Advanced search

Cheap horses

(37 Posts)
Officedepot Thu 03-Jan-13 13:31:53

Always thought that the price of a horse would depend on following things:
- age
- size
- temperament / manners
- breeding (ie pay more if pure-bred / registered breed)
- competition potential
- any vices / illnesses etc

Anything else?

Have seen several ads on Preloved etc that seem very cheap, for example:

- 16hh 16 year old for £350 (apparently good and no vices),
- 5 year old 14.2hh cob £750 (again apparently good in every way and no vices)
- 10 year old 15hh (again apparently good and no vices) for £650 including tack.

The low prices make me suspicious that the horses actually have hidden vices etc. Can anyone think of a genuine explantion why people are selling horses so cheap? I know you might get the odd person who just needs a quick sale, but there seem to be loads of ads for cheap horses at the moment.

Seems odd that these horses are so cheap and if you buy a cob from a dealer like Safecobs you could pay £4,000 (although appreciate you are paying for the training and peace of mind there).

Anyone got any experience of buying a cheap horse, good or bad?

I'm not actually buying (well not yet!) just curious!

N0tinmylife Thu 03-Jan-13 14:13:45

Horses are expensive to keep, and at the moment there are lots of people with financial problems. I can see why people would be selling off perfectly good horses cheaply. That said, it could just as easily be because they have all sorts of vices!

slippyshoes Thu 03-Jan-13 15:43:35

IME if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Went to view lots of cheap horses with my knowledgeable and experienced friend who wanted a project over the winter and people’s idea of what ‘good in all ways’ or ‘no vices’ (or even ‘healthy’!) means varies wildly. We came across some absolute shockers and many dodgy people who would’ve sold their own grandma (probably described as a ‘young, beautiful teenager with a full set of teeth and fully flexible limbs’!) for a few quid. Felt quite sorry for some of the horses as they will probably end up in completely unsuitable homes due to the sellers’ dishonesty...

That’s not to say you can’t find a bargain out there and that’s how professional horse dealers make their money but as an amateur I personally wouldn’t take the risk. Keeping horses costs so much money that the initial outlay in buying the horse is very small in the grand scheme of things.

Having said that I know quite a few 'success stories':

A very lovely dressage horse that had trained with a world famous dressage rider that was sold for a token amount of £1 (including all made to measure tack etc), there was nothing wrong with the horse, its owner had just got bored and was so rich didn’t care about the money, just wanted rid of the horse. Another perfectly lovely young horse was given away as its owners (not rich, just lazy) couldn't be bothered to sort out a very minor behavioural issue. It was sold on three months later for over £4,000. A friend bought a pony for £40 at an auction and sold it six months later for £2,500.

And the other way:

A friend bought a show jumper for £8,000. It turned out to be a nutter and she couldn't get rid of it - or even get anyone to ride it. It's now been retired to a field at age of 10. Another friend bought a 'confidence giver' cob for £3,500 which turned out to be a habitual bolter and after a lot of time and money spent on the issue had to be put down as she couldn't risk selling (or even giving) it to anyone else.

Booboostoo Thu 03-Jan-13 17:11:16

Well the first one is too old. If it was a pony then good ones have useful lives well into their 20s, but anyone who buys a 16 year old 16hh is really buying a retirement project (of course there are exceptions but that would be my first thought for the price).

The second one is too young. 14.2hh is a good size, suits a lot of older children or adults who want to hack and have a bit of fun, but if it was broken late, or has limited experience it's really a project for someone to bring on for a couple of years and then sell on.

The third one is probably nuts! While the market is truly horrific, a 10 year old 15.1hh, that can hack and do unaffiliated dr/sj/xc should be worth 4-6k easily. For that price you are effectively buying the tack.

Roseformeplease Thu 03-Jan-13 17:13:59

My sister runs a charity rehoming horses which she looks after. These are free to a good home and often come with tack and are often quite amazing animals that the owners could not afford to keep. She also works for the RSPCA who are being given dozens and dozens at the moment. I think you do have to watch out with any animal but, in these hard times, there will be cheap (or free) horses, just as there will be many other expensive things on offer. PM me if you want her contact details if you are genuinely looking for a horse / pony.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Thu 03-Jan-13 21:13:57

There is nothing wrong with a cheap horse. None of ours cost more that £600.
We have 11 in and 5 at grass.
There's the Pendock Legend daughter (sec A) given to us. Gone lame doing PC, vet couldnt find the cause. Never been lame a day since we got her (6 years) Thoroughly ridden and now carrying her second foal.
Theres the 17.2 warmblood, son of Saros van T Gestelhof. £500. Got a boxy hoof nobody could be bothered to fix, headed for market and probably the glue factory. A decent bit of trimming and some patience, coming right now. 100% in every way.
Got a lovely coloured cob yearling filly. £300. Totally uncatcheable/unhandleable when she came out of the box. Would try and take your head off if you touched her legs. £36 delouser treatment, and now an absolute lamb.
The 23yo ex pc pony. Free. Skin and bone when he arrived, wearing a 3 ring gag. Totally blank to the bit and everything else when ridden. Went everywhere in a trance at flat out charge. Now well covered, going bitless, carrying 10yo novices out hacking and happy as larry.
Don't rule anything out. Cheap isn't necessarily bad. What isn't perfect in every way, isn't necessarily useless. Every horse has a job. Not everyone needs perfection. And dont forget, not everyone can spot perfection and not everyone can keep perfection perfect. A good horse takes work, time and patience. All horses have potential. It just needs finding and harnessing.
You need to take someone experienced with you to view/try, and take each horse on its own merits.

horseylady Thu 03-Jan-13 21:30:54

Most important thing is conformation. Most attitude/training issues you can work with but a big conformation fault you can't. You also can't give a horse flashy paces or presence. They either have it or they don't!!

A lot depends on what you want etc

DolomitesDonkey Sun 06-Jan-13 09:49:10

Don't rule out "cheap".

As others have said, horses are being given away, dumped (as a recent thread on this forum showed) or even sent to the knackers.

Asking 4k doesn't make it "worth" 4k. I have seen a LOT of shite advertised. 4k on the continent will get you something with Z-bloodlines. In England it might get you something with 4 legs. wink

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Sun 06-Jan-13 10:09:47

Yep. There are lots of people out there who will pay because expensive must be better. I like those kinds of people. They get bored quickly when they find out that expensive is just as crap anything else and then give it away to us so they can go on to something else!

Booboostoo Sun 06-Jan-13 12:41:57

While it is true that not every expensive horse is worth the asking price, it's certainly not true that no expensive horse is worth the asking price! If that were true, let me be the first to bid one pound for Valegro!

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Sun 06-Jan-13 13:00:35

Well obviously not ALL are crap, but there are a lot of people sucked in to believing expensive MUST be good.

DolomitesDonkey Sun 06-Jan-13 13:27:31

See 90% of coloured cobs for an excellent example. Expensive, coloured granted but frequently poor quality

Or leaf through any edition of h&h and gasp in awe at the knock-kneed, short-heeled, long-backed monstrosities advertised as "bags of potential for the right rider".

Vallegro wasn't worth so much a few years ago. Isn't he the rags to riches horse?

DolomitesDonkey Sun 06-Jan-13 13:29:20

"Thoroughbred type" - you can hear the giggles from weatherbys.

There are some great horses out there and there are some awful ones. You should see what the Germans try and pass off as welsh - they'd be turned back at the Severn bridge! ;-)

lauriedriver Sun 06-Jan-13 13:29:33

My ex husbands & very horse like. Sorry couldn't resist :-)

Booboostoo Sun 06-Jan-13 13:35:24

Well you have to look at it in context. Carl says he bought him for less than 10k as a 2 year old (I think, although I may be getting the age a year wrong either way) however (and this is a huge 'however' in my opinion) he buys large numbers of youngsters each year (so if he buys 10, then that's a 100k investment already) and he puts his own time into training them until he decides which ones are for sale and which ones are to keep (so you have to cost that in as well)...not to mention that not many people would spend 10k on a 2 year old!

The real rags to riches is Mr President. Bought from the Yorkshire Post for 2k as a failed driving horse and as a breed (Gerderlander) not exactly bred for dressage! Brought on by a complete amateur to contest international competitions. Obviously he is not for sale, but he would be worth a lot more than 2k!

I don't know what proportion of people overpay for their horses but there are certainly many people who don't buy wisely, regardless of the price of the horse. It's quite tough to buy the right horse, setting aside the question of price.

Booboostoo Sun 06-Jan-13 13:36:09

Sorry, by 'he' I meant 'Valegro'.

