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To Sell or Not to Sell? To Reduce Price or not to Reduce Price?

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  • To Sell or Not to Sell? To Reduce Price or not to Reduce Price?

    Okay, I need some advice and yes, I’m using an alter.

    This situation has been brewing for some time now and I don’t know where to turn. Obviously our trainer is involved but I need a second opinion from other, experienced H/J folks.

    Here’s the history… my questions are at the end.

    DD is 14 and has an 8 year old Hanoverian that is her Hunter/EQ partner. She also has a 20 year old Thoroughbred that is her Jumper partner.

    Last summer DD’s Hunter/Eq horse got an abscess just after he turned 7. He’s never been lame a day since we got him 3 ½ years ago as a 4-year old. It was a nasty abscess – we thought it went away and then it returned with a vengeance. After it was all said and done, he was out of commission for approximately 6-8 weeks.

    While he was out of commission, DD was riding her Jumper and realized that discipline is where her heart is long term.

    Out of the blue, shortly after her Hunter/Eq horse returned to work late last summer, our trainer suggested we put him on the market and consider another horse in the barn that was for sale. After the idea sunk in and DD shed some tears and did some soul searching, DD decided that’s what she wanted to do so we put her boy on the market. DD understood that the only way we could buy the other horse was if her horse was sold. We discussed what would happen if things didn’t work out with the other horse and she said she still wanted to move forward and sell her horse regardless.

    A few weeks later he was lame again. Lots of lameness exams, blocks, x-rays etc… later the vet determined that her horse needed to have his hocks injected. Side note: during the x-ray, a bone spur on his navicular was discovered – same foot as the abscess. It was not there when we did his pre-purchase exam. Vet is a very well respected sport horse vet and explained to me that her horse does not have navicular. He determined that her horse’s lameness was because he was sore in his hocks and therefore displaced his weight to the front which aggravated the bone spur. Horse got hock injections and a series of Adequan injections and has been sound since. Vet wants us to maintain him with monthly Adequan injections and do his hocks again this summer. He said there is no height limit to what DD can do with him and if he were to do a pre-purchase exam on her horse, he would pass. We also put back shoes on him recently.

    Yes, DD wants to do Jumpers but even if her horse sells tomorrow, she still wants to finish her Hunter/Eq career. Her Thoroughbred will teach her what she needs to know about Jumpers in the meantime and she is content with that. Due to his age, we limit his shows and cap him at 2’6”. I wish he were 10 years younger because he's quiet competitive and loves his job.

    DD’s Hunter/Eq horse is priced at $25,000 – as per our trainer’s recommendation.

    As we all know, the market is weak. There are other horses for sale in our barn and our trainer gets calls all the time from people who want a been-there-done-that-proven winner-packer-less than 10 years old for $5,000 or less.

    Her horse has an extremely floaty trot that is bouncy and takes some getting used to. He’s very cute, a beautiful mover, consistent, brave and honest to the jumps; however, he jumps flat – he doesn’t get round. No matter how many gymnastics they do, he can’t… it’s just not in his confirmation. She competes on the local circuit and he’s been very competitive – both as a Hunter as well as an Eq mount. He only had 30 days under saddle when we bought him and we all take great pride in the fact that she’s brought him along to where he is today. He’s taken her from SS to 3’0” (they are schooling 3’6” at home). He’s a great confidence builder and would be a great packer.

    Part of me wonders if he’s overpriced. I know how the market is and he’s not “maintenance free”.

    Question #1: What do you think about a horse with his resume with a bone spur on his navicular? Is it a deal breaker? How about the fact that with proper maintenance, he’s fine.

    Question #2: If we drop his price, what do we drop it to? And, if we drop it, are we opening the door to people who don’t want to pay a lot upfront and therefore won’t be able to afford his maintenance?

    Question #3: How do I attract the right buyer that will be able to afford to maintain him? Keep him price at $25,000 and when we find the “right” buyer, work out a deal?

    He’s our baby and we want what’s best for him. We want him to go to a home where he’ll be loved and taken care of. Otherwise, no deal.

    If we drop his price and he does sell, once you back out commission on him and new horse as well as a pre-purchase exam, then we have a small budget to work with so we’d be looking at something pretty green and she’d have to start over when she really needs to be doing Children’s and her age EQ and eventually Juniors.

    Question #4: Since DD wants to finish her Hunter/Eq career anyway, should we even bother trying to sell him right now or just keep him since he’s more than capable – minus getting round over the jumps.

