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Is there an ideal time to buy a horse?

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  • Is there an ideal time to buy a horse?

    I am starting to work on saving up and planning for another horse. Right now my goal is to start looking in January/February as I should have the savings to accommodate one by then. I also am still not 100% there emotionally yet so I am giving myself a few more months and the holidays to get there.

    Since I didn't actually look for Bugs he just happened I don't know if there is an optimal time to look for horses. I do know right now tons of people are trying to offload their horses before winter hits and I get that but is it the best buyers market right now? Are horses at their "rock bottom" prices this time of year? I know carrying a horse through winter especially in the northern states is expensive but is that really the only reason people list them this time of year?

    There is a lot about all of this I do not know and I fully admit that so any advice will be appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

  • #2
    Since you are in NC I would imagine the onset of winter is when you would get the best deal. People are trying to sell them before their hay bill goes up. Down south, the best time to buy is after the Spring show season, as a lot of people stop riding in the summer and we don't really have a "winter" down here. Good luck OP!

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by WildLittleWren View Post
      Since you are in NC I would imagine the onset of winter is when you would get the best deal. People are trying to sell them before their hay bill goes up. Down south, the best time to buy is after the Spring show season, as a lot of people stop riding in the summer and we don't really have a "winter" down here. Good luck OP!
      Thank you! Winter here is pretty mild but I am guessing you are in the deep south if you don't ride in the summer. I kind of assumed right now the prices are at the lowest but oh well not much I can do about timing. I am not ready for another one just yet but maybe in January feed bills will still be a motivation to sell?
      Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by clanter
        we have bought several horses when the seller was needing quick cash to pay their federal taxes
        I didn't think about this factor! This may extend low prices in my area through my targeted time frame
        Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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        • #5
          when YOU are ‘ready’
          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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          • #6
            Best time for us has been "when you don't need one." We seem to go along just fine using what we have, then we connect with someone wanting to sell a horse. One time we got three from a man who thought he was dying. They were excellent horses!!

            We are very firm in what we want in a horse regarding breeding, gaits, size, though we have purchased weanlings that turned into exactly what we wanted.

            We have had some fail after purchase, one got resold, the buyer took the other one back.

            Fall is often a good time as kids head off to college.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Zu Zu View Post
              when YOU are ‘ready’
              This, plus when the right horse throws itself in front of you!

              "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

              "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by KBC View Post

                This, plus when the right horse throws itself in front of you!
                That is exactly how Bugs came to me. He seriously just landed in my lap when I wasn't looking. I do know the barn owner where I board can't do before January so the right one can't land before then but I am sure one will somehow land in my lap much as Bugs did.
                Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                  Best time for us has been "when you don't need one." We seem to go along just fine using what we have, then we connect with someone wanting to sell a horse. One time we got three from a man who thought he was dying. They were excellent horses!!

                  We are very firm in what we want in a horse regarding breeding, gaits, size, though we have purchased weanlings that turned into exactly what we wanted.

                  We have had some fail after purchase, one got resold, the buyer took the other one back.

                  Fall is often a good time as kids head off to college.
                  Yes, I am sure it will somehow just "magically" appear in my life at the right moment. I do have a friend's trainer I plan to contact in January so we will see what she has or knows about needing a new home.
                  Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bugs's Mom View Post

                    Yes, I am sure it will somehow just "magically" appear in my life at the right moment. I do have a friend's trainer I plan to contact in January so we will see what she has or knows about needing a new home.
                    Some of my best horses have been the ones I ended up with when I was very obviously not looking!

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                    • #11
                      I lived in the Northeast most of my life, and end of summer, heading into towards fall and winter, was always the time to buy, as people didn’t want to feed them over winter. I live in Middle Tennessee now, and there really doesn’t seem to be a particular time of year for horse sales.

                      That being said, I have been shopping since last spring. I do have specific things I am looking for, and have found it a challenge. Be open, and if you see something that catches your eye, be prepared to jump on it!
                      "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

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                      • #12
                        I always find the best time to buy a horse is when I'm not looking.

                        (Oops, just read WildLittleWren who has the same thoughts!)

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                        • #13
                          This can also depend on what "layer" of the equine cake you're thinking about.

                          At the bottom the advice given, above, is pretty good. At the upper levels it probably doesn't matter all that much most of the time but if an owner is in need of money or in need of reducing herd size for financial reasons then it might.

                          G.
                          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                            This can also depend on what "layer" of the equine cake you're thinking about.

                            At the bottom the advice given, above, is pretty good. At the upper levels it probably doesn't matter all that much most of the time but if an owner is in need of money or in need of reducing herd size for financial reasons then it might.

                            G.
                            I'll be on the bottom end of the cake. I have a small budget but also just want a pleasure mount so price coincides with horse skill set at time of purchase. I will be looking for something under 10 that won't kill me on the trail but can eventually be taught some very basic, low level dressage.
                            Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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                            • #15
                              Immediately after winning a lottery jackpot. 🤣😇. Aside from that, be honest about your finances, time requirements, and the foreseeable future. If you can afford a horse, find the right horse, and have time for the horse; then it’s a good time to buy a horse.

                              If you are going to board a horse, spring can be a good time since some boarders will move their “winter only” horses back home. In our area, NY, trying to find new boarding as the weather turns cold is one of the hardest times of year. Supply and demand basically.
                              "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
                              you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by PalominoMorgan View Post
                                Immediately after winning a lottery jackpot. 🤣😇. Aside from that, be honest about your finances, time requirements, and the foreseeable future. If you can afford a horse, find the right horse, and have time for the horse; then it’s a good time to buy a horse.

                                If you are going to board a horse, spring can be a good time since some boarders will move their “winter only” horses back home. In our area, NY, trying to find new boarding as the weather turns cold is one of the hardest times of year. Supply and demand basically.
                                Too bad I don't play the lottery, but very valid point I already have boarding lined up which helps. I am targeting early in the new year for financial reasons and it is a fluid timeline. Having just gone through major expenses with losing my last horse I am well aware of how quickly bills pile up. Time for a horse is also not an issue as I am continuing to make the time for a friends horse until I am ready for my next.

                                I appreciate your insight and they are very valuable points that I have asked myself when will I achieve these goals.
                                Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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                                • #17
                                  It sounds like you are prepared, best of luck!

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by WildLittleWren View Post
                                    It sounds like you are prepared, best of luck!
                                    I am getting there. Emotionally I am not prepared and still have some saving to do for the financial part. I may just have to accept whatever prices are out there when the time comes. I know the right one somehow finds us at the right time
                                    Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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                                    • #19
                                      Here it’s winter time. We have a legit winter. People don’t want to pay for hay, or have too many horses. A ton of good quality horse hay is about 115$. Still many people drop the price on sale horses or take lowball offers.

                                      I see a huge increase of horses who go through the loose sale in oct/nov/Jan/fed where they usually sell for .50/lb.


                                      https://www.instagram.com/streamlinesporthorses/

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by streamline View Post
                                        Here it’s winter time. We have a legit winter. People don’t want to pay for hay, or have too many horses. A ton of good quality horse hay is about 115$. Still many people drop the price on sale horses or take lowball offers.

                                        I see a huge increase of horses who go through the loose sale in oct/nov/Jan/fed where they usually sell for .50/lb.

                                        Wow! That is rock bottom pricing!! If only I was closer to Montana! I am still not far from the North East which also has a real winter, albeit not as severe as you guys.
                                        Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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