Curious what the going price tag is for a Working Ranch horse?

Hi very new to the western world. My BF bought a 3 year old stallion that is a Ranch Riding prospect. I’m curious what the going rate for a well bred horse for this particular type of riding is? I’m a little worried that he may have over paid and I’m not necessarily sure that there is the resale market that the trainer told him there was. I’m specifically concerned that the horse was in training for Reining but seems to have already washed out, has needed injections and is now only suitable for Ranch Riding classes.
I truly am not judging how or what the training techniques are for this particular western discipline , but I genuinely have questions. And honestly some concerns. And I really want to be educated. I’m hoping I can start to learn from people who have experience in this discipline.
Thank you.

There’s a lot of factors at work.

Are we talking just a ranch riding prospect, or a horse that can do all the Versatility Ranch Horse classes?

What is the horse’s pedigree? Is he by a hot sire? Does he have a strong bottom side? Does he have successful siblings? Does he have the conformation to be a possible sire? (Since he’s still a stud.)

How well is the horse trained? Is he finished in his sport (in this case RR)? Or just a “prospect”?

If he is finished, what is his skill level? You can have an open show RR horse, versus one that most likely will win at the World Show level. These factors include past show record, movement, etc.

What are his soundness issues? Just 1x/year hock injections?

A horse can wash out of reining for many reasons. Maybe he doesn’t like it and gets anxious during the patterns, maybe he’s unsound, who knows.

Guessing from what you wrote, you have a prospect, so that’s not gonna be a huge price tag. Let’s say he has an average pedigree, average training (aka has a handle but will need more training to show), average temperament (aka needs to be gelded but pleasant to work with and be around) and average show potential (aka could do local fun or breed shows, but not competitive on the national level). I’d say…$7,500-$10,000ish, depending on the specifics? If he’s unsound (needs more than shoes or rare injections) it’s gonna hurt that price. If he’s an outstanding, charismatic horse that really catches your eye, enjoyable to be around, and just needs a couple more months of training to be finished, well, maybe more.


Agree - lots of variables. Some trainers do injections without finding out what the actual cause of lameness is. Being that he is only 3 (meaning born in 2019), he hasn’t even been shown yet. Was he a futurity prospect and just couldn’t take the push? Does he not do the maneuvers well?

Was he shown in reining? Any earnings? If he knows all the maneuvers and was shown successfully and only needs minor maintenance - injections and shoes, I’d say as he sits now 12k minimum. Now, if his mind is blown and it’s soft tissue damage, he’s worth a lot less. Anything finished with a good mind starts at 18k.

Just my $0.02

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Thank you @kelo, @bugsynskeeter1 and @AQHA4me for your replies. I am completely out of my league when it comes to the western world. I can tack up
I can tack up a western saddle but other than that I’m very clueless about the different classes and completions.
I did get alittle more information out of my BF. The horse is actually 4. It was another trainer that started him as a Reiner. The vet check did find mild arthritis in the hocks but vet said it wasn’t anything to worry about. The reason it didn’t stay in training as a Reiner was that’s I assume it wasn’t holding up and apparently it was too big at 15.2. :woman_shrugging:t4:
The horse did qualify for the Worlds on it’s most recent score in a Ranch Riding class at a big show. Apparently it’s Sire is a $100k earner Paint. So I guess it maybe more high caliber than I was led to believe. Still not sure I am as trusting as my BF about the integrity of the trainer or more the trainer’s motivations, but it does sound more like the trainer isn’t being as nefarious as I was feeling.
I guess I have a lot of learning to do about the discipline and the competitions.

15.2 isn’t too big to be a reiner. My 4 yr old is that tall and wears an 81" blanket. Mild hock arthritis probably isn’t much.
Was the horse at sun circuit in AZ?

A horse can “wash out” of reining just because it’s not meeting expectations, not necessarily for a nefarious reason. Those expectations could be something as simple as they wanted a futurity horse, and he wasn’t ready in the fall of his 3yo year, or maybe he’s not quite an open horse (ie not able to do the maneuvers in a stylish enough manner to score well). That doesn’t always mean he’s unable to be a reiner – it could be that the owners at the time weren’t willing to pay the bills anymore because they only do open futurity horses. So that’s a question you can find the answer to – is he actually a finished reiner, just not to the open level? Or did he really wash out (ie can’t handle the mental or physical pressure)?

