Thoughts re prices of ‘perfect’ ponies for novices or first ridden for kids

maya2008

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I see a lot of ads complaining that people cannot find this type at a price that isn’t ‘ridiculous’. Then in the same discussion not wanting the older pony they are offered as it is ‘too old’.

Now... I am in the process of producing two of these types of pony/horse. One for my husband, one for my son. We bought them at 3yo from the breeder, and they were bred for the job. They are now 5yo and
4yo and lovely rides for me - but not quite yet mature enough for the jobs I need them to do. It will take at least another year to get them to the point where they can be a ride for a novice, although anyone competent can get on them now and have an easy, enjoyable ride (I’ve been borrowing friends to ensure they don’t get too used to just me!). I have spent huge amounts of time and effort teaching them not to buck or spook, to be nicely mannered no matter how I hold my reins or whether they are between hand and leg etc. Then even more time doing the normal stuff - improving their canter, teaching them to jump, to behave sensibly out and about etc.

If we were to sell (which we won’t ever!) then I would be selling ponies that cost me at least three years of keep and training (incl arena hire etc) before my family could even ride them. If I sold them at what these people think are ‘sensible’ prices then they wouldn’t be worth much more than I paid.

So maybe that is why these horses/ponies, ready to do that job before they are in their late teens, are often like gold dust. I mean...why would anyone put in that amount of effort for nothing? When my son grows out of his pony- well, she’s big enough for me (I’m tiny!) and I plan on enjoying the pony I produced. Someone offered to buy the larger one last year... uh no. I had already put far too much work in to even consider it! He’s even more lovely now, bigger and stronger and more powerful, yet still achingly sweet and sensible. But that didn’t just happen - we started with a nice temperament and a good start in life, but training takes time and money...

I don’t really understand why ordinary horse people will pay £££££ for a competition horse, but a horse you can trust in any situation to keep a child or novice adult safe and to take them round lower level competitions safely, is apparently worth peanuts (because obviously they didn’t need any training?!).
 

emilylou

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So true. But if people were willing to pay for the time it took to produce a horse properly most nice rideable horses would be more than £10k talent or no talent, and I would be producing horses for a living.
Unfortunately people aren’t willing to pay so you break even/make a slight loss/profit if you get a very talented one and lots of people push young horses hard or cut corners to make the numbers work.
Most horses produced like yours rarely change homes more than once or twice
 

maya2008

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Yes they arent ridiculous prices if someone is willing to pay it. I think what the problem is though, you might see an absolute perfect schoolmaster pony for let's say 10k, then you get completely clueless sellers dragging poorly schooled ponies out of the field and looking for the same price.
Same as with competition horses though, surely? You get people trying to flog lame/poorly schooled horses with ‘potential’ for £10k plus all the time!
 

MiniMilton

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Same as with competition horses though, surely? You get people trying to flog lame/poorly schooled horses with ‘potential’ for £10k plus all the time!
Absolutely, but I guess the "time spent schooling" argument can apply to any category. I viewed horse with the very worst conformation I have ever seen, a confidence giving jumping horse. I said it straight to the seller that I didn't think he would stay sound being hacked let alone jumped, so I thought he was totally over priced. He definitely wouldn't have passed the vet. The seller said he had spent a fortune paying for SJI entries every week plus a huge amount of time to get the horse to be a "point and jump" type horse, so he couldn't take any less for the horse. I couldn't really argue with that could I? But it was a horse that looked like he belonged in the knacker yard for quite a high price. I personally did think that was a ridiculous price, but the horse was sold to the UK the following week unseen so somebody else didn't think it was a ridiculous price. Horses for courses really I suppose!
 

Wishfilly

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I suppose with a competition horse you are paying for the ability and competition record too? If something has been competed for a few years and has a good record, that will add costs, even on top of the usual training.

But I do agree that safe, sane, all rounders tend to be under valued, and first ridden ponies even more. Finding a true first ridden pony is hard, and people who have them will often hang on to them and loan them out rather than sell, especially if they have multiple children. Personally, for a first ridden especially, I would want an older pony- more likely to have been there/done that and seen it all!

