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How much is an aged awesome pony worth?

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  • How much is an aged awesome pony worth?

    Just stumbled upon a great little small pony that is the perfect starter pony for a kid... this pony is supposedly bombproof and a winner through ss. Even in awesome company. BUT, he's older, around 18 or so. What do you think is a reasonable price for an older show pony with a proven record? I've been leasing ponies, so this is new to me. Also, do you think it will be possible to resell or rehome him in 5 years when my child outgrows him? Are ponies still useful as schoolmasters in their early 20s if healthy? I appreciate any advice.
    Last edited by Halfhalting; Jul. 13, 2009, 08:11 PM. Reason: clarified - this is a small pony, and clarified question about age

  • #2
    Do not buy him to "re-sell" him in five years. Buy him because he is perfect for your child, and because you value him enough to give him a life-long retirement home when your child has outgrown him.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


    • Original Poster

      I appreciate that message, but unfortunately I do not have a trust fund, don't have family with money or land, don't have a husband making mega dollars, and I make just enough to have some small perks. I board, so if I am retiring a small pony at $500-$700/month, then my child's equine progress stops there (no extra funds to retire a small and buy/board the next pony). So it goes back to intent of my question which was (a) what is reasonable pricing and (b) is it reasonable to expect the pony to be useful in it's low 20s to another young child? FWIW, it is 100% sound.

      I am sure that I am not the only person that has to consider these financial limitations.


      • #4
        The pony may still be sound and going around in five years, but you are hitting the point where he may not be. There is the chance, with any horse, that something will happen and they will no longer be useful for their selected undersaddle career and are therefore, difficult to pass on. In purchasing the horse, you need to be prepared to find them a good situation. In my opinion, once the horse is in their late teens and early twenties, this is getting more and more likely, just due to wear and tear. There is also the fact (and I think this is more what you were looking for), that ponies in their low twenties on up, are difficult to sell. The 20+ year olds still showing around here are owned by barns and ridden or leased by their riders; they'll have a retirement home. It sounds to me that this isn't something you are prepared to provide - my opinion would be to keep looking for a suitable, younger horse (still recognizing that something could happen and you'd be providing for it) or to continue leasing...


        • #5
          I have a student that has a large that is 22 yrs old. We got him for her about three years ago and he was a BARGAIN at $3800. THis pony WON the hack class out of 39 this past weekend at our hugem, and extremely competitive state 4-H show and regularly wins champs and reserves in the SS at "C" shows. He did do the A's when younger. He will be passed down to her younger sister now as she will get a new pony, and she will do the walk/.trot and young entry on him as he really needs to step down from the SS at this point, as his hocks are really starting to have issues. If we wanted to sell him, we would have a line waiting to buy him however!!!! Buy him for his usefullness now, not his future cvalue however. But most likely even if not saleable in a few years you would easily be able to give him away as a leadline/walk/trotter if the upkeep is the issue. If you are looking to recoup your money that you spend, don't count on it, he is not going to go up in value!


          • #6
            We will receive a 16 yr old pony on Wednesday for our 5 yr old DD. My Dd is small and should be able to ride her for about 3 yrs, at that point if she is still sound and sane she will get passed down to my 2yd old. At that point when our 2 yr old is done with her she will retire and live out her life in a field with plenty of grass hay and grain if need be. I knew going into this that we would never be able to re sell our pony.
            A wise person told me that in order for your kid to be safe and compete on a pony the ponies age plus the kids age should add up to close to 20 yrs old. We are right on target. A safe sound steady pony is worth its weight in GOLD but might not be worth more or even as much as you paid for it when you are done with it.
            Good Luck I looked for 4 mos to find a pony that would suit us, be sound, and do what we need in our budget, it was NOT an easy search but I think we finally hit the jackpot!
            If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.


            • #7

              And I agree about the forever home. Animals of that age deserve not to be shuffled around.
              Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


              • #8
                I so agree with VirginaBred!
                Older ponies and horses need a forever home at that age. Please don't buy with the idea of flipping. I have a 26 yr old and still learn from him.


                • #9
                  I completly agree with what the others have said about a forever home.


                  • #10
                    I understand that a forever home may not be feasible.

