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What should I be paying for this cob?!

40 replies

YouOKHun · 01/11/2016 21:36

I'd really appreciate some advice. I'm in the process of buying a horse for my daughter who is 14 years old but has only just come to riding so is a beginner. I had horses 30 years ago but I've been out of the equine world for years, however I'm having lots of support looking and the horse will be kept at livery so lots of knowledgeable support later. However, I am being left, having found the right horse, to negotiate the price and I'm not sure where to pitch things. I feel the horse is a bit overpriced and a couple of people agree with me but others at the yard say it's worth paying for such a suitable horse (and many of them spend major money on competition horses so see my negotiations as easy!). The horse in question is a 15.1hh 7yo (rising 8 in Jan) grey mare, a cob, schoolmistress, well schooled, easy to manage, the owner wants £4K (no tack etc inc) and there has clearly been some interest at this level. I'm thinking more like £3-3.5k (subject to vetting of course). The seller has an excellent reputation locally for horses she uses for teaching and the ones she's sold before. I know it's tricky but does anyone have thoughts about the price?

OP posts:
WetsTheFinger · 01/11/2016 21:40

I don't think a 7 year old can be a school mistress. Perhaps look for an older horse for your daughter since she is a beginner?

Without seeing the horse it's difficult to price, but a young well built well behaved all rounder is easily worth 4K.

YouOKHun · 01/11/2016 21:52

wetsTheFinger thanks for that. You've echoed what quite a few others have said and few Others have said cobs are popular. I'm probably misusing the term schoolmistress but despite her youth she seems super safe and has been used to each beginners. Also great on the roads with heavy machinery going past and dogs and children round her feet - perhaps I mean bombproof! We were originally looking aged 8-12 but feel she's matured nicely.

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WetsTheFinger · 01/11/2016 21:58

She sounds good as gold. I deal horses that I import from Ireland and the continent, and the Irish cobs are often very bombproof by the time they are 6 having been hunted and competed from 3 in Ireland, so I do believe you!

Offer what you can afford, factoring in the price of a five star vetting and well fitting tack.

WetsTheFinger · 01/11/2016 22:00

Oh and I would recommend asking to school, jump and hack the horse alone and in company before buying it, and to see it clipped, loaded, lunged, ridden away from home, whatever. Don't leave any stone unturned. Good luck!

Meadows76 · 01/11/2016 22:02

I don't think a 7yo could have learnt enough to teach a novice. Being bombproof is all good and well but there is a lot more you need from a first horse. Will she be having lessons on the horse, or riding school lessons?

tootsietoo · 01/11/2016 22:08

At 7 she isn't a school mistress

If well put together and well schooled, £4K easy.

tootsietoo · 01/11/2016 22:12

Ps my novice parents bought me, a novice rider, a 4 year old when I was 14!! Disaster waiting to happen - only it wasn't, he was the pony of a lifetime. If the pony is sensible, kind and clever and your daughter is willing to put in the work riding v regularly and schooling then 7 isn't too young.

YouOKHun · 01/11/2016 22:13

meadows she'll be kept at livery at a girls' school which has an equestrian centre, so my daughter will have three private lessons a week and hacking out with a member of staff once a week and the horse will be ridden by one other girl of slightly higher standard and also schooled by the yard manager to keep things on track. My daughter's current standard is walk, trot, canter and needing to work on her balance and core strength. I think they'll teach her well.

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bandito · 01/11/2016 22:20

Wow sounds like a terrific set-up! Do you think a 40 year old woman and a fat native could sneak in and do Gcse food tech or something? I wouldn't need to board. Seriously though, that's not a huge price for safe sane and schooled cob but I guess it depends how much he's worth to you.

YouOKHun · 01/11/2016 22:31

bandito join the queue, this fat fifty year old Wink gets first dibs on any spare places but I do quite fancy boarding! It is a great set up and attracts some serious future horsey stars (though that's not where we're aiming unless there's some sort of lottery win coming my way). Yes, the safe over 15hh horse has actually been pretty hard to find so I think you and PPs are right and I should be considering c.£4K if necessary. Thanks everyone, all your points are all very helpful.

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Rosieposy4 · 01/11/2016 22:32

So much money, i know people pay these prices, but i paid £600 for a cob a couple of years back for my then very inexperienced son and she has been a total super star, winning sj, xc, and odes ( initally at 35cm) Now happily at 85 and still winning ( she wont manage much higher as despite her super techinique lacks the scope on wide fences) safe on the roads, goes first or last etc. Really no need to part with £4k!!

TheCompanyOfCats · 01/11/2016 22:36

Same here Rosie, I paid 1k about three years ago for a lovely, well behaved and obedient cob. No regrets.

YouOKHun · 01/11/2016 22:41

I hear you Rosie my first pony was £200 and a very good childhood friend of mine (now an internationally known show jumper) bought one pony for £15 from Hereford Market at the end of market day, which went on to great stardom at the time (1970s - a looonnng time ago). It's a tricky one; there are no guarantees at any price are there?