That said, I am not anyone really makes a profit on a horse they have kept for years? If you were doing this as a business, I think you'd need a different business model than buying unbroken at 3, and selling on at 5/6? I think even with expensive competition horses, people aren't buying to sell with the plan of producing the horse over a number of years- if they do this, I think it's more about finding a way to fund their competing than really aiming to make a big profit?
 

honetpot

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When my children were small we used to buy just broken ponies and DIY, which is time consuming and to do everything properly. Providing you have the right pony to start off with takes at least two years, by which they were about six, so too young to get the right money for a pony you have spent god knows how many hours on, but my daughters were getting too big to ride. The ordinary pony, which has not got a competition record, and is under 13.2, under eight but will safely look after a child is seriously under valued.
I am lucky to be honest I would rather keep them, perhaps loan them out then sell them for peanuts. My daughter once got the best back handed compliment ever at PC ever, 'Its easy for you always have good ponies', which was really funny as she had ridden them often five days a week, often with me walking or riding beside them since the pony was three.
In my experience the easiest pony to sell is a papered M&M that will carry an adult. Selling childrens ponies no matter how good they are is just a headache.
 

Bonnie Allie

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I remember going through the stages of finding quality ponies for our children. Our children are twins, when it came time for them to move from their shetlands onto second ponies we had one child who was afraid of nothing and one timid child.

So we had to buy one ready made pony at eye watering expense and one pony with potential to be schooled up. (Hubby is a professional trainer so skills were at home To do the schooling).

If I had my time again I would have bought two ready made ponies - however, the practicalities of where you are as parents in the mortgage cycle, school fees, and your own career when the children are that age means the budget is just not available.

So whilst we all want the super safe, schooled magic pony but the budget won’t stretch that far due to stage of life. Parents have to bargain hunt and buy the almost ok pony hoping like hell that it all works out ok for our children.

Incidentally, the pony with potential we bought for daughter has turned her into a stunning rider and a very resilient young lady. Her twin brother is an ok rider but as we had bought him the schoolmaster pony, he really had to have the schoolmaster horse when he outgrew pony as his skills hadn’t developed in the same way his twin sisters had.

Swings and roundabouts and all that. I’ve often wondered if in retirement I should be producing quality well schooled ponies for children, but as you have pointed out, it would be highly unprofitable as you could not get back the schooling expense from budget strapped parents.
 

Wishfilly

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I agree with all the above, but the 200k Kylie Jenner just spent on a pony for a 2 year old is just ridiculous 😂
It's obviously a ridiculous price. However, as I understand it, horse prices in America are pretty insane and paying over £100,000 for a horse isn't as unheard of as it is over here.
 

[131452]

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All these ridiculous prices ive seen are coming from dealers, not from producers or breeders so I don't think the current buying craze has anything to do with breeders getting a fairer deal , so to speak. I've seen so many "dealers " crop up on Facebook, who are just people trying to cash in. I therefore don't see any positives in this current situation , in fact it is now the norm to sell unseen and over the phone , which just results in horses being treated like commodities even more.

Actually, the one good thing that has come out of this is that you can really tell the difference between the decent sellers, whether they are dealers or private, who won't just send the horse off in a lorry to whoever pays for it first, and the sellers who happily do that.
 

maya2008

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I suppose with a competition horse you are paying for the ability and competition record too? If something has been competed for a few years and has a good record, that will add costs, even on top of the usual training.
That said, I am not anyone really makes a profit on a horse they have kept for years?
I don’t really see the difference for amateur riders. If I wanted to affiliate BE I would buy a horse with the temperament and ability to do so. A decent comp record would push the price up pretty high. Then if I go to see a load, there will be plenty of ads where the horse isn’t quite what it is advertised as etc.

If I want to buy a first ridden pony that will take a child from just off the lead to jumping 2ft3 or so competently and doing a little dressage test, then I would also need a pony with the temperament and ability for that, plus a ton of training and experience, with a competition record (perhaps more in video form than proven results) to match! How is that different? My son’s pony will have a season competing with me before he takes her out. I will hand him a pony that behaves perfectly in all situations, jumps a nice steady clear round and will score nicely in a walk/trot or prelim test. Then I will keep training it while he rides, to ensure it stays that way.