                    In that case, don't buy an 18 year old pony. Because it's quite likely, at that age, that in five years from now, you aren't going to be able to sell it to the next child. You MIGHT, but it's conceivably more of a gamble than a younger pony.

                    I'd look for something something else to lease. Since unsoundness over a 5 year period can happen to ANY pony, it'd be smart to have a plan in place if you're going to purchase a pony of any age.
                    They're small hearts.


                    • #11
                      Ditto all the others. These older ponies need to find a home where they will be a welcome guest until their passing.

                      BUT, think about this............i have had three ponies recently (one is still with us) who lived to be 34. They could of been very useful for a long time. My Blue Who's dam, Private Collection, showed all over the country and was so wonderful. She came to me bred..............she was 24. She had my Hootie, and lived another 10 years. So, there is use (not for a brood mare at that age, that was a fluke, and just turned out well), for these lovely old ones.

                      Think of the safety for your child above all else.
                      hunter/jumper ponies


                      • #12
                        Ponies go for forever. The older they get, the wiser they get.. making them great for children. I would definitely go for it. I would be prepared to possibly spend "maintenance money" somewhere along the road. When the time comes, as it indefinitely will, make sure your valued pony receives a luscious retirement. These horses never asked to work like they do, therefore any "thanks for teaching my kid to ride" we give them is deeply appreciated. That thanks often times comes in a good retirement home.

                        Don't mean to scare you with retirement already, but there are plenty of farms looking for an older companion pony to fulfill whatever purpose needed.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by VirginiaBred View Post

                          While I do understand (and can personally relate to) the lack of a trust fund, remember that any pony of any age can require retirement for various reasons - there is no such thing as a guaranteed resale, and with an older one, your chances decrease dramatically. Perhaps restricting your purchasing/showing/boarding budget so that you can afford inexpensive retirement board would be something to consider...

                          That said, I have bought a few ponies over the age of 20 who have had many productive years with me - although I never intended to resell, and they have homes with me for life.
                          Please don't sabotash my conchess.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Halfhalting View Post
                            I appreciate that message, but unfortunately I do not have a trust fund, don't have family with money or land, don't have a husband making mega dollars, and I make just enough to have some small perks. I board, so if I am retiring a small pony at $500-$700/month, then my child's equine progress stops there (no extra funds to retire a small and buy/board the next pony). So it goes back to intent of my question which was (a) what is reasonable pricing and (b) is it reasonable to expect the pony to be useful in it's low 20s to another young child? FWIW, it is 100% sound.

                            I am sure that I am not the only person that has to consider these financial limitations.
                            If you want a BMW that will keep its resale value, go buy a 10-year-old, not an animal that's going to be 25 in five years when you no longer have any use for it and no one else wants it.
                            I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                            • #15
                              Older ponies are in high demand for lease- you might consider that as an option, you wouldn't pay board and the lease money could go into a retirement fund of sorts. It wouldn't mean money for another pony, but it would mean the pony is taken care of financially.


                              • #16
                                Ponies do have a tendency to last a lot longer than horses, and there's certainly a good chance that the pony will still be marching around at 25. But, even sound, he's not likely to be very salable at that age, which is why you see so many old ponies being leased. It's certainly possible that if he was still sound, you could probably place him elsewhere in 5 years, but if it were me, I'd be nervous to bank on that if I didn't want to be paying for retirement. You just never know--I have a 30 year old pony who is a school pony for a friend of mine with a lesson barn. He is still showing in Short Stirrup, and often still wins the hack, and you would never guess that he's much over 20. He has Cushings, and I strongly suspect (and hope) that he will not ever "retire;" although he has a very light workload, he does not thrive when not in work, and I don't think his health will hold up when he's unable to work.

                                You have to make the decision that is right for your family, but keep in mind that you will not be able to get insurance on a pony this age. So, he could have a career-ending injury tomorrow and could need to be retired. Unfortunately, we picked an expensive, risky sport . Any horse/pony is a risk-they could all get sick, injured, etc. tomorrow and need to be retired.