Given the greater information you’ve shared – If he’s showing ranch riding at a large circuit (was he shown at Sun Circuit?) and placing well, that means he’s essentially finished, as well as being a high quality horse. Minor arthritic changes aren’t going to have a huuuuuge impact on his value. So, again, I’m ballparking for you, now you’re talking about minimum $25,000+ , depending on exactly what the horse is.

Again, if he has more stuff going for him, that value is gonna be much higher.

As he gains show experience, his value is gonna go up.

Additionally, is he actually double registered? AQHA and APHA registration would add value because you can show in more events. Although if he has any paint markings he won’t be able to show in VRH (they’re not allowed to have excessive white in halter).

Is he not only able to qualify for Worlds, but he’s actually going to be competitive at Worlds? Because, again, that’s going to boost the value significantly.

Is he showable by an amateur in addition to an open rider/trainer? That’s gonna boost the value.

Again, the thing with stock horses is there are SO MANY things they can do. Maybe he wasn’t stylish enough as a reiner, but now he’s killin’ it as a ranch rider. But there’s also the new ranch trail as a standalone class now, or maybe he’s cowy and can do cow horse, or maybe he’s good minded enough to do VRH/SHTX, or you mention he’s good sized and could maybe become a rope horse, and that’s its own $$$$ world right now.

Heck, if you’re a dressage person, you can borrow him – there’s dressage and western dressage available too! :slight_smile:


If he was in one of the top reining stables, he may have washed out because they mostly keep the top horses and their second picks are easily someone else’s top horses.
If he was in a lesser stable, maybe his management and training was not that good and he was getting behind and competing at a disadvantage.
Reining is extremely competitive today, in how you manage, train and show your horses and that you have super talented horses to show.

The problem with your stallion now is going to be, there are so many stallions out there and this one is not really proven yet, even if he does well now, I doubt someone other than a top stable and trainer and extremely talented horse will be worth that much as a stallion at stud.

Still, you never know what you have until you try, right?
He may just be that one horse that can compete in tough company somewhere, just try to find where that is and he could be a good stallion prospect.
If not, you can always geld him and good geldings can carry hefty prices also.

Many are expecting the economy to have problems because of covid and the Russian aggression and that may also impact the horse market, why some owners and trainers may be selling some horses that they may have kept and campaigned previously.

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Well, i don t know…maybe covid or russia attack may impact economy but what i have Seen IS that pricescare crazy now. People are asking 50 000 for yearlings. Thé market IS really high AT thé moment i find

A good well broke reiner can easily make the transition to the ranch without a ton of additional training. I know of one stud that was a finished Reiner and went to a ranch guy for a couple months before winning the world.
Another gelding that won multiple worlds with a youth kid who made the transition.
I have a friend who trains ranch horses, she is always shopping for reiners that maybe don’t have big enough maneuvers to make really high end reiners or maybe can’t handle the pressure and basically doesn’t have a budget. But I know she’s paid 30-50 for most.

A young broke horse is going to bring a premium price for ranch classes, even if he needed some light maintenance as a reiner, he might not need any as a ranch horse.


These type horses are extremely high right now. In my area, just backyard riding horses will bring 10K if they’re reasonably safe and somewhat sound. If they have any sort of job at all they’re started in, they’ll bring 15 - 20. If they’re finished then you can just about name your price. Ranch horses through sales are bringing upwards of 50 and more if they’re colored.

I would be a bit concerned at the hock arthritis at age 4, but if he has already qualified for worlds, I would think he’s going to have at least a $20,000 price tag or higher.

Backyard riding horses will cost around 10K if they’re safe. But as you’ve mentioned about his qualities and achievements I think he should get around 20k- 25k .

Did the horse need injections or was he just given injections? It may be more of the latter.

The Pitzer Ranch in Nebraska is the utmost authority on working Ranch horses. They just had a sale last week of working geldings and the top price was $110,000. for a ranch gelding. You can get nice medium level ranch geldings for $20,000-$40,000. Go to their website and you can view the videos of all of the horses sold and most sold for $20,000 up to $110,000.