Help on buying a horse

So I am new to the horse owner ship side of the horse world. However I work at a barn and there’s a 3year old buckskin mare, not broke to ride but has ground manners . She is registered. How much would a good price for buying her be. I don’t want to be paying too much for something I’m going to have to be putting money in to train

Do not buy a horse that is not “made” for your first horse. Do not do so.
Ok, get friends and/or relatives who have ridden all their lives to help you find a suitable horse.
Do not buy a horse that is not already trained!


^^^^^ This times 100. Your first horse should be a been there done that horse. Find something that is already doing what you want the horse to do. Use a good horse friend or a good horse trainer to help you navigate trying horses, pre-purchase exams, buying well fitting tack. Don’t forget to budget for tack, blankets, emergency funds. It is not only the purchase price. The purchase price is the cheap part.
I suggest leasing first if possible.


You should not buy this horse at any price. You should not even accept responsibility for this horse if it is given to you for “free.”

When and if you buy a horse, buy a horse that is already ready for you to ride and enjoy at the level you currently ride at, from the first day.


And for your future horse-shopping: Go online at Dreamhorse and other big selling sites, enter your location and your search parameters (“gelding”, “age”, “discipline” etc.). That gives you a good idea what is selling for what, in your area. Area of the country is a huge variable in horse price.


Thank you all so much


Yes to all that other posters have said. I had to learn the hard way and it was no fun, let me tell you. I also rode for awhile with a young lady that was talked into buying a 5 yr old OTTB mare and that horse ran roughshod over her. She never had any fun and now wants nothing to do with horses. What a difference it would have made had she purchased the right horse. Buy the horse that’s right for you right now and have fun right now.

If they offer you horse for free - run away as fast as you can. Really. There is no such thing as a free horse. Good luck!


Too many young horses have been screwed up by well meaning inexperienced people.

I am not being the BB police but since you are new here it would be more suitable to post this in the Off course section.



The OP does not state their actual experience level with horses, just their ownership experience. If they’ve been grooming for a major stable for a while that’s one thing. If the total experience does not significantly outweigh the ownership experience then the made horse is the only way to go.

Around here the cost to start a horse under saddle will be $850/mo. (plus or minus) for 60-90 days. And you get a green horse that knows how to walk and trot under saddle in a controlled circumstance out of the program. Now you have 4 years, more or less, of training to do to turn a green broke youngster into a mature, sensible, adult equine citizen. If you have the personal skill to do that then enjoy. If you don’t then you will be spending at least couple of thousand dollars over time to “make” the horse.

Market value in this area for a horse as described: in the $800-$1200 range. The upper end is a bit higher than usual because of the color.



When we bought our kid’s first horse we wanted a aged proven well trained English pleasure horse… while looking for the ideal horse I saw this long yearling filly who was nice, really nice… bought her instead. spent three years and about $36,000 in training costs… but she was worth it

We leased several horses for the kids while “my” ideal horse was developed


You either pay for the finished horse, or pay for training.


Green plus Green =Black and Blue. You need to build confidence. a young horse needs a leader WITH confidence. So it would never work. I agree with everyone else. find a good safe horse. Ask your vet if they know any healthy and beginner friendly horses for sale.


And you can’t ride and enjoy the horse while it’s being trained. You are getting excellent advice here. Don’t buy this youngster.

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Experienced horse - green rider; Exerienced rider - green horse. You will have so much fun with the right horse for you that you can gain knowledge on and then buy your youngster when you feel confident you can do the horse justice.

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And at least with the finished horse, you know more or less what you are getting. With an unstarted young horse, it is VERY open ended.

Or pay to fix it when you screw it up

Please look for a well trained horse. If a trained horse is out of your budget (no shame in that), perhaps maybe look into a half or full lease. This, too, will give you at least a glimpse into the expenses that go into having your own horse. If you are working with a trainer, see if you can perhaps pursue that route. Good luck OP!

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I agree with all the advice to buy a trained horse first.

As far as the value of an unbroken buckskin filly, that could be anywhere from free giveaway to low/mid 5 figures.

If she is a grade or mutt or undistinguished QH cross, and the owners have lost interest or are intimidated or have no cash for a trainer, horse could well be a giveaway or $500.

But is this the case? Color says nothing specific about breed. She could be a very nice Lusitano or a high end reining prospect quarter horse or even a warmblood (though less likely for a cream dilute). She could be coming along just fine inhand with solid plans to start saddle training when she is 4, and potentially worth a lot of money. Certainly a fairly good quality 3 year old unbroke warmblood could cost $20,000.

Anyhow, buy a broke horse, and study up on the breeds common in your discipline of choice and their prices locally.