Breed Blind?

Maybe this s/b on the Vent thread…

Friend has a lovely Morgan/STB she’s owned for near 10yrs.
He could pass for full Morgan, drives well on roads & to my eye could easily compete ADS.
Sadly, friend has drifted from Driving, stopped showing years ago, does not ride (bad knees) & recently moved horse to another friend’s barn.
BO is ex-Reiner/WP/Halter, who hasn’t shown/ridden anything for years.
Recently (4-5yrs?) took up Driving with a mini.
Her boarders are largely WP (w/o showing) & QHcentric.
She has 2 friends/boarders who also drive (1 w/mini, 1 w/Hackney Pony), but don’t show aside from County Fair.
Their skill level is in the Doubtful Range.
Another longtime boarder considers himself a NH Guru (of the Clinton Anderson school).
Yet another boarder also “works” at the barn. Diddles around doing maintenance “stuff”, generally w/o BOs knowledge.
But, I digress.

Long story-short:
MorganX has been proving difficult to handle, BUT, only for the non-skilled stall cleaners.
“Difficult” being led, turned out, brought in…
Mr NH claims he worked his Majik & horse now “lowers his head” to be haltered & led in/out.
Fine, but non-skilled weren’t shown how the Majik works & still have problems.
And most important to me, HO was not informed of the NH Training :unamused:

Last night subject arose between me, BO & Mr NH.
In his opinion MorganX is not worth $3K.
“I’d never pay that much for a horse that old”
I told him for a good looking, well-broke Driving horse that # is Bargain Basement & $5K would still be underpriced.

COTH Drivers:
Your 2¢ ?

I don’t drive (much, VERY beginner) and that price seems very reasonable to me.

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Not overpriced if horse has no physical issues. Having road experience, mileage driving outside, not in arenas only, is hard to price for the ease of mind it gives a driver! Have to say I would be pretty IRATE about NH guy “training” my horse!! Things expected from a driving horse are NOT always in line with what rider or self-proclaimed trainer want horse doing. Makes for a very confused horse, who then is even more reactive on the ground.

These “good old guys” are hard to locate, especially with no physical issues. But exactly what beginner drivers need to build confidence and skills.

So sorry for the horse, falling into (another self proclaimed expert from your reports) BOs hands. Doesn’t sound like things will end well for him.


I considered myself lucky to pay $1500 for a 22 year old Hackney pony. He was retired from showing in driving classes and had never been driven outside an arena per the seller, who had owned him for the last ten years. This was back in 2003 when horse prices were much lower than they are now.

My trainer agreed that he was an exceptional bargain, although she believed Hackneys were way too hot for a beginning driver. She was right, but somehow I survived.

I think $3000 is a heck of a bargain for a good driving horse these days. The guy sounds like a total idiot.



In the wider market $3000 is a token price now. However things look different from the bottom of rescue horses and freebies and dwarf minis.

The bigger problem @2DogsFarm is that you are surrounded by fools and idiots. Many of your posts are “I can’t believe these idiots.”

It’s really draining and ultimately bad for you all around to feel you are immersed in idiots. I’ve had significant stretches of my life where I felt that way (with reason) and its not good. It has a negative impact on your mental state and self esteem and sense of what is possible.

If your horse is at this barn you need to move. If you are visiting a friend there you need to somehow disengage. I know it can be morbidly enjoyable to follow What Those Idiots Are Doing Now OMG, but too much attention to that eats you up and makes you a lesser person.

My self board barn is very heterogeneous and has its share of incoming newbies and folks with ideas I dont buy, but I only engage with my friend circle. The rest are on their own journey. I know what I know, and what I don’t, and if someone is pontificating and getting it wrong, I don’t doubt I’m right.

I’d add that prices have shot up in the last decade, at least doubled in the low end of nice horses where I hang out. Track trainers now get $3000 for a quality OTTB, a kids low level local jumper has gone from $5000 to $10,000, and a good ranch trail horse can be $6000. At the same time there is no end of rescue horses, wildies off the native band land, OTSB, etc. for cheap or free.

$3000 is an unimaginable sum for some marginal hand to mouth dude at a bottom end barn. If he’s thinking in year 2000 dollars it’s extremely expensive. And age is relative. Lots of people shy away from horses over ten for performance. Western World tends to use up performance horses quite young while jumpers probably peak early teens. Anyhow if someone wouldn’t pay $3000 for a say 15 year old well broke horse in a specific discipline, that’s their prerogative. Opinions can differ on that. That’s a bargain today but not 20 years ago and lots of us run on outdated prices in our minds and get sticker shock every time we go shopping!


If he rides and drives and is sound he’d be a bargain around here, unless his behavioral stuff was a real problem.

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I can’t find it in your post - how old is the horse?

Thanks @goodhors Your 2¢ is worth that $3K :wink:

@Scribbler My horses are at home.
I used to think if Push Came to Shove, I could board at friend’s place.
They’d have to pay me to put up with the Stoopid :expressionless:

Luckily I have other much more knowledgeable Driving friends.
The BO in question is a good soul, surrounded by idjits.
Mr NH did his “training” when he had to contribute to being barn help, so (hoping) his session was a One Of.
IMO: horse just knows who he can f*ck with & who requires respect/good behavior.

@cayuse HO is - while not disabled - hampered by her bad knees.
Still, she was able to handle her horse when she was using him.
So - see above - he can behave & does for another knowledgeable guy who is part-time at the barn.