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TheCompanyOfCats · 01/11/2016 22:45

Some friends of mine buy horses from markets as your friend did YouOKHun and swear that some of their horses cost as little as 20 pounds, including a beautiful shire who came to live in my fields for a few months. It's probably a bit hit and miss when it comes to personality and health though.

Wallywobbles · 01/11/2016 22:49

I've just paid €2500 for a 4yo Connemara 14hh so I'd say 4K is probably right enough.

TheCompanyOfCats · 01/11/2016 22:50

Maybe on the basis of the last few posts you could try to knock at least 500 pounds off OP Grin

GinIsIn · 01/11/2016 22:52

I wouldn't be buying a horse at all for someone of such a novice level TBH - she could easily lose interest soon and you'd have committed to the horse.

YouOKHun · 01/11/2016 23:47

Fenella I've considered that and we originally spent the last few months looking for a loan - nothing, zero (and that's with all the contacts the school has). We've all come to the conclusion that purchase is the only way to get what we need. At 14 her window of interest could be small though she's been keen for a long time but only in the position to start really learning in the last year. The thing is, her school hours are long and she can't have riding lessons outside school hours (and the school is not a riding school teaching on others' horses) and the only way to really learn is to have access to good teaching and consistent contact. To be honest there are a host of reasons I want her to have a horse aside from riding (physical fitness, confidence, healthy distraction from social media, responsibility and care,, learning frustration tolerance, helping her with a recent bereavement), that if she loses interest in 18 months time it will still have been worth it and any horse will be sold on to a good home (or if I get my way, kept for me). But I do take your point.

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BaldricksWife · 02/11/2016 10:05

Honestly? If this horse ticks all the boxes and whoever is guiding you says it is the 'one' then I would pay that price. If other people are interested it would be heart breaking to miss the boat- yes, there are plenty of horses out there but at your daughters stage of riding it is very easy to be put off by a bad fall. Safety and enjoyment when riding are priceless.

DraughtyWindow · 02/11/2016 13:44

Offer less and see what happens! There's always room to negotiate. Has the horse a proven competition record? Has it done PC? I would say at £4k they're hedging their bets! There are a lot of good safe horses out there at less. And they're cheaper at this time of year.

Garthmarenghi · 02/11/2016 14:28

I would think 3k would be the most I would pay, but if it's a good match, then it's a good match.

mrslaughan · 03/11/2016 13:06

I have been horse shopping for my son - who is a really good rider, but lacks confidence and had lost confidence in himself.

as others have said a 7 year old is not a school mistress, however I wouldn't discount it, if it is well schooled and done a lot - interns of different experience. £4k seems market, if it has done a little PC, maybe some little shows, has 3 balanced paces. Understands about moving up and down within the paces and truly has a fantastic temperament.(my sons first pony was 4 3/4 when we got her and she was amazing - his 12yr old 2nd pony was tricky).
You say she is a cob? What sort? I am not a fan of cobs as my experience has been of them being bolshy and using there strength against the rider. You need one with a willing and trainable mind - has someone you trust ridden her and challenged her, in terms of asked more of her then she naturally offers? What was there feedback? was she willing to try? Did she seem trainable?
if she ticks all of the above - then £4K is reasonable - but I would also want a vetting.
However, on the other hand, if she has just been used on a riding school - and that has been her education, I think it is too much.

Frouby · 03/11/2016 13:37

I think if the horse is ideal I would be offering 3.5k and taking it from there. 4k is a lot of money. But if she is as genuine as think, well put together and no lumps.or bumps she is worth it.

You can pay a lot less but it's usually a risk. And with a novice rider it isn't usually worth the risk.

tootsietoo · 03/11/2016 21:56

I echo what mrslaughan says about cobs - I have two cobs, a heinz 57 and a Welsh D, and they are rude and tanky! They are so much fun, sane and safe as in they would never kick or buck or go too fast, but they are really quite strong both to ride and handle and they would walk all over someone who wasn't bossy enough with them.

Youokhun, a horse really will be a great thing for your daughter for all the reasons you mention (although I'm not sure about the social media thing - my two just spend ages following teenage eventers on instagram and posting pictures of rosettes!) I hope it works out well for you and her.

Booboostwo · 03/11/2016 22:38

The price sounds about right for me as this is the type of horse that a lot of people want, however I would also question why you are buying a horse for a beginner? Are the college pushing you into this? Beginners progress best when they can ride a number of different horses and be appropriately challenged by different horses to develop their skills. Also, a horse suitable for a beginner could be easily outgrown very quickly but selling a first horse can be quite tough. I wouldn't be buying a horse for a new rider until they could jump a small course, hack alone (fast hack including a canter), and know the basics of working a horse in an outline, including transitions and basic lateral work.

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