I don’t think anyone would ever get their money back, but if you spend sensible money on a nicely bred youngster and put the time and effort in to produce it, surely it should be worth a sum in excess of £500 more than you bought it for as an unbacked 3yo! The fact that people won’t pay more for more training, might explain the ‘rare as hen’s teeth’ thing. It isn’t worth anyone’s while to produce such ponies unless they are planning on keeping them!
 

Nudibranch

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Presumably all these people complaining about prices don't have a huge amount of experience. It's simply supply and demand. There are a huge number of ponies out there perfectly suitable for lead rein, but not first ridden. That is a whole different ball game as they need to be the absolute perfect pony in every respect. Many adults can manage a less than perfect pony/horse but a child moving off the lead rein cannot.
Presumably these people are also the same types who will happily do things like buy a cheapo supermarket booster seat rather than spend a few quid on something like extended rear facing. You cannot put a price on keeping your child safe imo.
 

scruffyponies

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It's not the ponies that are rare, it's the skills to teach and maintain their manners. Most scabby little unregistered Dartmoor hill ponies will make a perfectly safe first pony given the right start, but even ponies with the right start are quickly ruined by a novice child and clueless parent.

IMO someone who turns down a suitable pony because it is too old is an idiot. We lost a little Dartmoor pony in his mid 30s a couple of years ago. He had become our go-to first pony. Apparently in his youth he was a little git, but for the last 15 years of his life he was priceless.
 

wills_91

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Presumably all these people complaining about prices don't have a huge amount of experience. It's simply supply and demand. There are a huge number of ponies out there perfectly suitable for lead rein, but not first ridden. That is a whole different ball game as they need to be the absolute perfect pony in every respect. Many adults can manage a less than perfect pony/horse but a child moving off the lead rein cannot.
Presumably these people are also the same types who will happily do things like buy a cheapo supermarket booster seat rather than spend a few quid on something like extended rear facing. You cannot put a price on keeping your child safe imo.
Wow.

Okay so I'm one of those parents who doesn't have spare thousands sitting in the bank to buy one of these hens teeth ponies. But my children's safety isn't compromised in other ways such as sitting on cheapo supermarket seats.

There are lots of families out there who simply don't have the budget to spend 5k plus on a pon, if course there are also many who don't appreciate the work that goes into them.

I don't have a super budget for a pony for my step daughter and I don't have the time to commit to produce a pony for her either so just now we have no pony!

I'm not really sure what the point of your post is op? Sounds to me like your in an incredibly good position to be able to produce 2 ponies/horses for your loved ones and seeing as you never intend on selling what does it matter.
 

Chianti

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It amazes me that in the horse world buyers complain that prices have and are rising. 30 odd years ago I bought an OK pony for me - nothing spectacular but she was schooled to a basic level and was a safe hack. I paid £1500. People are still expecting to buy at not much more than this now. What would a hatchback car have cost then and what would it cost today? How much have house prices increased since then? How much have wages risen? If you account for inflation over 30 years then the prices being asked today probably aren't unrealistic.
 

maya2008

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I'm not really sure what the point of your post is op? Sounds to me like your in an incredibly good position to be able to produce 2 ponies/horses for your loved ones and seeing as you never intend on selling what does it matter.
It matters to me because I keep seeing the ads over and over from people who want the world and don’t think they should pay much for it. Every time I see those ads it grates a little because I am out there each day putting the effort in to make what they are after, and that isn’t particularly fun, it is hard work. Apparently that hard work is worthless!

It matters because of the economics of supply and demand. I wish enough people would pay the money so those ponies were actually readily available. I would have loved to be able to just buy what I am having to make. It’s not like it will cost me any less money! Producing these two means I don’t have time for anything for me to compete, and won’t for years.
 

Nudibranch

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In fairness to the op, I can see her point.
And horses are a luxury, not an entitlement. I have a cracking ride and drive who is a superb lead rein. But she is no first ridden.
In the unlikely event my little boy decides he really loves riding and wants to come off the lead rein, I'll take him for lessons on a rs pony.
I'm not personally going to spend mid 4 figures plus on a first ridden, but that doesn't mean I should moan about the price of them.
 

