Update: Bottom dropping out of “low end” horse market

Right here where I’m at it sure seems to be doing just that. By “low end” I mean the very lowest price points and freebies. Seeing an alarming number of freebies needing groceries here too :frowning:

What about in your area?

Update: My local market is under pressure due to lack of boarding. Everywhere is full with a wait list and a large facility recently closed its doors. I think this is playing into the lack of buyers for the lower priced horses. I hadn’t been paying as much attention to the local boarding scene recently as I’ve been busy setting up my new horse property and didn’t realize how tight it was.

We need to bring back US Slaughter plants.

Fact is, especially with a global pandemic, a lot of people lost their jobs and with it - the money for their hobbies and horses.

The upper class buying the mid fives+ horses never waivered. In fact, I think they’re like the real estate market - booming.

But, most of the sub $10,000 market isn’t moving. I was sent an ad for a free 25 year old mare overnight by a well meaning friend. I happened to be up anyway and super irritated about something else, so the poster trying to pawn off their senior was lucky I couldn’t comment about what a POS they were. :joy:


Here, it’s more like the sub 5k buyers all just vanished. Recently.


When I moved here and inquired about preparing for the end with my already 20+ year old horse, the very down-to-earth vet looked at his large self and commented “That’s a lot of protein”. We have a wildlife park nearby with big cats who need to eat, so (assuming he gives us warning that it’s time and we can avoid using drugs) taking him there for euthanasia has always been my preferred plan.

There need to be more options, and less guilt trips.


I dunno, it’s still a seller’s market on the West Coast, especially for horses under 5k. I’m amazed how quickly a lot of horses sell including from dealers who tell potential buyers that they must show up with cash and trailer in tow, just to see the horse! Haven’t seen an increase in neglect type cases either. Maybe it’s a regional thing.


Here it is very difficult to find any serviceably sound horse for under $10K. But it has long been a thing that horses from the middle of the country are sent to the coasts where they can be shined up and sold for much more by smart dealers.


shortage of good riding horses here - very little advertised and what’s available is 5k plus, so I think the ads dumping the lame, used up, or inconvenient horses are just more visible.


Maybe so. I’m seeing a fair number of young unstarted colts for next to nothing. 4 months ago they would have sold for 2-3k. Weird weird

I’m on the Gulf Coast. I’m not seeing fab sporthorses for sale for peanuts obviously but definitely an uptick in free and almost free horses cropping up.

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Very possibly. I’m in FL so a long ways from you

Sellers market in New England, definitely. Horses that would have been 3000 a few years ago are now 6-8K. It’s ridiculous. There are still idiots trying to rehome their 25 year old unrideable retired horse and that won’t change based on the market because there is no market for that horse. Even 20 year old BTDT types in work are going for 2-3K.


Yep, had this conversation with my farrier yesterday. I’ve got a 16-year old very beginner friendly trail horse. I got him a couple years ago for $1500 (older lady just wanting to find him a good home, but not that much below market for an older non-athletic horse). Farrier said he would easily get $6000-8000 now. Insane.

Too bad he’s worth his weight in gold to me for taking care of my husband on trail rides.


I feel like I’ve seen more of this as well.

  1. The less fortunate folks who were already close to the margins might have lost their jobs last year and have nowhere else to turn with their now half-starved horses.

  2. Those who have always kept their horses like this (job loss or no) see the market booming in other horse areas so they think their half-starved lame horse can bring in at least $1000+ (and in some cases they’re not wrong).


@Arelle, think this is a good time to list that randomly possessed mare I was PMing you about?!?! HAHA!

:joy: Only if you list her for five figures, @Jo.

What I’m seeing here in the PNW is a lot of horses going for way more than they are worth. An unbroke grade horse over 5 years old and has a bad attitude? $6,000. People have always had an unrealistic view of what their animals are worth. Lately it seems worse. Not seeing anything under $3,000 unless it’s on death’s door. When I see these ads, I always think “I hope you like that horse because you’re going to have it for a while.”


Horses priced $1k like 5 years ago will have a $5-8k price tag right now in N Texas. Something capable of local/open/all around type shows will be $10-15k. Last fall I was focusing my horse shopping out of state, because even after shipping across country they would be cheaper than buying in Texas.

6 months ago I wasn’t even seeing decrepit seniors for less than 3k.

Post Christmas I’m seeing more and more free and cheap cheap horses.

Evidently it’s either a local phenomenon or the universe is suggesting I provide a soft landing for a horse in need.


Around here, the market is HIGH. We are in a horse saturated region. SE Michigan. Michigan state University and University of Findlay are both super close. Lots of show/competition barns in the area, show grounds and other vendors in the industry. Right not, you can’t find a horse under $2k that’s broke, even just 30 days. Everything under that is grade, starving and probably not even halter broke.


I guess I got lucky. I bought an 11 year old Appy/TB cross in Phoenix for $2500. He’s 16.1, sound, good brain with a low-level dressage background and enthusiasm to move on to jumping. So sad I’m having fear issues and can’t ride him to his advantage now. He’s working on flying changes on course for the first time in his life. He’s doing well in one direction; the other direction is a little harder, but he’ll get them. He jumps wicked cute. He definitely will be great in the 2’6", but may have potential for the 3’. I think I got a deal.