    Please know that DD and I have already discussed the fact that given his situation and the market, it’s probably going to take a long time to get him sold and she’s okay with that and if it’s years from now and she’s finished her Hunter/Eq career and he still hasn’t sold, she’s okay with that too. If we keep him forever, then so be it and she’ll get a green-bean Jumper prospect while she’s in college and bring him along. DD is pretty mature for her age and has said to me “I have the rest of my life to do Jumpers”.

    I'm sorry this was so long - I just wanted to give you all the facts.

    Thank you in advance to those who take the time to read and to those who respond.

  • #2
    If she wants to finish her hunter/eq career and you already own a horse that is a suitable partner I'm not sure why you would sell him in the first place. Was the plan to sell him then buy another (fancier, -insert adjective here-,etc) hunter/eq horse?

    Sorry, I read your post but at first I thought you were going to sell him and buy a jumper but then you said she wants to finish her hunter/eq career so I'm a little confused.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I know... it's confusing... sorry about that.

      Even though her heart is ultimately set on competing as a Jumper, before she's ready to compete in Big Jumpers, she wants to learn how to do the height/find the distances as a Hunter. She's doesn't want to go into the 3'6" Jumper ring when she's still learning how to do that height as a Hunter - does that make sense?

      Say she sells her horse tomorrow and finds a bonafide Jumper. She wants to show it as a Hunter/Eq horse first before moving over officially to Jumpers in a few years.

      At the time our trainer suggested selling her horse, things were a lot different. Since that time, the other horse sold and we experienced the lameness issues and the market went further down the toilet.

      I'm trying to sort through everything and was hoping you guys would help walk me through it! Sometimes I can't see the forrest for the trees! LOL

      Comment


      • #4
        It's hard to say without seeing photos/video and without knowing the market in your area, but IMO it sounds like this horse is overpriced. I have a horse that sounds a bit like yours but DOES jump round and DOESN'T have the soundness issues, and he's priced lower than yours - and guess what? Not sold yet, and we keep dropping the price lower and lower!

        If your daughter is cool with not going into the jumper ring immediately, why not keep this horse as an Eq horse for her and set the goal of moving up to the 3'6" equitation? In the eq ring, it's an advantage if the horse jumps flat, and the big eq is great prep for a rider's future career in the jumpers.
        Ristra Ranch Equestrian Jewelry

        Comment


        • #5
          Is there any chance you could keep the current horse (even if you leave him on the market, just in case the right buyer comes along) and focus on moving up in the equitation on him, with the goal of moving HIM into the jumpers?

          If he doesn't jump round enough to be truly competitive in the hunters, it may be more fun for your DD to do him in the jumpers anyway, particularly if she is focused on doing equitation and really learning the ropes properly right now. Jumpers are a great division to add to an eq horse's resume - so ultimately you may find he is a lot more valuable as a made up Medals or USET horse, particularly if he learns to do the water well.
          **********
          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
          -PaulaEdwina

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree that if your daughter still wants to do the hunters and the eq, and the current horse is suitable, that you might as well keep him. I don't really see why you are trying to sell him anyway, since your daughter is not yet ready to move on.

            As Lucas pointed out, there is no reason why your current horse can't cross over and show in a few lower level jumper classes. Since he jumps flat and is brave and easy, it may well be that his real market will eventually be as an eq horse. Those horses should be able to go in any ring. And it will be nice for your daughter to get mileage on a horse she already knows well.

            Depending on how fancy your horse is, the price sounds like it may be appropriate (depending on where you live). If he is nice enough to get ribbons at the rated shows, I would think it is about right, as long as the horse passes a vet check despite the spur (as your vet said he should). Doesn't necessarily mean that you will get it right now, though. I would leave the price at a level you think is fair, and just let DD continue to show the horse and let the chips fall where they may. No need for a fire sale.
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
              Is there any chance you could keep the current horse (even if you leave him on the market, just in case the right buyer comes along) and focus on moving up in the equitation on him, with the goal of moving HIM into the jumpers?
              Oh, how I wish. At least once a week I say "if only he was a Jumper". DD's horse is a bonafide Hunter, through-and-through. There is not a Jumper-bone in that boy's body.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
                I agree that if your daughter still wants to do the hunters and the eq, and the current horse is suitable, that you might as well keep him. I don't really see why you are trying to sell him anyway, since your daughter is not yet ready to move on...

                ...I would leave the price at a level you think is fair, and just let DD continue to show the horse and let the chips fall where they may. No need for a fire sale.
                Wolf, that's kind of where I'm at. I believe things happen for a reason. If the "right" buyer comes along, then so be it. Definitely no need for a fire sale. Especially since she can continue to progress and move up and accomplish her current goals with him.

                We made the decision to sell him based on our trainer's suggestion last summer - she's the pro and we trust her opinion a lot. Since then, things have changed... the other horse she wanted us to buy has since been sold, we experienced the lameness issues and the market went further down the toilet.

