Poll Recap: Horse Prices

Of the 1,858 respondents, 823 people (44%) said they paid $1,001-$5,000 for the last horse they purchased.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Many owners consider their horses priceless, but most horses have a price tag on them at some point in time. In last week’s online poll, we asked our readers how much they paid for the last horse they bought. More than 1,800 people responded and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 1,858 respondents, 415 (22%) said they paid $1,001-$2,500 for their last horse, while another 408 (22%) spent $2,501-$5,000 on the last horse they purchased. Approximately 19% of respondents (359) said they spent $500 or less on the last horse they bought, and 232 people (13%) reported spending between $501 and $1,000 on their horse. Annother 218 respondents (12%) said they paid in the range of $5,001-$10,000 for their horse, and the remaining 216 respondents (12%) paid $10,001 or more.

Additionally, more than 125 individuals commented on their experiences purchasing horses:

Several people specified how much they paid for their horse:

  • “I paid $3,500 for a 16-year-old registered Thoroughbred (not off-the-track) gelding in 1999.”
  • “I bought my horse for $135.00 from the BLM.”
  • “The deal was $500 for the horse, and $500 for her papers.”
  • “I paid $800 for an AQHA mare (whom I no longer have), and then $350 for stud fee to breed her for the foal which I own now.”
  • “I paid $700 for a 7-month-old AQHA-registered foal.”
  • “The last horse I acquired was free, but the one before that was $400 (the amount of board owed by previous owner).”
  • “I paid $4,500—the most I've ever paid for horse. That was the maximum I had to buy a new horse.”
  • “I spent $5,000 for a yearling and I overpaid.”
  • “I paid $3,000”
  • “I paid $100 for an unregistered weanling Haflinger colt a dozen years ago.”
  • “I bought an awesome horse from a Facebook ad for $700.”
  • “I bought my Dreamer mare as a weanling 7 years ago for $500, and bought my Minis for $350 each.”
  • “I paid $500 for a Spotted Draft mare that needed a home. To us she's worth a million!”
  • “Back in 2006 I paid $3,500 for the mare and $1,500 for her yearling filly.”
  • “I paid $8,000 and he was worth every penny!”
  • “I paid $1 to make it legal.”
  • “I paid about $800 more than I expected.”
  • “I paid $1 for my rescue Friesian mare. We needed a dollar amount for the contract and transfer.”
  • “I have three grade horses that cost $1,000 to $2,500 each. The important thing for us was the rideability.”
  • “I paid $3,500”
  • “I paid $4,000 for my boy who turned out to be navicular, but I do love him.”
  • “I bought her as a weanling. She was valued at $35,000 at 6-years-old.”
  • “I paid $100. He was old, but green as could be. We are currently training for our first level dressage test.”
  • “I paid $3,000. Despite the economy, prices for just a basic pleasure riding horse seem high...why?”
  • “She was going to be given to me free but I decided to give $100 for her.”
  • “But my most recent horse was $1, essentially given to me as the owner wanted him in a good home forever.”

Others commented believe their horses are worth more than they paid:

  • “He's worth a million, which if I had it, I would have paid for him. He's not an object. My BFF!”
  • “He's the best $350 I've ever spent.”
  • “My 15-year-old grade Quarter Horse gelding is worth his weight in gold.”
  • “He was an OTTB fresh off the track. It's the best deal and investment I ever made!”
  • “He's worth every penny!”
  • “I paid a fair price, but now he is priceless!”
  • “She was worth much more, but we were very lucky to get her for the price.”

Some said that they acquired their horse through adoption and/or rescue:

  • “Free!! I adopted three horses and they are awesome: a registered APHA, grade Quarter Horse, and a senior boy who's 27.”
  • “He was a free rescue.”
  • “He was a rescue. The adoption fee was $550.”
  • “Last three were rescues that were given to me. There's no such thing as a 'free horse,' though.”
  • “I paid $800 for my horse from a rescue, so it was an adoption fee.”
  • “My mare was 'adopted' through a rescue so her purchase price was low.”
  • “The last horse I bought was a rescue about to go to the auction.”
  • “I paid an adoption fee to Thoroughbred rescue.”
  • “I adopted a yearling mustang from the BLM.”
  • “He's a rescue and because of where he happened to be we were willing to pay more for transporting him.”
  • “I got a rescue for free who turned out to have Grand Prix level training under his belt.”

Others indicated they got their last horse for free or received him or her as a gift:

  • “My current horse was free, given to me by my family when they could no longer care for her.”
  • “I took horse on a free lease and I still have him almost four years later.”
  • “She was free because no one could handle her.”
  • “The last four horses I got were free. I rarely pay for a horse, and I haven't paid for one 10 years.”
  • “I have seven horses, all of which were given to me for free.”
  • “We got her for free from a friend, but she would've been worth at least $20,000.”
  • “The last two were free. The one before them was $300. All are registered with excellent pedigrees, too.”
  • “He was free, but then cost $2,500 in vet bills when he went into a fence 10 days later.”
  • “I haven't bought a horse for many years. I have 28 in my care and I only paid for 3 of them.”
  • “Ours was a wedding present. She was a horse I had been riding since I was 13.”
  • “My last horse was given to me, but she is probably worth at least $2,000.”
  • “She was a gift from my grandma. It had been planned for years.”

And some left general comments about purchasing horses:

  • “I don't think anyone needs to spend a fortune on a horse. There are plenty that need homes.”
  • “So many are free. It is sad.”
  • “Prices seem to be less about training and conformation lately and more about imagined potential.”
  • “Don't forget thousands in training fees. Upfront cost is not the expense.”
  • “Price may not indicate anything about a horse's temperament. Maybe it says more about our dreams.”

Learn more about the costs associated with owning a horse and get tips for buying your first horse at TheHorse.com!

This week we want to know: Is it appropriate for someone to sell or charge a rehoming fee on a "rescue" horse? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com! 

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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