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Need help pricing a horse

A horse I own has been on lease for three years and the folks who lease him want to purchase. I am agreeable but I don’t know what $ I should ask for. The horse is 14 and when I sent him on his way he was a solid adult hunter with a fantastic local record but isn’t really a top rated horse because he has to really gallop to get down the lines but he is honest and safe and jumps amazing from any distance and gets a top hack prize anywhere. In the last three years however he has been playing the role of babysitter of a timid teen and intermediate riding mom and hasn’t jumped over 2’6" so I know his value has decreased. What would you think I should ask for, keeping in mind that this is where he belongs and that I’m not doing it to make $$. Just want to get a reasonable amount for the horse.

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Aren’t leases some percentage of the purchase price? Like, just double the lease and there you go. Or triple, if the lease is a smoking deal.

Or just charge what you think you’d like to get, I don’t think there’s any rules, not really.


General location? If you’re in the middle of nowhere it’ll be quite a bit less than if you’re in NOVA or SE PA. Maintenance beyond the regular? I mean around here SE PA a solid 2’6" local horse who can be in the ribbons at the local good shows is still gonna run 15k+ (and even more frankly) depending on maintenance, prep, etc.


No maintenance no prep. Doesn’t even wear shoes! In VA :grin:

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I would assume the Lease cost was based upon some known or expected value of the horse? Or was it just an amount that was chosen out thin air that was agreeable?

I have never leased a horse but would expect the cost to be based upon some value


What’s the lease fee been for the past 3 years?
I would not be expecting much on a soon-to-be 15 year old 2’6" horse with former local success. Will they do a PPE?

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I think the 2’6 babysitter types have actually KEPT value because they are SO hard to find. Depending on previous show record and breed, this horse in this zone could sell for anywhere between $20k-$50k (although some 2’6 packers will go for more, MUCH more). Even with a mid teens age, I see and hear this type going for WELL more than I’d expect because safe, sound, fun, easy, and good mover (even at 15!) is worth a lot to a lot of people. CAN he still jump 3’, and safely at that? That’ll skew top end of the range for sure.
I agree with others that lease fee typically is 1/2 or 1/3 value so maybe just double your lease fee?

I guess another question is: are you trying to make money on this sale or just get it done and ensure your horse goes to a good family who loves him? Since you’ve made likely his value back in 3x lease fees, it’s really up to you on how you want to have them “buy him out”…I guess that’s not particularly helpful on the pricing but more the selling philosophy! :joy:


When I was trying to buy this type of horse 2 years ago it was a minimal of 15k and some were up to 6 figures.

Older adults will pay a lot for safe and sound.


This is around where I was thinking (which in the scheme of things isn’t “much”) and with 3x lease fees paid it should be close to paid off. The show record was local, ie: likely no official USEF Horse Report to hang a hat on.

Given current $15k value as an example, and thinking around $5k for yearly lease fees, I’d consider one more lease installment and they get to keep him in the end.

If they’ve been leasing for $15k a year, and have thus paid $45k, I don’t think that same logic would work.

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I would agree with this. I’d say min 20 all the way up to 50 though this guy sounds based on description the lower end of that.

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I sold one similar to this a few year ago for $25k to the perfect home. The 2’-2’6" job was his jam, and he was 15 years old, and he’s still going strong for his kid now at age 20! The fact that these people have leased the horse for years would also make me keep the price on the lower end of things, since you have already benefitted from the situation and you are happy with the match.


Lease fee is usually a % of the pre-determined purchase price.
1/3 of the price is pretty standard, though some bigger jumpers & eq horses lease for more.
So I’d start there.

Do you want to sell him on the open market for fair market value or do you want the long time leasers to be able to buy him outright?

Which is it?

IIWM, Id just charge them one more lease fee and let them keep him.


The first year was a free lease because COVID and then I asked them what they would be willing to give me yearly and they came back with $2k so they have paid me $4k so far in lease fees.


They are getting a steal of a deal. I hope they treat him like precious gold.

I’d sell him in the free market and they can get first option to buy at market cost. You have already donated enough to them.


In my area (Florida) that horse would be $20k easy.
The conundrum is a good home right? But I certainly would not give him away for $2-4 k. Which is another lease payment.


They have paid you less than the cost of a new high end saddle, I wouldn’t sell to them. If they are so unwilling to pay a decent lease fee, can you be sure they will do what is necessary to give an older horse the care and maintenance he will need in his old age?


I agree that they were getting a lease waaaay under market value, no matter where you’re located.

That being the case, I wouldn’t give them a deal on the purchase price. Price your horse for the open market. No point in losing even more money to them!


Maybe they do treat him like precious gold, and that’s why OP was happy with the arrangement. Maximum value isn’t always the top priority. I took less than market value to sell mine to a kid he was perfect for and have never regretted that for one moment, I still love seeing how much she enjoys him 5 years later!


Not reading they “unwilling to pay a decent lease fee” or are unable to afford more here. And we really don’t know enough about the local level show horse, its soundness, the area OP is in or what trainers/agents may be involved. Hard to set an open market price without more specific details.

Much of the reported sale price on many includes commissions, finders fees etc. and refers to horses with verifiable show records, represented by Pros and who will PPE as suitable.

Many other sales are done privately between agreeable parties well known to each other with both sides happy the horse is in a good place. It’s OPs choice.