                                We placed our first pony in another home, because oddly enough, she was a total babysitter type and started to colic when my sister and I outgrew her and she didn't have a "kid." Sounds crazy, I know, but she was just unhappy without a job. At any rate, although we had all sorts of arrangements in place to take her back, she was passed around to multiple homes and ended up a rescue, and had been euthanized by the time I found her. Probably in large part because of that experience, I have a very hard time letting go of horses when they retire. I'm currently paying board on a 33 year old who's been retired for several years. I wouldn't want to tell anyone what they "have" to do with older horses, because it is a tough issue. I graduated from college and had to figure out how to pay board on two horses, which, looking back, was certainly character building . I do strongly believe that horses give us so much, and my horse has earned every minute of his retirement. I have had him since high school, and learned more from him than any trainer I've ever had; I think a comfortable retirement is the least I owe him. But, I also recognize that what I am doing is financially insane; he costs me at least $700/mo with meds, extra feed, etc. Certainly I am not a trust fund baby, and that money could be going to other bills. But, I look in his eyes, and it's worth every penny. And, FWIW as a "kid" (31), I will say that my parents often say that they feel guilty for buying me an 18 year old schoolmaster and "sticking" me with paying for his retirement, but I see it as one of the best things they have ever done for me. I learned so much riding the horse, and I learned so much again by having the responsibility for caring him after I was "done" riding him.

                                As far as price, it's really hard to say without more detail on the pony. Generally, I see ponies of that age being sold for a bit less than a younger pony. A pony like the one you describe, but 10 years old, would be VERY expensive, but often there are not many of those--most ponies have to reach 16, 17, 18 years old to get enough miles to be sweet and bombproof. Not all need the extra time, but if they have those skills at a younger age, their value skyrockets. So, I would expect to pay a bit less for a pony of that age, but not much-you're paying for the experience, attitude, etc, and those ponies are generally pretty priceless.

                                One other thing that I will say--your child's barn and trainer do make a difference. If you're boarding at a barn with a big lesson and showing program, you are MUCH more likely to be able to pass the pony on through more kids at the barn, down to walk trot.


                                • #17
                                  I would find another pony to lease. Reselling an aged pony in this market is not a great idea, especially if disposable income is limited. 18 is not "old" for a pony but you just never know how long it will hold up. It will certainly be worth less money in 4-5 years and will certainly be harder to sell. There are lots of ponies out there right now, they are not selling like hotcakes. Why not lease?


                                  • #18
                                    I'm going to try to get to your question of price. Do you have any idea how old the 18 or so really is? How much showing has it really done? Did it do the small division "A's" in its younger years? The part about only thru SS is a little questionable. How big is the pony? It makes a big difference in price if this pony is only good enough or sound enough to do a few shows at the local level or if it can set a kid up into the smalls.
                                    Like so many of those who have already posted, almost half my farm is antique ponies. They are worth their weight in gold. Please post more details about the pony. It makes a big difference in price.

                                    Ponies love to work and would rather have something to do (even if moderate) that just sit around a field. After having many wonderful babies (Glenmore Sally, etc), Charlie Brown's Snoopy went to Pony Finals at the age of 24 and finished right in the middle of the pack.
                                    Betty Holmes-Fox
                                    Glenmore Ponies


                                    • #19
                                      Older, wiser, kick-along ponies are priceless, as other posters have mentioned, and worth their weight in gold. I agree with the others: don't buy an aged model with the intention of resale later on down the road. It's a gamble and unfair to the pony. However, as long as they are sound, healthy and happy, there is no reason a pony can't keep right on going for many years. Leasing is a good option, as good ponies are always in demand to teach kidlets the ropes.
                                      My Miz Scarlett lived to the ripe, healthy age of 44. She did WTC & crossrails at shows until she was 38. She retired simply because she earned it, and I no longer taught lessons. My parents bought her for me when she was around 15 years old, and the friends we got her from had traded a Datsun 210 for her. I sold her to my best friend's barn to a little girl there and when she outgrew her, she wound up in Charleston with fellow COTH'er Stono Ferry. She eventually came home to me and I was blessed to have her for another 10 years. What she taught me and countless other little riders is priceless~ that's the true worth of a good pony.
                                      Crayola posse~ orange yellow, official pilot
                                      Proud owner of "High Flight" & "Shorty"


                                      • #20
                                        Priceless, but you are probably not going to get anything much on a resale of it. If you are prepared to give it to a smaller child or to someone as a companion when the time comes then go for it. If you really can't do that and really need to sell and make something from it to buy another than go with something younger.
                                        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole