Why is the dressage horse sales market so hot?

Well there are certainly some good benefits for some for sure.

I just wonder if this is sustainable or not. I have no idea. I’m far from an economic expert.


I don’t know but a 5 yr old I’m looking at now was sold at auction in Europe for $22k and on import, totally green with no jumping lines he’s being sold for $45k

Other horses I have looked at in Europe either just backed or with a little ridden experience and bred to jump are $30-40k plus import

The same thing is happening with OTTBs. Even last year most off the track here in Ontario were going from $1000-$3000, with a few in the $500 and under bin.

This year, they are all around $4500-$6000. I have had SO many people messaging me asking if I know of any good “cheap” TBs since all the ones of the track are now fetching crazy prices.

I for one and super happy about this, what used to once be the bargain bin and would cause many a TB to end up in the wrong hands is not going to happen as much now. People wanting TBs are going to have to be able to afford the ticket price and in turn I feel they can more afford the better feed/foot/body/saddle care that TBs so often need and dont get when they are sold to people looking for cheap horses who really can’t afford the care some TBs require (I know this isnt everyone who gets them cheap but it is the norm).


My point was that you don’t need to feel guilty about being able to continue to ride. Unlike restaurant workers, people who earn a living in the horse industry — trainers, vets, grooms — have had stable employment. (No pun intended; just saw that.)


They rarely are.


The horse property markets seems to be very hot right now and probably for the same reason. Especially anything in the 1-5 acre lot size with a nicer house and a horse setup already in place. Places like that are selling after just a matter of days on the market in the greater metro areas I’ve been tracking and browsing.

I think the pandemic has nudged a lot of people into deciding it’s time to take their horse care into their own hands, and own yards, versus heading to the boarding stables daily. Or risk being shut out of the boarding stable altogether and not seeing your horse at all, due to a surge in positive numbers.

And as with having more time for horses, those in the work-from-home population with still-decent incomes are reasoning that they have more time do the necessary chores that’ll come with having a horse setup at home, too.

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I think the market is hot across the board; foxhunters are selling like crazy. Even the lesson programs are busier, from what I hear - people are dying to get out of the house and riding is pretty COVID-safe. And at my barn some of the half-lease crew have transitioned to full-lease.

I also think the pandemic and the huge disruption in daily life has made a lot of us take a hard look at our routines, our activities, and our values. It has certainly offered me a lot of clarity about the meaning that horses bring to my life. I don’t miss my yoga membership, eating out, traveling - but I have realized horses are truly non-negotiable and the money I put toward them is money well spent.


We are in the middle of a few million people with our horses at home on three acres… I can not cut my front yard without some one stopping to ask if our house was for sell. Our place is the center one of fifteen…five in front of us, five behind us and two on either side… so we are setting in a ten acre open space

and this has been this way for ever


Even finding a lower level dressage school horse, my trainer was struggling to find things under 10k. It’s really crazy. I guess the people impacted by these uncertain times are not the ones with the $?

Houses are going fast too though. We looked briefly a few months ago and things were selling same day they got listed with 5+ offers. I can’t wrap my head around it.

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I don’t know that lots of people will go back to pre-pandemic lifestyle and decide to sell. Personally, covid forced my employer to rapidly figure out some improvements to telework, and now I can be much more effective at home. I doubt I’ll ever go back to the office full-time. I think a lot of employers are coming to the realization that their more senior people, in particular, can be effective remotely, or working from satellite offices in locations that might be attractive to employees due to COL or other things like access to outdoor activities.


I work in a professional office setting and have been working at home since March, but I also wait tables because my full-time job doesn’t allow me to afford my horse entirely on it’s own. You guys who said that service industry workers are hurting right now are SO not kidding. We just got shut down for the second time in Baltimore and this time, there’s no extra $600 for my co-workers to collect. Unemployment is a joke. And for people like me, there ISN’T unemployment.

It was kind of funny, because when we reopened back in June, people were practically throwing money at us. My tips were INSANE. I work in a casual fine-dining restaurant, and even with the limited capacity, my first night back to work and only serving 2-top tables, my tips were over $300. Of course I didn’t go home with that, because we have to tip out the bar 20% because bartenders aren’t really making much when we’re primarily only running the service bar. But anyway, despite the good money I made, I had to get caught up on bills before I could really start to save much and unfortunately, I still didn’t get as much saved as I wanted to because by the time we got into fall, we weren’t nearly as busy as we’d been all summer. People didn’t want to sit outside since it was colder and a lot of people just weren’t as generous. I can’t even tell you how many times my co-workers and I were either given crappy tips or no tips at all, which is sad because we are GOOD servers and take pride in doing a good job. I’m hoping we’re not closed again for 3 months, and if we are, I hope that there’s some sort of stimulus package passed. I feel like we’re all being punished for having jobs that help meet the needs, or truthfully, the WANTS of people. Because let’s face it - nobody really NEEDS to be eating out all the time. I’m grateful that they do…but it’s frustrating, because our futures feel as though they are more or less in the hands of the very people we serve: the very wealthy, politicians, and well-known businessmen.

And don’t get me wrong - I understand my own privilege in that I even own a horse, and a nice one at that. But I’ve worked my tail off to keep him and the other horses I’ve owned over the years because what else do I have? My family is half a country away, I’m not married, I don’t have children, and horses have always been the one thing that has made me happy and brought me peace. I’m at the point where I’m going to have to look for a different full-time job because this uncertainty is scary. And that’s disappointing because my full-time job pays for me to finish my degree and provides good benefits. But I just don’t think it’s worth it anymore. My team at my full-time job was supposed to get promotions and raises earlier this year when our highest paid team member retired. But our AVP decided that us getting raises wasn’t a priority and then dicked around about it until it was too late - once the pandemic hit, we had salary freezes. Oh, but she took the money from that position and said she was going to use it hire an assistant for one of her direct reports. What they actually ended up doing was promoting that person to a brand, spanking new AVP position that they created out of thin air. So now, this woman will be making over $150K a year (probably more like $200K) while my colleagues haven’t had merit-based raises in years. In fact, two of us have been there for 3 and 4 years and we’ve NEVER had merit-based raises. Our supervisors would love to give us raises, but we work in higher education so it’s like pulling teeth. More power to those who can afford to spend that much money on a horse right now and good for the sellers. I’ll just be happy if I can come out on the other side of this without having to sell my horse of a lifetime.


I’m in the same position as you in regards to my job, but I’m hunkering down for now.

No bonuses for last year (would have been due in march ish, so they saw the writing on the wall and nuked them), there won’t be a bonus for this year. My plant is sold out with good margins, but our sister plants are not doing well so we have to shoulder their load. Meanwhile, they’re hiring director, after director, after director, making positions up that didn’t exist before. My 401k matching was suspended all year - they gave it back this month.

Meanwhile, my union employees are still getting everything allotted to them, because it’s in their contract. They’re making more $ than I am, that’s for sure. (and then they have the gall to get snippy that I expect them to like… actually come to work and operate their plants. We have one guy who calls off 10% of the time (edit, note that he has 3 weeks of scheduled vacation he can and does use as well), and he thinks I’m Cruella Deville because I’m issuing disciplinary action against him. I can’t even…) They think I’m in the cush position because “I’m management.” HA!!

So I’m supposed to bust my tail in 60+ hour week because my plant is sold out, no room for error, with no raise and no bonus because a completely different division is doing poorly. And, we clearly need 6 new “global directors.”


Riding is expanding because its an outdoor activity that won’t be hampered by restrictions. Its amazing how many new riders- both children and adults- have picked up the hobby since February. I know quite a few lesson barns who sold off their school horses to wealthy adult beginners in the spring because they were worried about having to carry the costs of all those horses in the event that they began to feel the economic effects of COVID. But now those adult beginners don’t want to lease the horse back to the program, and they have no horses left for new students. Its an interesting phenomenon.

And its across the whole industry. I have a really good friend who trains and sells foxhunters, and she usually has 4-8 available horses at any given time. But this weekend, she isn’t hunting at all because she sold 5 horses this week. I have another friend who is looking for a dressage horse, and she is driving feverishly up and down the eastern seaboard because the market where we are in NOVA is hotter than her decision making process.

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I keep hearing about this seller’s market – where are the very green, very good prospects selling? Website or ??? I haven’t had that much luck with Warmbloods for Sale, but should probably re-do my ad.

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My horse was posted on Warmbloods for Sale, but the most interest came from Facebook. I’m not sure were the buyer saw her listed. I bought a new horse from a FB post that had been forwarded to me from a friend.

Good point! There was a great article in Eventing nation recently about this very issue

I posted similar remarks earlier this year about a backyard pony I bought. Same thing; selling like hot cakes, overpriced, etc. I chalk it up to more discretionary spending among buyers and, like every other activity able to be done outside during the Pandemic, more interest in the activity be it kayaking, skiing, biking, etc…

The New York Times had a good op-ed piece today about how it has not been just rich people dong well during the pandemic, but also most of the professional class. It’s impacted many areas of the economy, including real estate as some have mentioned. Booming horse sales are just another indicator of how well some are doing.

Most people on this board who have horses are doing fine; it’s good to remember we have a large swath of society that is not doing well.


We bought land 6 months ago and we had to give them every asking penny. Land prices have shot up.

I’m a mortgage loan officer. We’ve been crazy busy. For a while now actually, pre pandemic real estate was hot. I handle a lot of refinances and the volume on that kind of mortgage is insane. I’ve run a lot of numbers and many, many of my customers are able to refinance and take out tens of thousands in equity and save tens of thousands in interest. Interest rates are at historic lows and many people are opting into suburban and rural properties (on the purchase side) for a variety of reasons.

We just purchased a horse property in October. Like horse shopping, we had to have our ducks in a row before seriously looking as desirable properties were going under contract crazy fast. Now I’m one of the people all of a sudden horse shopping. Need a second horse to bring home.