stormox

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Absolutely, but I guess the "time spent schooling" argument can apply to any category. I viewed horse with the very worst conformation I have ever seen, a confidence giving jumping horse. I said it straight to the seller that I didn't think he would stay sound being hacked let alone jumped, so I thought he was totally over priced. He definitely wouldn't have passed the vet. The seller said he had spent a fortune paying for SJI entries every week plus a huge amount of time to get the horse to be a "point and jump" type horse, so he couldn't take any less for the horse. I couldn't really argue with that could I? But it was a horse that looked like he belonged in the knacker yard for quite a high price. I personally did think that was a ridiculous price, but the horse was sold to the UK the following week unseen so somebody else didn't think it was a ridiculous price. Horses for courses really I suppose!
Handsome is as handsome does!!
 

wills_91

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It matters to me because I keep seeing the ads over and over from people who want the world and don’t think they should pay much for it. Every time I see those ads it grates a little because I am out there each day putting the effort in to make what they are after, and that isn’t particularly fun, it is hard work. Apparently that hard work is worthless!

It matters because of the economics of supply and demand. I wish enough people would pay the money so those ponies were actually readily available. I would have loved to be able to just buy what I am having to make. It’s not like it will cost me any less money! Producing these two means I don’t have time for anything for me to compete, and won’t for years.

Seems a bit ridiculous though to get so wound up over it? You know the hard work your putting in, you know the results it will achieve so why worry if it matters to others or not?


In fairness to the op, I can see her point.
And horses are a luxury, not an entitlement. I have a cracking ride and drive who is a superb lead rein. But she is no first ridden.
In the unlikely event my little boy decides he really loves riding and wants to come off the lead rein, I'll take him for lessons on a rs pony.
I'm not personally going to spend mid 4 figures plus on a first ridden, but that doesn't mean I should moan about the price of them.

Who said they were an entitlement? If your referring to my comment about the fact we currently have no pony it's not because I'm waiting for something safe and sane to come along within our budget, I will continue to add to the pony pot and daughter will continue with lessons. With the plan that when my youngest is in nursery we will have a healthier budget and daughter will be further along/more competent as it still won't be a 5k+ pony!
 
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Wishfilly

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I don’t really see the difference for amateur riders. If I wanted to affiliate BE I would buy a horse with the temperament and ability to do so. A decent comp record would push the price up pretty high. Then if I go to see a load, there will be plenty of ads where the horse isn’t quite what it is advertised as etc.

If I want to buy a first ridden pony that will take a child from just off the lead to jumping 2ft3 or so competently and doing a little dressage test, then I would also need a pony with the temperament and ability for that, plus a ton of training and experience, with a competition record (perhaps more in video form than proven results) to match! How is that different? My son’s pony will have a season competing with me before he takes her out. I will hand him a pony that behaves perfectly in all situations, jumps a nice steady clear round and will score nicely in a walk/trot or prelim test. Then I will keep training it while he rides, to ensure it stays that way.

I don’t think anyone would ever get their money back, but if you spend sensible money on a nicely bred youngster and put the time and effort in to produce it, surely it should be worth a sum in excess of £500 more than you bought it for as an unbacked 3yo! The fact that people won’t pay more for more training, might explain the ‘rare as hen’s teeth’ thing. It isn’t worth anyone’s while to produce such ponies unless they are planning on keeping them!
I think maybe we have different definitions of first ridden! I don't have kids, so maybe it's just my perception, but I wouldn't expect the same pony to take a child from just off the lead rein to competing and jumping over 2ft competitively. To me, the jumping and competing is more second pony territory? But I agree if you had a pony which could do all of that safely, then it ought to be worth a lot of money!

I agree that a competitive kids pony is no different to an adult's competitive horse (except in terms of size) and so should be priced accordingly? But I wouldn't necessarily expect a first ridden to be able to take a child's jumping that far- I know some can, but equally there are shetlands which could be legitimately marketed as a first ridden and probably don't have that kind of jumping ability?

Even then, I think running up a competition record at BE takes a lot more time and expense than getting a pony experience at local shows/pony club etc.

FWIW, I do agree any horse/pony should be worth more than £500 than you bought it from the breeder from once backed and brought on BUT I'm just saying if I was doing it as a business, I would probably have a different business plan to buying at 3 directly from the breeder and expecting to sell on at 5/6 and make money. I'm not sure that's a viable plan with any horse/pony- let alone one that's being sold to probably be grown out of.