Roseformeplease Sun 06-Jan-13 17:08:51

A posting this for those looking for a free horse/pony. which my sister runs and offers horses to people who can provide them with a good home.

Pixel Sun 06-Jan-13 18:11:28

I do somewhat agree about coloured cobs. Girl here paid 4 grand for hers and it's nothing special, just your normal bolshy, hairy, food-obsessed thug with no manners. Has quite pretty markings though hmm.
Cheap horses worth a look IMO, there are so many reasons why they might be cheap! We were given a fabulous horse, woman couldn't afford to keep him and just wanted a home for life for him and trusted us. Another one we bought the saddle for £150 and got the pony with it as girl had lost interest and just wanted rid. He was a right mess as he hadn't been out of the field in 18 months, footsore, skinny, matted and very depressed, but a bit of basic TLC revealed a lovely pony with a cheeky sense of humour.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Sun 06-Jan-13 18:15:42

Anyone wanting a coloured cob needs to check out Dragon Driving. Definitely dont need to spend 4k on one! Im not backing indiscriminate breeding, or supporting those who do it, but these poor ponies arent to blame. We bought one with the view that it was getting a second chance.

Booboostoo Sun 06-Jan-13 19:02:47

Coloureds are just in fashion. They used to be thought of as common, but they are now considered quite desirable - fashions come and fashions go, prices follow them!

The same is true for some breed lines, sometimes with good reason, sometimes not. When Anky showed Painted Black at the BD convention, demand for his semen went through the roof. On the frivolous side he is black, shiny and the ideal 'Black Beauty' type flashy horse, on the more serious side he seemed to have an incredibly trainable temperament. So silly and good reasons for his popularity.

Callisto Mon 07-Jan-13 12:23:55

I don't like coloureds, they are generally overpriced and badly put together. I would far rather have a nicely put together horse in a 'boring' colour that the flashiest coloured.

Yes, Dragon Driving is certainly the place for cheap horses (and unscrupulous sellers - let the buyer beware on this site). I have been very tempted by some of the ultra-cheap horses on here and Preloved.

Cheap doesn't equal bad to me either. I found DD's lead rein in a field doing nothing and bought him for £170. I didn't believe a word the sellers told me about him and he has a very dodgy passport, but he is the best little lead rein pony. I spent lots more on DD's first ridden pony (£800) but even that is very cheap compared to some prices.

Personally, I think the horse market in the UK became massively over-inflated by lots of non-horsey people buying horses and ponies who would not normally even look at a horse (a bit like the 'designer' dog craze. A labradoodle/woodle/shitty-poo is in fact a mongrel and not worth £££££). Now all of these people have run out of money and unlike us nutters on here who are happy to work 5 jobs/bankcrupt ourselves just to keep our friends in hay and shoes, they cut back by getting rid of what is essentially, a luxury item.

DolomitesDonkey Mon 07-Jan-13 14:20:41

haha "shitty-poo" - I have a Jackapoo - not a "designer dog", but in fact its mother was the victim of poodle rape when my friends rather suddenly inherited a non-neutered dog.

Am I fashionable? grin

Twattybollocks Wed 09-Jan-13 19:30:27

Coloureds are sadly overbred and overpriced. People have jumped on the bandwagon and bred common to common with every thought to colour and profit and no thought to conformation. Often masses of feather hides the fact that it's got no bone or has windgalls/splints & a big thick tail hiding dodgy cow hocks. I once had a bloke try to sell me a coloured foal off it's dam for £600. He looked quite offended when i asked did it shit golden turds And pay its own vets bills.
Anyhow, with coloured horses, think about the same horse in chestnut/black/grey. If you wouldn't buy it if it was an ordinary colour, don't buy it because it's not an ordinary colour!

FingoFango Wed 09-Jan-13 19:54:16

I always thought coloured horses were associated with gypsies / travellers and not so desirable?
(no offence meant by that, I have nothing against gypsies).

Twattybollocks Wed 09-Jan-13 20:00:45

The sort I'm referring to generally are, but in the showing world, coloured horses are now big business and there have been cross breeds of the traditional coloured cobs with finer more quality types to produce coloured show ponies, show cobs, and even coloured Arabian types. There are also some warm blood sires which throw coloured offspring and they definately aren't the hairy gypsy pony type.
Even so, you see lots of horses in the show ring which are basically only there because they have patches, they are so badly put together there's no way anyone would entertain them as a show animal if they were plain coloured.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now