                I am just afraid I'm "barn blind" (I think that's the expression) as far as his price is concerned - even though our trainer still believes it's reasonable.

                Thank you to everyone for your time and opinions. I appreciate it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Names Changed to Protect the Innocent View Post
                  Oh, how I wish. At least once a week I say "if only he was a Jumper". DD's horse is a bonafide Hunter, through-and-through. There is not a Jumper-bone in that boy's body.
                  Except he jumps flat.

                  Not sure why he could not be a jumper, unless he doesn't jump clean or totally lacks a motor. In that case he doesn't belong in the hunter ring either.

                  Thing is you have a unsound horse. Unless he is fabulously outstanding you will have a hard time selling a lame horse. You are either going to have to make due with what you have, or drop the price. I suppose the question is if you drop the price, you can afford another prospect? Is it out of the question the lease out the older horse to free up fund for something else?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Why can't the horse in question do the jumpers?

                    He jumps flat, he's floaty, you love him, he's schooling 3'6", he would do the eq...

                    I am a bit confused on what a jumper bone is.

                    Over the years, I have had students do the jumpers with their honest to goodness round jumping fancy hunters for kicks. The kids loved it, the horses loved it and it rounds out the experience.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Why not lease out hunter/eq horse and let DD lease a nice 3'6 horse that CAN do the eq and jumpers, and let her figure out if her heart REALLY is in the jumpers, or if she does want to finish out the eq career.

                      I grew up in the jumpers and had my heart set on the hunters, but my parents made me lease a hunter first, before buying one, thank god they did- I couldn't stand the hunters!! Now I will forever be content in the jumper ring, hauling butt!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There's really no reason that the hunter/eq horse can't do jumpers up to 3'6". If he's good enough to do eq. to 3'6", he's good enough to do jumpers... since the TB is limited to 2'6" your daughter really can't learn to do jumpers with him... I'm sorry, but 2'6" jumper classes aren't really jumper classes and ought to all be run under Argentinian time anyways since it's truely unsafe to go fast over those tiny jumps.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Did he jump flat because his hocks hurt for long enough to form a bone spur up front? Has the roundness of his jump changed post hock injections? They have to push up off the hocks to jump round.
                          Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
                          www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Good Morning... thank you again for the opinions. I'm going to try to answer the recent questions.

                            tyedyecommando... with the exception of the fact that he jumps flat, everything about him is a hunter. It's hard for me to explain - I'm just the horsey-mom. He's got that nice, collected, hunter pace. He's definitely got the stride but he's lazy. He jumps clean the majority of the time but when he does happen to take a rail, he really doesn't care. He's not like our thoroughbred who does everything in his power to jump clean, no matter the situation. Does that makes sense?

                            mrsbradbury... yes, it's hard to explain how he's lacking a jumper bone but when you see DD ride him and DD ride our thoroughbred, the difference between the two is obvious. I keep telling DD and our trainer that they should try jumpers with her horse and they both laugh.

                            heartinrye... DD's heart is definitely in jumpers. She's figured out that from riding our thoroughbred. She always thought she might like to try jumpers and when we got our thoroughbred, it gave her the opportunity to try it out. She loves the thrill and the challenging courses. That's why she likes Eq as well... they aren't the same ol' basic courses.

                            fourmares... same as what I told tyedyecommando/mrsbradbury but I do want to add... I agree, 2'6" really isn't truly representative of jumpers but it gives her a place to start and build her confidence. A lot of the basics of how to ride a jumper are being built and she's learning how to think like a jumper. They do school 3'0" at home but in order to preserve our old man, we don't let her show him any higher than 2'6"-2'9" on a regular basis.

                            Plumcreek... that's a good question and I don't know the answer but I will ask our trainer. I don't think the hock injections have improved his ability to get round over the jumps. I think it has more to do with the confirmation in his shoulder. One reason it's hard to say is because they've come up through the ranks together and he never really had to use himself over the jumps at 2'0" and 2'6" because the jumps were so small.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Names Changed to Protect the Innocent View Post


                              mrsbradbury... yes, it's hard to explain how he's lacking a jumper bone but when you see DD ride him and DD ride our thoroughbred, the difference between the two is obvious. I keep telling DD and our trainer that they should try jumpers with her horse and they both laugh.
                              Well, I will not start an argument with what your trainer has said. But.. of course the two horses differences are odvious, one is a TB and one is a WB. They take different rides.

                              Let me ask you this... Is the horse in question stopping? (I think you said somewhere that he was honest)

                              If this horse were in my barn, and you were my client; hypothetically speaking... We would not reduce the price of your $25,000 horse to buy another horse for less than $5,000. We would continue with the horse you own and do the division you want... unless there is something truly wrong with this horse that makes him physically incapable of the job.

