Why does no one question horse prices?

I know horses are expensive, but it’s gotten a little ridiculous - don’t you think?

Feels like the dirty money being mixed in is really frothing up a market that has no reason to see price increases at the rate it has (even pre-COVID and pre-bear market, to be clear). Sure, there’s more people in the sport, but it’s not like we aren’t also shipping tens of thousands of horses across the border for slaughter every year. I’m so tired of these brain dead, dead-souled horses going around the hunter rings.

Is this really the industry we imagined? Or do we still have some “cleaning up” to do?


Don’t mind me, I’m just getting a front row seat with some popcorn before the breeders and young horse trainers show up :popcorn:


…but you didn’t disagree :thinking:


Buyers have to collectively say NO to the extremely inflated prices! Horses bought in europe for 50k put on the market two weeks later for 150k! I am willing to pay a good amount but not the outrages overpriced amounts


No. I don’t think it’s ridiculous at all. It’s my opinion the market has finally caught up with what it truly costs to make these horses, especially in high cost of living areas.

I have two horses right now. A BTDT TB and a coming six WB. I’ve put a lot of time and money into producing these horses. My training. My time. Clinics. Shows. Lessons. CC/field use fees. Local venue membership. Feed costs. Farriery. Tack. I wouldn’t even consider selling either for less than mid fives because that reflects how much time and money it’s taken me to produce these horses. They’re both nice horses that are desirable in the current market because they’re what everyone wants: Tall (17h), competitive movers, honest, non-pro rides. The WB has hackwinning movement and the TB can compete with WB movers. The TB could go for significantly more if I competed him more often, but it’s expensive.

That price point is fine to me because at this point I couldn’t imagine buying either for less. I doubt I could actually find the WB’s counterpart stateside. Which suggests to me the market values of these horses are catching up with the market costs to MAKE these young horses into the 10-12 y/o packers that everyone wants.

People like to complain about the market costs but no one sits down and does the math. How much education has been put into that horse financially? Is that horse’s pedigree a dime a dozen? How about his temperament? Could you easily find a replacement in every way? How much do you think it cost to produce that horse, in a program from breaking as a baby to packing around ammies at shows? How about all the years of board - or if no board, keeping at home? Land isn’t cheap and horses are becoming too expensive for the average person, which makes the truly competitive horses something of a desirable commodity. Making a solid show horse takes years.

When you look at it that way the prices start to make sense.


That’s just not how economics work.

Money into a horse does not equate money out.

You have to put gas in your car - doesn’t add value to your car.


It actually is how it works. For most valuations, you(g) take the subject and do a cost based approach. This cost based approach gives you a baseline valuation of your subject. This determines fair market value.

If everyone could produce a Training level packer for YRs or a 3ft hack winner for a trust fund kid, the world would be crawling with them. If every horse trained could unfailingly do this job, they couldn’t be so rare that consumers have to act immediately on a horse the moment it hits the market.

The significant wastage impacts the available market too. Horses die unexpectedly in training. They sustain freak injuries. They sustain riding related injuries. They decide they don’t like the job they’re asked to do. They are quirky or maybe less amateur friendly than hoped. They have hidden congenital issues. Fewer horses in the pool drives up their demand which drives up prices — this is the very basis of economics.

Your car analogy is not a fair analogy. Think if it like a house instead. You buy a house that has a base value that is middling. You make significant improvements to the house. Your value subsequently goes up which will, down the road, affect sale price.

This goes for horses too. No one wants a green broke 12 y/o. Everyone wants a 12 y/o packer. All things equal, the packer has more improvements therefore is more valuable.

How do you think that horse became a packer? Thousands and thousands of dollars in training, showing, clinicing — aka improvements. Without that education he’d be a green 12 y/o and no one would pay 50k for him. With that education, he’s valuable and 50k starts to sound reasonable.

Why not just come out and say it? Your thread is targeted as a frustration / vent thread against people who have money.

