Desirability of different warmblood registries

I do not have plans to breed anywhere in the near future but hope this section will get the most responses from selling breeders and buyers. I have come across a younger BWP mare who has mostly be left in a pasture. She is for sale and lightly (pretty poorly) started. I do not see many BWP horses for sale in my area so have no idea if she is worth what they are asking and if there is any resale down the road if we don’t mesh. Is a mare that is BWP registered desirable is the US? She is put together decently and priced better than most warmbloods I have seen which is why I am considering leaving off breed land and ponying up the cash for her. She is still at least double to triple the cost of an off breed of the same age and training. Anything other than good retraining that can be done to make her more marketable down the road?

I don’t think one registry is really that much more valuable than another with the possible exception of AWR which is a bit of a joke. Once the horse is on the ground you need to evaluate them on their own merits, not the papers. That includes looking at the sire and dam and what they have achieved if possible.

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Yes, the Belgian Warmblood is a legit European warmblood registry. Yes, you can expect to be charged the “Warmblood Premium.” However check the papers to make sure she isn’t Belgian x Warmblood :slight_smile:

That said, when a potentially valuable horse is let sit in a pasture and then sold at a lower price, be aware and don’t always leap at a bargain. She may have soundness issues or behavior problems, human caused or inherent. She will always be behind her peers in training, and her retraining may take longer.

She may be a lovely horse whose humans had a life crisis. Or she may have an undiagnosable NQR soft tissue injury, or buck.

The only way to raise her value is to get her doing a job. Every year she sits in a field over the age of 3 or 4 she loses value. People don’t pay a lot for brood mares.

Would you buy a horse in her situation if it was a plain old OTTB or QH?



If this is a well-bred mare, her value is potentially more to a lot more than the “same” mutt mare

What does:

actually mean? Are the off breeds $500 and she’s $1500? Or is it $2000 vs $6000? If all I wanted to do was ride the horse, I wouldn’t pay 3x. But if it’s 2k vs 6k and I want to (also) potentially breed and have registered foals who can sell more than unregistered foals, then 100% I’ll pay more

Beyond solid training, a show record always helps, and a WB mare can be inspected and approved for breeding, which will at least increase her salability even if it doesn’t really increase her sales price.

I’d add that the term “off breed” makes me think dressage. Now it’s true that almost any WB is going to have more innate dressage talent than most QH. But it’s also true there are jumping and dressage lines in each WB registry. It’s also true that a quality WB can be too hot and big strided for many ammies and even lower level coaches who never get to use the potential of their WB and may get scared or give horse chronic stress injuries from making them go under tempo all the time.

So if you want her for upper level dressage then look at the bloodlines. If you want her for lower level dressage look at mind and rideability. In both cases look very carefully at her history and vet. Same advice but different for a jumper.

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I know that anecdote isn’t data, but the three Belgium WB I’ve dealt with were very much ‘professional rider’ horses. A bit stressy, needed confident and competent handling, were happier moved on to quieter circumstances. Could be they just didn’t like me!

Thanks everyone! Project horses in my area are ticking up in price and your run of the mill grade or average moving QH are now closer to 3000 rather than the 1000 or under they would have been in the past. I have been looking at lightly restarted OTTBs and they range from 2500 to 10k! The BWP mare is being advertised at 10k negotiable. The being behind peers in what she knows is a concern but the appeal of getting a not overworked youngster is pretty nice. I am looking for a low level eventer that can kill it in the dressage arena so kind of the opposite that many lower eventers seem to be looking for. Since most WB in utero are as much as this mare much less at least double the price started and the bonus that they can show that she doesn’t try to kill you undersaddle she seems to be a nice option for me. I want a forward ride and if I don’t have to carry a whip or wear spurs even better. I am used to riding smaller pocket rocket types so would need to see if I can handle a larger stride but I am not afraid to let mine move out.

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I would want to find out why she is sitting in a pasture. Sometimes it is genuine life circumstance… I sometimes learned the hard way that those horses turned out to Dr Green are usually done so for a reason - they got hurt or were too difficult for their connections at the time.

In the ULs, there are certainly preferences for different registries because of certain perceptions about their innate talent that may or may not be true… For a while, HAN was considered a bit ‘lesser’ of a registry in terms of UL potential in dressage, then it was HOL, and now it seems like KPWN is dominating and anything else is second-rate. In jumping, HOL has been at the top for a long time, while certain connections think HAN is equivalent to “jump killer” and are only dressage horses… but really, these are open registries with a lot of reciprocity (exception KWPN), and you may be surprised by how much they share genetically.

At the lower levels, I haven’t found it matters which registry they come from, as long as they come from a registry. People will price it higher no matter what registry it is.

