What the F is Going on With Horse Prices!?

Depends on the millennial. I just came back from visiting friends in NYC. Their companies all went remote and some of them are staying remote-only. I’d say 90% of my friends left the city for large chunks of time during the last 2 years, most of them going and spending time with family. They have all returned, with the exception of one, who moved to be closer to family. No one has made a permanent move yet. Two are trying to figure out how to live abroad, one is saving for a house, and the rest are pretty happy to be urban creatures. I think those who could afford to leave and buy property already did.

It will be a cold day in hell, however, if this millennial ever moves back to a city.


I know an older woman who got a mustang in December of 2020 and there was a way for her to send it to someone the sale arranged for it to be saddle broke. We went on a trail ride the next April and I was VERY impressed. A little dappled gray who was unflappable. I expected a jug headed narrow chested goose rumped thing but she is really pretty. I think she payed $200 and some more for the training, and I totally would consider getting a mustang now. We are in Georgia, so not like we are out west.



I never paid much mind to mustangs until I went to an event put on by the Mustang Heritage Foundation. I only went because I wanted to hear one of the guest speakers. But they hooked me!

I don’t have the fence height, either… but all you need are 6’ round pen panels to change that. Those can be acquired for less money than buying a nice TB off the track these days!!!

IIRC you’re right that BLM doesn’t let you sell the horse for one year, but then they are free to be sold to anyone so long as they aren’t going to auction/slaughter. But don’t quote me on that.

You can also adopt one from a TIP trainer for the standard adoption fee I think.


Answering the last paragraph I bolded.

Elder Millenial here. I think we just want to be able to find somewhere we can afford. :rofl:

My husband and I had to buy in the damn middle of nowhere because we were priced out of our original locales.


With online auctions they usually are open for 10 days so people have a chance to talk to the seller and get a PPE if they want… But they still have to bid on the horse and they could have a PPE and still not get the horse if they don’t get high enough.

Remember that in Europe the seller is responsible for the PPE, not the buyer. They have a vet do the look over and take X-rays. As a buyer, it is much easier as you can just ask your vet to review the X-rays, all already uploaded online. Nowhere near as expensive as sending a vet hours + away to do an in person PPE and take X-rays.

I’ve had friends who searched for years in a very tough market. 10+ PPEs before they bought the horse that worked & actually passed. At over $1K per PPE, arguably would have been cheaper to import from Europe. Of course, this depends on your comfort with risk, much easier for younger unstarted prospects than finding the right riding horse fit for an amateur.

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You may have just added a big piece to the puzzle of why so many American buyers are shopping in Europe, when we certainly have horses here. I already know that the buyers are finding European horses to be better started and likely more uniform in quality. Compared with the mixed bag that driving around to see horses in the U.S. will yield.

Basically, European sellers are creating a buyer-friendly process for selecting & choosing. They are making it easy to navigate a process that in the U.S. can be downright painful. In addition to being economical. This makes so much sense and is something American sellers should consider.


A related rant…People are buying everything sight unseen for the most part due to the market. It’s time to stop being so afraid of it (a lot of horse people are, seemingly, yet some do it frequently). Heck, I was going to buy untried, but that was always my plan. I can adapt to how a horse goes. And especially in this market, you don’t always have the luxury.

I am perfectly fine with keeping constant contact with a seller, videos and pictures, but the onus falls on you to keep up and do your research about how reputable a seller is before dealing with them. There are dealers who sell sight unseen/untried (usually I noticed with more expensive show dealers). I personally think this is just the way of the world now: fast paced, but as efficient as you make it. Quite frankly not everyone has time to travel, spend money to sit on a horse (which doesn’t always guarantee a sane mount, suppose the horse was drugged the day you tried it, etc). I’ll never understand the adversity to sight unseen if the research has been done carefully. It gets an unfair bad rap, but in this day in age, this is how the markets are. People are buying foals before they’re born too which that personally boggles my mind but to each their own.