They are not your enemy. They are not driving up land costs, fuel costs, hay costs, and horse costs.


unless the sponsors and the committees are shelling out the $$$$ the good horses go to the highest bidder.
Celle might have first dips on the top stallions at the Keuring, but the rest are business people trying to break even.
and private entities.
The US team would have had nothing to ride for a long time between the TB mounts and the WB bred in the US.
The density is just bigger in Europe. Breeding isn’t something that is removed from the agricultural setting, and many incentives from yesteryear are still in place when farmers were counted on to produce remounts for the army. The distances a shorter, and with a secure safety net you can let youngsters ride your green horses at shows to put miles on them.

but ‘sending’ their best?
money talks, BS walks.

I am still not sure what made the prices all over explode over the last 3 years.
As if people suddenly found a gold mine under their pillow.

1 Like

Exactly - let’s get back to the unexplainable price explosion…


I’m not on Facebook for a reason. Thanks but no thanks for the personal attack. Let’s all be adults and focus on having a healthy debate, shall we?


When I mentioned crazy horse prices in front of our new Barn Owner, who happens to be a breeder and trainer, I got an education of current costs per year to raise a foal to a green broke, nicely broke, finished, kid safe and every point in between.

No I’m not talking about the levels that you guys are I guess, but it a rese to sensible prices.


So this sounds like sticker shock because you are now dealing at a higher level of horse. You can still get low end OTTB and OTSB, feral horses, mustangs, and slaughter auction rescues very very cheap. They might or might not make a sound sane riding horse. They are unlikely to compete at anything but modest levels.

If you want a horse athletic enough to get ribbons at say 3 foot 6 or 4 feet, but also take care of a nervous AA or a junior that’s actually a rare animal. And there are enough rich people in the sport that they will pay an insane (to me) amount.


Each to their own, but true kid safe, kid enjoyable, kid tolerant, is a combination of temperament and miles. I turned down a good offer on my horse, I don’t see him as kid safe…yet! He will be, but needs more miles, more exposure, and maybe a more grown up attitude.


Yes to the miles.

@self_made_hunter_jumper, the analogy of putting gas in the car is incorrect. It’s more like adding performance parts, which actually DO increase the value. If you want to buy and enjoy TODAY what it took me 5 years and X dollars in fees to create, heck yes you’re going to pay for that. It is not going to come cheap. My time and expertise is valuable. How valuable is market driven.

A horse is worth what someone will pay for it. Period.

Go buy a yearling if you don’t want to pay the made horse price, since you believe someone’s time and training aren’t worth a nickel.


apparently you must work in DC

What is your definition of Cost of Production?

while not a major of mine I did minor in Economics …all of the direct and indirect costs businesses face from manufacturing a product or providing a service (in this thread’s case raising a horse, developing that horse to the point of sell) is the Cost of Production and does affect the selling price


I do not disagree that money into a horse does not usually (for most of us) equal money out of a horse, typically.
But I think that is one of the points that @beowulf is trying to make. If people can not make money by making a horse into a show horse then people will not be making horses into show horses.


more buyers than sellers, pretty easy economics


Yes but let’s unpack that - exactly who is making this money? I’m all about trainers getting their cut. But if the trainers were producing such amazing horses and riders - where are these horses and riders? I don’t see them.

All I see is amateurs who can’t get over a few fences in a row and are getting seriously injured. Or I see amateurs sitting on heavily drugged horses that they win blue ribbons on. Is that what people are paying stupid money for these days?


I guess if this is all you see then maybe you need to start hanging out somewhere else.


To some extent, like the housing market, there are always going to be ups and downs, and how much someone is willing to pay will affect the price. Sometimes you can get a good buy on a hidden gem (like a smaller house if you’re a single person and most of the buyer’s market is made up of families). But if you want cheap, you’re going to end up buying a fixer-upper, and either you put money into it with your own sweat and knowledge, or by picking contractors to help you make it into what you want. If you want something you can clean up and live in on Day One, you’re usually paying more, even if there are inflated prices across the board.

Sometimes there are horse bargains because the horse is not what the typical buyer in the market wants, like a 14.3h Morgan horse that has a great temperament and can be a good all rounder at dressage and jumping, versus a 16.2 chestnut warmblood gelding. But usually, if you want to save money, that can mean a younger or less trained horse, and you take the chance that maturity and training may or may not make the horse into what you want, versus a horse who is proven at doing the job you want him to do.