I do think people have unrealistic expectations about the price of ponies BUT I also think what you're doing is not what someone would do if they were trying to really make money this way.
 

honetpot

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Although the price of an animal isn't a guarantee of a good home, while we are moaning that black and white ponies are sold for peanuts, there is a market for them. They would rather 'save' one and then moan on Facebook that its been mis sold because it's testing the boundaries, it's not really broken, its had a saddle and bridle on it and really that's about it, but they think they are getting a bargain.
A pony just not become a good pony by osmosis, it has to be educated, and it takes as much time and care, if not more than something over 14.2. It has to have enough brain to work things out for its self, and at the same time put up with a lot of muddled messages and wobbly balance, with a stop default setting if in doubt.
 

Toby_Zaphod

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Potential buyers very often say "I'm not looking for a world beater, I just want a horse/pony that will do a reasonable dressage test, jump a smallish course of jumps & hack out nicely" They then say the horse/pony should be no more that 7/8 years old & they have £1500 to spend. I'm afraid they are living in la la land. Any dealer would give his right arm to have a stable full of these horses as he could sell them every day for a hell of a lot of money. There are far more buyers for these horses than ever there are for competition horses. Buyers need to appreciate the amount of work that has been put in to training these great all rounders and be prepared to pay the correct price. In fact as they are very rare to find be prepared to pay a premium for them.

Our horses were bought as youngsters who knew very little & we have put in many hours of training with them & now they are true all rounders. They all jump discovery & bigger. They can perform a nice dressage test & all love cross country. We did this because we couldn't afford to buy a 'ready made' horse. It was bloody hard work but was very satisfying. We now go out to shows, invariably win rosettes & sometimes have a free day due to prize money.

Sometimes owners become unhappy with their pony/horse because when they bought it it did what they wanted it to do but as the rider got better & decided they wanted to compete they are annoyed that their animal doesn't do it very well. They forget that when they bought the horse they had never considered competing. Before a horse is bought you must think ahead and consider what you may want to achieve. If you are happy to sell your first horse & buy another suitable with what you ewant to ahieve then that's fine. Do not get unhappy with your current animal because he can't do what you now want him to do.
 

buddylove

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What a timely post, I have just sold a lead rein and bought a 13hh first ridden in the space of 24 hours. If he was for me I might have ummed and ahhed over the price, as he was for my child, I literally snapped the sellers hand off.
I very much hope that this is the end of horse and pony buying for a few years, my nerves and bank balance are both shot to pieces!!!
 

eahotson

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I see a lot of ads complaining that people cannot find this type at a price that isn’t ‘ridiculous’. Then in the same discussion not wanting the older pony they are offered as it is ‘too old’.

Now... I am in the process of producing two of these types of pony/horse. One for my husband, one for my son. We bought them at 3yo from the breeder, and they were bred for the job. They are now 5yo and
4yo and lovely rides for me - but not quite yet mature enough for the jobs I need them to do. It will take at least another year to get them to the point where they can be a ride for a novice, although anyone competent can get on them now and have an easy, enjoyable ride (I’ve been borrowing friends to ensure they don’t get too used to just me!). I have spent huge amounts of time and effort teaching them not to buck or spook, to be nicely mannered no matter how I hold my reins or whether they are between hand and leg etc. Then even more time doing the normal stuff - improving their canter, teaching them to jump, to behave sensibly out and about etc.

If we were to sell (which we won’t ever!) then I would be selling ponies that cost me at least three years of keep and training (incl arena hire etc) before my family could even ride them. If I sold them at what these people think are ‘sensible’ prices then they wouldn’t be worth much more than I paid.

So maybe that is why these horses/ponies, ready to do that job before they are in their late teens, are often like gold dust. I mean...why would anyone put in that amount of effort for nothing? When my son grows out of his pony- well, she’s big enough for me (I’m tiny!) and I plan on enjoying the pony I produced. Someone offered to buy the larger one last year... uh no. I had already put far too much work in to even consider it! He’s even more lovely now, bigger and stronger and more powerful, yet still achingly sweet and sensible. But that didn’t just happen - we started with a nice temperament and a good start in life, but training takes time and money...