@Training_Cupid Horse is probably very low teens.

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Age low teens? Proven on the roads? Hitches well? Looks like a Morgan? Not got some weird medical or emotional issue? And less than 5k? I wish I was horse shopping…
For perspective on driving horses: unbroke baby (i.e. under 3) Shires, Clydes, and increasingly Percherons that show any promise at all are routinely going for 4 to 8k. Unbroke!


I just went to a Pony Sale, where me & friends were adrift as English in a Sea of Amish.
Minis & Ponies 2-3yo (so greenbroke) were going for average $2K. PonyXs same - lots of FriesianX, STBX, so near horse-size.
Older mare (5) went for $9500.
Another in foal for $10K.

Mr NH does not know his arse from a hole re: Driving horses.
QH he thinks he’s an expert :unamused:

I don’t understand what the problem is. It sounds to me like your friend has retired from driving and has also retired her MorganX. Is he for sale now? I didn’t see anything to that effect in your OP.

If he is retired, what difference does it make what kind of riding/driving the other boarders do if he himself is being well treated? I don’t get the new BO not having barn workers who know how to halter and lead and turn out a horse, but if they’re not being cruel to him …

Can you buy him and put him at a barn you’d prefer and let him enjoy his retirement there?


The problem is whether the horse is for sale or not, admittedly not clear in OP, a proven safe driving horse is being wildly undervalued. Good driving horses are really, really hard to train and in fact at a certain level cannot be trained, either the horse has the mind for being road safe or it doesn’t. But it is ‘easy’ to kind of train a horse to drive and perhaps easier to fake it, especially if one doesn’t understand the difference between a mini trotting more or less happily, if not prettily, around a well fenced arena and a full sized horse on the road. The difference in safety factor is large… Where this matters is that, unfortunately, cash value often does determine how well staff, trainers, and others treat a horse…
Although, to be honest, I suspect a fair bit of boarding barn drama is in play as well.


OP’s friend had the horse for at least 10 years. We don’t know how old he was when friend acquired him. I’m guessing he is at least 10 1/2 - 11 years old.
At that age he doesn’t need to be valued for whatever work he could do. He deserves to be valued for himself alone. Yes, he could still be “useful,” but sounds to me like he’s earned a good retirement.
I seriously doubt he thinks about fulfilling any sort of Morgan or Standarbred heritage for any humans. I hope he is happy being a horse.

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Actually most driving horses want a job. They like the brain stimulation of getting out, seeing things down the road! Morgan’s and Standardbreds are still bred to be used outside the narrow time window of “work” expected by many riding owners. An hour of use is nothing but a warm-up!

Using older horses in a reasonable manner keeps their body stronger, they are healthier, to be enjoyed as they age. I am talking 18 to 20 plus years old. If horse is now 15 to 17yrs, pretty sound, he could still enjoy a lot of years ahead of him! Age is just a number with modern Vet care, regular maintenance with his present owner. We actually expect our horses to last and work, on into old age of mid-20s, though not as hard work as CDE things.

This is why I said he could be a good buy for a starting driver, lots of use still in him. Like buying “a Gramma car” that has age but low miles and is well-maintained. They are often a bargin with low prices, last for MANY years more with regular care.

I am betting his acting up is just boredom, not getting used. Morgan’s and Morgan crosses are WELL KNOWN for needing mental stimulation or needing work. Regular energizer bunnies in not getting tired of being used. Worked horses are less likely to go looking for entertainment! They are GRATEFUL for pasture time! Right in line with ranch horses working all day. When sold to pleasure riders they can get “bouncy” with only 4-5 hours riding a WEEK instead of the 30-40 hours they got on the ranch.


@B_and_B @Rackonteur & @goodhors summed it up pretty well.
AFAIK, owner is not (yet?) interested in selling.

Present boarding could be considered his retirement & that would be fine.

My irritation was with Mr NH who
#1-took it upon himself to “train” this horse, yet not share his Majikal Method with the stall cleaners who need to be shown how to safely handle this horse.
I told him if he has solved the problem, the least he can do is educate the ones who need to handle the horse when he’s not there
#2-his poohpooing the imagined price this horse could bring.
Especially as his “expertise” is solely with a single breed & discipline.

& Yes, barn drama plays a part.
Thankfully I do not board there, nor would I ever, after observing the occupants & self-appointed management over the last 4yrs.
I like BO, worked with her in her regular job a couple years & overall we get along fine.
The holes in her horse knowledge don’t concern me, mostly they’re just moneypits, not endangering the animals in her care.


Unless he is negotiating to buy the horse, it is none of Mr NH Buttinski’s business what your friend’s horse is, or isn’t worth.


& yet he felt free to educate me on the correct pricing of horses. :unamused:

This barn is jam-packed with Generals & very few Infantry* :expressionless:

*Edited @ suggestion of @QuestionMark :wink:


Why do you need to say something racist to make this point again?


This 100 per cent. People say all kinds of crap bs when they are talking horses. Lots of grandstanding and bragging and misremembered tall tales.

I wouldn’t pay more than xx, that horse is crippled/psycho/a top upper level prospect, that horse is worth xxxx, that horse won xxxx at the track, etc etc etc. Its all meaningless and just meant to fill the air, and no good predictor of behavior or future outcomes.

No need to remember or worry over it.

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In this current horse market a horse that you describe that is 12-15 years old would be a steal at 3K.

20 year old ranch horses are selling for 7K and up.

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