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What does a quality hunter prospect yearling cost?

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  • Edre
    Based on your criteria, I assume you're looking at warmboods - and of course, tall with chrome is going to cost you more than 16'1 and chestnut (though it sounds like you're aware of that).

    Each seller and each horse is different. What would probably be of most value to you is the facebook groups that cater to young warmblood sales. There's at least one that deals specifically with the 3-and-unders (and there is another breeding group for general warmblood breeding). There may be a h/j specific one but I can't say for certain on that. All of those would be good resources to see what's on the market and what programs are producing what you're looking for (and what it's costing).

    Right off the top of my head I know of a 3yo that is mostly what you are looking for (17h, gelding, pedigree of a top hunter sire for capability, ridability, & AA friendly) though he is mostly plain bay. Has 30 days under saddle. So he's a bit older & has some training, but for context, that horse is being marketed at just around 30K.

    The downside is that what you gain in affordability with the one year olds, you lose with your desired guarantees (size & capability). At one, there will be a better idea of size (iirc, string tests are most accurate on yearlings & up) but there may still be some variation. The development on young horses can be odd sometimes so you may have to train your eye as to what is just young horse growthiness vs poor conformation - because again, that can factor into what you end up with as a mature adult.

    Part of it is also going to be what program you buy from. Many breeders seem to prefer selling either as foals (and then ship out after weaning) or as 3 yos who have just been started. The 1-2yos aren't the most robust segment of the sales market (it sounds as if many breeders will hold onto their youngstock if they don't sell as foals, because they can get a greater return once they're started - especially if they own their own facilities & start them on their own or have a good relationship with someone who does start young horses).

    Definitely would recommend researching top notch hunter programs (facebook is good for this, again the groups I mention above) and then seeing what they're selling and at what price. That may be the best way for you to get an idea for cost that's not just "well as best I can guess".

    The other component to this is that while you address you "prefer the journey anyway", you may want to seek out opportunities to ride very young and very green horses before committing to buying something unstarted. You don't mention if you have a background or experience with riding extremely green-broke horses, so while I know I've said this on another thread I think it bears repeating. There is a world of difference between a just-started green and green that's lacking miles/exposure/refinement. Riding just-started horses is a skillset in and of its own right, and even if someone can doesn't mean they enjoy it. Definitely seek out the opportunity to ride some of these horses to see if it's something you enjoy...because if you don't, then you may need to factor in having to research the cost and availability of having someone else ride a young horse for you until their education is more advanced.

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  • HJdaydream
    started a topic What does a quality hunter prospect yearling cost?

    What does a quality hunter prospect yearling cost?


    First off, let me say that I am in the planning phase. I am not ready to purchase.

    I am an ammy rider of mediocre talent that does the adult hunters a handful of times a year. I am in a full training A circuit type program where my horse gets regular training rides and I lesson at least once a week. I purchased my current horse when he was lightly under saddle with no jump experience at 5 yrs, and he just turned 8 this spring. I give this background to indicate that I have never had a made hunter and I am comfortable with bringing along something with lots of professional guidance.

    Although my current horse is WONDERFUL and has the best brain for an amateur in the history of the world, he does have significant hock degeneration. He gets all the maintenance possible, and is currently happy in work and should be for years to come. But, I am under no delusions that he will keep going at the 3 ft level late into his teens like some horses do.

    The practical side of me says that I need to start planning for the future. Of course I cannot say for sure how many years he has left at his current level, but the idea has struck me to buy a young horse and let it be growing up in the meantime. The obvious benefit would be getting a quality horse at a good price before it has learned any bad habits with someone else.

    I am very lucky in that my parents have a small little farmette and could easily accommodate a young horse (they already have a couple of horses they care for including my old retired event horse). I would have "free" board outside of the actual expenses (feed/vet/farrier) while the horse is growing. They are about equi-distance from my house as my barn and I could easily get there minimum once a week. Otherwise, my mom is a lifetime horse woman as well and has agreed to help me bring one along on the ground.

    My question is this: What should I expect to pay for a yearling of A show quality with talent for the hunter ring? I have tried doing some light googling and it's not as easy to find as I expected. I of course want what everyone ones, a modern typey baby that shows promise to be a great hunter. MUST HAVE A GREAT BRAIN. I would sacrifice a bit of flash for something with all signs pointing towards ammy friendly (again, mediocre talent here). I will probably be picky about color- I prefer bays with chrome. I do not prefer chestnuts or plain bays. Sue me, ok?

    Another question - I am tall (6 ft) so I would need some real assurances that the yearling would finish out quite tall as well. Is this possible to predict accurately with a yearling? I would really need 16.3 or larger. My current horse is 18 but on the narrower side and I look good on him.

    If I wanted to get an idea of price and availability where would I look? Again, light googling wasn't as helpful as I expected. I need to get a realistic estimate to start planning and getting the hubby on board.

    I expect I have 4-5 years of serious competition left with my guy before he is ready to step down a bit which is why I am not in a rush at the moment. I cannot afford to have 2 horses in full training so when new baby horse is ready to go into full training older stepping down horse would come "home" for my mom or we would find other suitable arrangements.

    I am in Texas but would get the right baby from anywhere in the US or Canada.

    If I am a crazy person and this idea sounds totally psycho feel free to tell me why. I want to be realistic. Yes, I know horses can get hurt. My gelding spent the first 1.5 yrs I owned him on stall rest more often then not. I am very familiar with the savior that is major medical insurance. I also realize ANY horse can get hurt at ANY time. I do not have high 5 figures for a made hunter and I honestly prefer the journey anyway.

    Thanks in advance for all the help!