I don’t really understand why ordinary horse people will pay £££££ for a competition horse, but a horse you can trust in any situation to keep a child or novice adult safe and to take them round lower level competitions safely, is apparently worth peanuts (because obviously they didn’t need any training?!).
I agree with every word you say there.Had friend who did some breeding for sale at one time.She said people will spend £20.000 plus for a box or an arena.£4000 plus for a saddle and want to pay no more than £3000 for the horse.
 

eahotson

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Potential buyers very often say "I'm not looking for a world beater, I just want a horse/pony that will do a reasonable dressage test, jump a smallish course of jumps & hack out nicely" They then say the horse/pony should be no more that 7/8 years old & they have £1500 to spend. I'm afraid they are living in la la land. Any dealer would give his right arm to have a stable full of these horses as he could sell them every day for a hell of a lot of money. There are far more buyers for these horses than ever there are for competition horses. Buyers need to appreciate the amount of work that has been put in to training these great all rounders and be prepared to pay the correct price. In fact as they are very rare to find be prepared to pay a premium for them.

Our horses were bought as youngsters who knew very little & we have put in many hours of training with them & now they are true all rounders. They all jump discovery & bigger. They can perform a nice dressage test & all love cross country. We did this because we couldn't afford to buy a 'ready made' horse. It was bloody hard work but was very satisfying. We now go out to shows, invariably win rosettes & sometimes have a free day due to prize money.

Sometimes owners become unhappy with their pony/horse because when they bought it it did what they wanted it to do but as the rider got better & decided they wanted to compete they are annoyed that their animal doesn't do it very well. They forget that when they bought the horse they had never considered competing. Before a horse is bought you must think ahead and consider what you may want to achieve. If you are happy to sell your first horse & buy another suitable with what you ewant to ahieve then that's fine. Do not get unhappy with your current animal because he can't do what you now want him to do.
And I bet you have people who tell you how "lucky" you are to have such nice horses.I opened a gate for someone in our yard the other week.We did the job,rode up to the gate,I got hold of it and backed him down.I was told that I was lucky because he is so good!! Not because he has been taught rein back of course!
 

eahotson

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I think maybe we have different definitions of first ridden! I don't have kids, so maybe it's just my perception, but I wouldn't expect the same pony to take a child from just off the lead rein to competing and jumping over 2ft competitively. To me, the jumping and competing is more second pony territory? But I agree if you had a pony which could do all of that safely, then it ought to be worth a lot of money!

I agree that a competitive kids pony is no different to an adult's competitive horse (except in terms of size) and so should be priced accordingly? But I wouldn't necessarily expect a first ridden to be able to take a child's jumping that far- I know some can, but equally there are shetlands which could be legitimately marketed as a first ridden and probably don't have that kind of jumping ability?

Even then, I think running up a competition record at BE takes a lot more time and expense than getting a pony experience at local shows/pony club etc.

FWIW, I do agree any horse/pony should be worth more than £500 than you bought it from the breeder from once backed and brought on BUT I'm just saying if I was doing it as a business, I would probably have a different business plan to buying at 3 directly from the breeder and expecting to sell on at 5/6 and make money. I'm not sure that's a viable plan with any horse/pony- let alone one that's being sold to probably be grown out of.

I do think people have unrealistic expectations about the price of ponies BUT I also think what you're doing is not what someone would do if they were trying to really make money this way.
You are probably right but therein lies the problem.People want five to 6 years for very modest sums of money.They then can't understand that they may struggle to hack out alone/load on a trailer or get wired up at a show because they may never have been to one.If you haven't got the ability to bring on a youngster (and be honest with yourself,ask a decent trainer if in doubt) and haven't got the money for a really well trained five to six year old consiider a sound horse in its teens that has been round the block several times.
 

eahotson

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merseyside
It matters to me because I keep seeing the ads over and over from people who want the world and don’t think they should pay much for it. Every time I see those ads it grates a little because I am out there each day putting the effort in to make what they are after, and that isn’t particularly fun, it is hard work. Apparently that hard work is worthless!

It matters because of the economics of supply and demand. I wish enough people would pay the money so those ponies were actually readily available. I would have loved to be able to just buy what I am having to make. It’s not like it will cost me any less money! Producing these two means I don’t have time for anything for me to compete, and won’t for years.
There is also the horse welfare bit.Someone novice buying a young green horse may then say that it has been mis sold because it won't hack out on its own etc.The horse may well get a totally undeserved bad reputation and end up being passed from pillar to post.
 
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