                              FYI: your daughter is not old enough to laugh at you, you pay board/training/lessons on 2 horses. You definitely have a say and deserve a bonafide answer as to why this horse cannot do the other ring.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I thought Eq horses had to have a round jump and not pull rails? I had a friend who did the Maclay and that was one of the things that she said was harder to find. A horse with fancy gaits, that will have a round jump, not pull rails, and jump the different looking Eq fences at the requested gait. Just wondering. I do eventing and sell off the really quiet ones that only have nice round jumping form (but they really don't want to be eventers!) as hunters. Is a flat jump ok for the hunter and eq ring then?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by GaellentQuest View Post
                                  I thought Eq horses had to have a round jump and not pull rails? I had a friend who did the Maclay and that was one of the things that she said was harder to find. A horse with fancy gaits, that will have a round jump, not pull rails, and jump the different looking Eq fences at the requested gait. Just wondering. I do eventing and sell off the really quiet ones that only have nice round jumping form (but they really don't want to be eventers!) as hunters. Is a flat jump ok for the hunter and eq ring then?
                                  In hunters a round jump is desireable (the knees to chin jump) in the eq a flat jump is preferred b/c there is less risk of jarring the rider out of position. In any H/J ring being careful is a must.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by WorthTheWait95 View Post
                                    In any H/J ring being careful is a must.
                                    Don't forget, there have been a few Medal/Maclay finals winners who've had a rail! Obviously, you don't want a sloppy horse who has rails every time out, but on occasional rail in the Big Eq isn't the kiss of death that it is in the hunter ring.
                                    Ristra Ranch Equestrian Jewelry

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      OP...take a deep breath here. DD is doing the -0 level Jumpers and that's not really going to give her a taste of anything. Heck, I even do that sometimes with a Hunter just to mix it up.

                                      Have to say disagree with the trainer flatly saying this horse cannot do the sub level 0 to level 2 Jumpers based on him being a flat Jumper and lazy. DD can learn to help that one out a little by learning to be a stronger rider.

                                      Also don't think it's etched in stone DD will actually like the real world of the Jumpers when she actually starts showing and the fences start getting bigger and wider. Have seen alot of talented kids sort of choke and spit it out when they get to tough competition-when the fences get big and you have to go fast plus be accurate? No amount of at home schooling duplicates the pressure of jumping a professionally designed and built course. I wouldn't bet the farm she will stick with that....and you bet I know those who have dropped high 5 to low 6 figures into a level 6+ Jumper the kid just had to have only to have the kid just chuck it within a year. They get a little older, get more non horsey intersest and/or take a couple of falls and get hurt and just lose the drive.

                                      Don't think the price here is your biggest issue. IMO, you don't need another horse right now. Have DD and trainer work harder with what she has. If nothing else, it will broaden his resume and make him more attractive to buyers while improving DD's overall riding.

                                      With PPE questions, 25k may be high...and, confused, what has this one done in the show ring? IF, DD gets on it and this one proves he can do 3' to 3'6" Hunters with success at the shows, learns to fire enough to get around the Jumper ring and proves himself a capable Eq horse AND stay sound?

                                      You would get that easily, or more, more as proven performance staying sound at the job a buyer is looking for can trump PPE questions.

                                      But right now? I would not sell. Keep him. Schedual a meeting with your trainer to discuss doing as much as you can to get this one going in the Jumpers. Heck, if my Hunter can get around a level 1 or 2 course within the time allowed? But, then again, I can ride an accurate track that beats a running fool. DD can learn that if I can.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        From one Mom to another, keep the horses you have.

                                        I have one of those hunter/eq types and he has gotten around the childrens jumper courses fine - and ribboned at the local A's. He's about the laziest horse around. We used to joke about getting him a belly guard because he skims over just enough to not knock a rail and no more. In nearly every o/f picture we have of him in the 8 years we have owned him, he has one foot on the ground. I can think of maybe one photo from a USET class where he might have all four off the ground.

                                        My daughter, now 22, had to work hard to get this boy around because he was so slow and lazy. He taught her so much about riding. We have leased him for the past 5 years, and over that time, my daughter has developed the "jumper bug". We used his lease money to lease some nice been there jumpers and had a blast with her showing the adult jumpers. We also purchased a young horse who is now 5 and looking like she wants to do jumpers.

                                        We've had a blast over the years, and so has our eq horse. He's moved down, but still loves to horse show. He still gets "frisky" at his first show. He has a few more years before retirement, and by that time we should be able to give him a very comfy retirement. It's the best of both worlds.

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