I like BWPs. I’ve ridden a couple of very nice ones. It might have just been my circle but all the ones I rode were old fashioned and heavy in type, were more suited for jumping or eventing than dressage.


The BWP Studbook is currently Ranked #1 in WBFSH Rankings for showjumping. And as some of the other posters have mentioned the BWP does dominate in the over fences sport vs. Dressage since the majority of their breeding has been jumping centric for decades, however there are still lovely dressage horses available, many just have more jumper breeding.

If she was bred in the US, there is a good chance she would be branded, since most of the North American breeders decide to brand their horses, in BE they do not brand anymore. Like many said above there may be a good reason she’s been sitting, so definitely check that out. If you can somehow track down her pedigree and UELN, you would be able to assess her value for breeding (not necessarily the actual amount, but if her pedigree is special and would be interesting to a breeder).

I have seen a copy of her papers and have started to look at the horses in her pedigree. They all look to be jumpers and I have yet to see one that has any dressage accomplishments listed. Pedigree doesn’t look to be special but there is line breeding to what looks to be a popular prolific stallion. Probably makes her worth the price they are willing to come down to but as that price is still equal to what I would pay for something that had a nice start on it of a different breed I don’t know that their failings as a breeder is worth it to me. I do not believe there is anything wrong with her just that they have too many horses and not enough time. She probably was supposed to be an expansion to their small breeding program but there are some staffing changes happening at their farm so I think they are scaling back. I actually wish they wouldn’t of had her started in the way they did as it did the mare no favors. But as they chose to take that route it makes it highly unlikely anyone else that wants an immediately ready to go horse is going to be interested in her. Giving me time to research and think without feeling like I may have an amazing missed opportunity if I wait too long.

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How “badly” was she started, and what experiences do you have? Was she started in a way that just has her doing some things wrong, but happily? Or started in a way that has made her cranky?

if your goal is ONLY to ride, and never to breed, and you want something started properly even if still green, it doesn’t sound like she’s the horse for you.

But if you want the option of breeding a quality horse to either keep or sell, and she’s at least not dangerous to ride, she’s probably worth it.

10k for a lightly started WB is pretty reasonable in my area. The price probably has nothing to do with the linebred ancestor in her pedigree, but you’re welcome to post her pedigree if you want people to give you pedigree insights.

If she ended up in that situation because of too many horses, she’s probably very much worth $10k. I’d rather have a scantily started horse, than a horse started too early and ruined.

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I have not bought anything made yet so as long as it doesn’t try to kill me I am unconcerned. I have brought along 2 broke to sit on but otherwise uneducated horses that were right about her age when I bought them. The second has turned out to be a lovely project pony that I am selling to move on to my next project that is hopefully going to be even better than her. Having to go the old fashion way to move up in horse. Video shows her contentedly moving along quietly chewing on the bit with her head in the air. No tension just has apparently not been asked to push with her back end at all to not move around like a baby camel. Totally normal baby behavior but she is plenty old enough to be do at least training level very solidly. The route they went to get started riding time on this young horse makes me cringe and honestly she doesn’t look like she had those months of training or might as well not had it from the uneducated person who did it.

I agree the price is reasonable but why they went down the path for her starting is why I hesitate. Why you would let anyone like they used touch a horse that should be worth 10k as it is hitting the ground much less twice that with a little bit of decent training is concerning. I agree that lightly started vs over worked young ones is best but why they let someone who I wouldn’t let work a grade stock horse worth half the mares current price is the mystery.

I guess I’m not understanding the issue. Many breeders don’t start their own horses. Maybe they grabbed someone to start this one to give her a better chance at getting sold, rather than an unstarted older horse

I wouldn’t continue comparing her age and what she should be doing, to what she actually is doing. How old is she anyway?

A super green bean going around like she is, happily and contently, is a great start over an unbroken 3yo who is a total unknown. If you have experience with uneducated horses her age, this one shouldn’t be a problem.

A trainer who can take a $10k 4yo and quickly turn them into a $20k 4 yo isn’t cheap, at all, not if they trainer comes to them, and certainly not if they have to send her out for 30-60 days. If they are just in over their head and need to scale down, better to get some safety basics ridden work done on an unbroken 4yo (or however old she is), to get a faster sale, than continue to feed her and pour more and better training into her just in the hopes they can get more $ from her


If you want her as a possible breeding prospect, look into the registry requirements to have her approved for breeding such as an inspection. Does that registry hold inspections in your area regularly?

And bone chips are very common in young WBs. For the price I would be surprised if she already has a set of rads on file. If you plan on reselling, it’s always a good idea to make sure there are no surprises that will come up on a future PPE.