for my "real" and horse education all at the same time. I also thank them for teaching me how to be a financially responsible adult.

                        So I genuinely hope that our current economic crisis brings the price of ponies and showing down. If not, perhaps there is still a benefit: Kids will go back to doing the more modest but involved kind of riding people like me did when we were young.
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ponies are still selling in my region for a good price, at least IME. They seem to sell easier than a horse priced in the same bracket.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ponies are still selling, in all price ranges and types, just not as easily or quickly as they were 4 or 5 years ago. I think it's just the luck of the draw if you get one sold right now. Right kid, right pony, right price range.

                            I need a short stirrup pony for my older daughter, but I'm not buying one right now, at any price. She's going to have to make due with riding and showing the school ponies until she's ready for the pony I am making up for her. Last year I would have thought nothing of buying her a second pony.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here's what I'm wondering. You've got an under-ten-year-old child. That child isn't going to be "that child" forever. Are you going to WAIT for your financial situation to become more stable before getting that child the pony or horse of his or her dreams? I suspect you'd hold off for yourself, but will you hold off (are you holding off) on your kids?????
                              I would ABSOLUTELY wait. I don't have children, but there wouldn't be a thought in my head about spending mid-five figures and up on a fancy pony while the rest of the family is unstable, just so my kid could have the "pony of her dreams." Frankly, for most children, ANY pony is the pony of their dreams. I'd rather see to it that I can afford her education.

                              That's not to say that there will be no market - there will always be something of a market - it just may not be what it was in years past. Most average folks have different priorities than they did a few years ago when credit was so generous. Parents will need to learn to say no to things that they genuinely can't afford: like an expensive pony and dropping thousands per weekend on one child's hobby. Children will adapt.
                              ---
                              They're small hearts.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Why does buying your kid a horse/pony mean you have to spend more than $10,000? Seriously. Unless your kid is a phenomenal rider and planning to make horses a career, there isn't any point spending that much money on a pony/horse.

                                My kid is 8, she's not showing at any rated shows but spending a lot of time hacking around and trail riding and just having fun. She's having fun showing a small barn shows and loving the heck out of her 22-year-old Appy. Who was free because he isn't flashy and isn't a "show horse." But he is perfect for her, quiet, compliant and experienced. I could not have bought a better first horse for her and she absolutely adores him. She doesn't care that he has no pedigree to speak of, he definitely doesn't autoswap and most certainly isn't the fanciest horse out there.

                                He IS the horse of her dreams. Dream horses need not be pricey, they just need to be safe. Most little girls don't care about the price tag, they care about the animal.

                                He's safe and she loves him. What more do you need? When she becomes a better rider and maybe expresses a desire to ride in bigger, better shows, then we'll consider a horse better suited for that purpose. But for now, she'll plod around on her plug, feed him carrots like they are going out of style, share her secrets with him, whisper sweet nothings in his fuzzy ears and be blissfully unaware that he isn't as good as a pedigreed pony because he wasn't expensive and isn't "fancy."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by GreystoneKC View Post
                                  I am also unsure what you are asking? It sounds to me like you are suggesting that parents should put themselves into a financially risky situation in order to make their children happy by buying them a pony - since, you know, your child won't be a cute little impressionable child forever. I can't support that. .

                                  Also not completely clear on the question but I agree with the above. I hope parents won't put themselves at risk just to buy a pony for their little kids. That's ridiculous and I really hope the current economy has knocked more sense then that into people.

                                  I was a lucky kid and had many horses/ponies growing up but only b/c my dad COULD afford it. It wasn't a big deal for him to write a check for the mid to high five figures and the only restriction was that I couldn't have more then two boarded at one time.

                                  Flash forward to this economy and Dad (who owns his own international corporation and still supports my horses) would never be that free with that type of cash regardless of my age . He pays for my college and my two horses board and I couldn't be more grateful but even he commented that he was glad I was showing back then and not now b/c it probably wouldn't be feasible.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Well, I'm not completely clear on what the question was either!

                                    I guess I didn't really mean it to be a social one, though. I think I meant an economic one. And I definitely wasn't thinking that the pony (of any cost, not just the price range in my example) would represent the difference between the kid going to college or not.

                                    I don't have a good feel for this, frankly, which is why I was curious about it. I'm in lala land, unable to work because I have to care for my father. But I have friends with solid jobs who aren't into the stock market and have a couple decades before they retire, so their retirement funds aren't troubling them. On the other hand, I also have a friend in Michigan who is telling me to sell or give away everything because the world as we know it is coming to an end--and the scary thing about THAT is that she's an MBA and deep into the financial market stuff.

                                    So, anyway, it seems to me that about 70% of the folks who've responded so far has responded in terms of social philosophy (for lack of a better term), and their own specifically. I agree you with folks wholeheartedly in terms of my personal perspective...but that's not the perspective I'm wondering about. I, too, have heard of things selling (my Michigan friend is adamant that NOTHING is selling--not horses, not cars, not houses, not whole wheat bread...).

                                    Maybe what my question shoudl have been was "Are there still people who will risk financial hardship to buy their child a pony, for the child's sake?" I now use the word "risk" in order to distinguish those folks from people in the financial position where they wouldn't risk hardship, but rather would create hardship. I can see where anyone buying anything that's both expensive AND unnecessary is taking a risk in today's climate. But, like my Michigan friend vs. others, not everyone reacts to risk the same way, right?

                                    Again, I'm just curious--and intrigued by the discussion!

                                    Edited to add:
                                    Most of those starting out are HENRY's(High Earners Not Rich Yet) in the 300,000 income bracket. When they are taxed like an ARod or Oprah their discretionary income is gone. They can pay bills but the money for luxuries is gone. In this industry I do believe trickle down worked but I doubt trickle up will.
                                    Phoenix Mom, I actually wondered about that, too...and phrased it almost exactly like you did, but with respect to my business, when I went to the Obama administration's website to log my question before that online townhall he had last week. I put my question in the context that 99.999 percent of my industry survives off of trickle DOWN, not trickle up, so I wanted to know how his plans reconciled those two economic theories, especially since more (??) businesses orient themselves around the former, not the latter.
                                    Sportponies Unlimited
                                    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Where the cost of the pony may not stop someone the maintenance of that pony will stop people. Horses are an on going luxury that creates a monthly outlay of money. That is the problem. There are free ponies out there that would love a little girl of their own and they can't find homes so I don't see people buying a pony to please a child. If cap and trade goes through a bale of hay will cost a days income. The uber rich will still be buying luxuries for their kids but the other horse buyers will find other things to get their children involved in that don't require a large monthly outlay. I read that dog and cat showing is on the upswing!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by phoenix mom View Post
                                        With the new tax plan that will take over very few people will be buying ponies for their children. Most of those starting out are HENRY's(High Earners Not Rich Yet) in the 300,000 income bracket. When they are taxed like an ARod or Oprah their discretionary income is gone. They can pay bills but the money for luxuries is gone.
                                        I am not sure if I want to laugh or cry at this statement. You mean that extra 4% on their income over 250k is going to break them? You are telling me that an extra $2000 over a years time will keep someone with a 300k annual income from buying a pony?

                                        WOW.
                                        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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