If you wait to ‘try’ and then buy… the horse might be gone by the time you book a hotel. Then what? My suggestion: Keep an extensive line of communication with the seller, know your rights, place a deposit, hope for a good ppe, ship off the horse. If you want to be careful, ask for a trial period. Personally I’ll buy most of my horses this way. The market is and will continue to caterv towards it.


That may be true in some places (?) but I have bought two horses in Germany (one 21 years ago, one last month) and know several other people who have bought there, and in all of those cases the buyer did the PPE. The one I just bought had a handful of x-rays available from when he was a yearling, and that’s it (he’s 3 now). Pretty sure everyone on here would advise getting your own PPE rather than relying on the seller’s anyway.


Such good info thank you! I’ve heard several mustang people say they are like potato chips and you having 9 tells me you would say the same. I heard Mary Kitzmiller say it and Rebecca Bowman.

I spoke this week with both with Mary and Justin Dunn and working on finding a gifted, kind trainer and not be in a rush aka having a competition deadline. And I plan to get a second one once my old guy passes away - he’ll be 29 this year. Even my dental vet who is Board Certified in Dentistry and also named a Diplomate said he’s seen by far better teeth in Mustangs than teeth in general. And he said he’s seen quite a few Mustangs.


Yes, this is true. HOWEVER - having gone through this process a few times, I found that it didn’t totally eliminate frustration. I found myself translating vet reports from foreign languages. Fun. Often the X-rays would be poorer quality than what we have here, and my vet would basically shrug and say “can’t really see what’s going on here.”

I had a flexion test filmed and sent to me. My coach, vet, and I all saw things that made us go “hmmm” while the accompanying vet report had no remarks.


Prices are truly insane. I had to put down my 20 year old SWB gelding after Christmas due to cancer. I paid 20k for him almost 6 years ago and he was a 3rd level school master. The horse I am vetting tomorrow is 55k 9 year old Hanoverian 3rd level trained schooling 4th. There is very little out there in that price range that has some decent training and is adult amateur friendly. Thought about importing but want to sit on the horse before buying

Not a first time horse owner, but as an elder, childfree, millennial I bought my first horse as an adult in the summer of 2020. Working from home indefinitely, not spending money on travel and the like opened up a lot of financial flexibility for me. I started my MBA in fall of '19 through my companies tuition reimbursement program. I initially had been planning to use the money dog eared for that as a horse fund when I got it all back upon graduation, but I beat myself to it.


Really appreciate your thoughts - they inspired me! I’ll get some heavy duty round pen panels. Settle him into the round pen until we see relaxation and settling. I’ve read repeatedly people saying their Mustangs jumped their fence.

Yes, I’ve watched many of the horses competing in the various Mustang competitions and it is simply amazing - incredibly athletic looking and focused. But they are also being ridden by very gifted trainers.

I believe we could move ALOT of Mustangs out of the holding pens if horse owners were educated on the process AND we built the network of trainers who can gentle them. And educate the owners on the importance on working with a trainer once you get one - or getting good help.


Thank you for sharing - I love this story!

That’s what I did. I took apart my round pen and used some of the panels to make a small paddock attached to a shelter. Adopting a mustang was a childhood dream of mine that I worked to make happen. Watching her learn and grow was the single most rewarding experiences of my life. She’s now carting around an adult amateur and living her best life. Everyone who meets her loves her and she has the best home I could have ever wished for.


Leave the halter and lead rope on them until you can reliably catch them. The little mustang I adopted became a trusted trail horse and then added eventer to her resume when I got back into the sport. They are extremely versatile and learn quickly.


@Scribbler. Duly noted. Definitely need to be careful to get what you want having a shot at being great. I also need an independent sort of horse being I have a small farm and there will only be 3-4 horses.

@Spudsmyguy Thank you for sharing - your experience and and that it was one of most meaningful experiences of your life really resonates with me. Thank you for the inspiration!

Sorry, I literally quoted you to clarify a bit. :smiley: The government retains title when you adopt a mustang. After one year you can apply for title after demonstrating that you are providing proper care. Once you receive title, you can sell the horse.


Ive sat on plenty of horses that look great but the feel is wrong for me. I could not do sight unseen. It’s all about the feel for me.