Thursday, October 13, 2011

looking for some feedback

I've been pondering a few things over the past day or two and I'd love some feedback.
1. Do you keep in touch with your horses old owner? If so, to what extent? Do you email back and forth occasionally, are they friends with you on Facebook, do they follow your blog if you have one, etc? Do they support the progress you've made with your horse? Do you invite them to visit your horse? Do they invite themselves to visit your horse? If you found out they were speaking badly about you and your horse, what would you do?

2. Do you keep an amount of money in mind that you would sell your horse for? Lately I've been considering what Lucy is "worth". I'm not thinking about selling her but her insurance came up for renewal and she's insured for $6,000 right now, which is the lowest I could insure her for when I bought her. At that point she was really worth nothing and my main concern was being able to pay for colic surgery if she ever needed it, which is why I insured her in the first place. With my insurance plan, as is the case with most insurance companies, you cannot insure the horse for major medical without also insuring the horse for mortality, so I had to pay the premium for $6k (just shy of $600). Long story short, I was telling a horsey friend about having to renew Lucy's insurance and when I told her how much she was insured for, my friend was surprised I didn't insure her for more. I really have no idea what Lucy would be worth if I sold her right now, though. She doesn't have much of a show record but she is a pretty cool horse with a lot of talent.

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  1. I don't have much of a choice, I see my mare's former owner everyday, as she's also my boss. At first it was very awkward for me, actually. I'm not sure why, but it felt weird owning "her" horse. I worried about what she thought if I changed bits or pulled her shoes or whatever, just because I'm definitely self-conscious about what other people think, and I wanted her approve of where we were. However, over time it got easier for me, and while I still care what she thinks to some degree, I know she approves so I stopped fretting about it. My situation is pretty unique (and somewhat complicated) though.

    I'd be hurt mostly if someone started speaking behind my back about me and Missy, but what can you really do, besides disassociate yourself with that person. I hope that isn't the case with you and Lucy.

  2. 1. I keep in touch with my horses breeders/ owners who had him the longest. We email back and forth occasionally and I let them know how he is doing these days. They are beyond thrilled with his progress and have invited me to come and visit their b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l ranch out in Arizona if I ever make it out that way. When I first made contact with the ranch he is from I expected nothing in return. maybe a reply from one of the employees at the most. The same day I recieved a letter from the owner and then the next day his wife (who I keep in contact with).
    2. I have no idea what my horse is worth. When he was in training and being worked 6 days a week and was looking real GOOD my riding instructor told me that if I was to sell him I could probably comfortably sell him for around $5,000. She said as our dressage, jumping and showing continued I could easily get more. But now since he has been on summer vacation for *gasp* 6 months I'm really not sure anymore. I do know that I couldn't afford a horse like him if he was to come on the market. The fact that he is a kick ass trail horse that doesn't spook, rides out alone, and isn't barn/buddy sour,the fact he can hold his own in a dressage ring and is showing potential as a jumper as well as a kids/lesson horse makes me think that I'd still consider him around the $5,000 price range.

  3. 1. Most of our horses have been purchased through trainers or brokers and we haven't had contact with the horse's seller at all. A couple times, we purchased horses from people in our barn, and of course saw those people regularly after the purchase. When my sister was 10, we bought her first real hunter from another girl her age in our barn, and the girls continued to ride together and compete in the same classes for several years. The other girl was actually very jealous of my sister's success with the horse, and it was overall a pretty negative experience, but I think most people are happy to see a horse do well with its new owner.

    2. "Every horse is for sale for some price" as they say. With every horse we've owned, we had in mind a value range - what someone would have to offer us for it if we weren't ready to sell at that moment, and what we'd be willing to take if we were desperate to sell. The real value is somewhere between those two.

  4. 1. The new horse I got off my good friend so we will be seeing a lot of each other! Archies owner had looked for him for a few years before finally her coach recognized him at a show and she added me to Facebook. She has seen him at the shows and is happy for him, since she basically had to give him away as he was just way too much horse for her. It's kind of awkward at times because Archie was really messed up when I got him and I don't really wanting any memories floating back into his head....

    2. It's hard to say what the horse is worth at this point. The market is crap and I would think you would be hard pressed to get $5000 for an OTTB who has no show record. Lucy is a lovely girl, but there is just so much out there right now and no one's spending any money. That doesn't mean she isn't worth more though. Coming from an insurance point of view (since that is my career), take all the factors into account. Her purchase price, her potential, how much you have spent on training over the years. If you are lessoning once a week with a good trainer you can add $5000 + value to your horse in a year, especially when they are just starting out.

    I also think of things in a list and add a value for each, say;

    Sound $2500
    Quiet $3000
    Basic training $2000
    Intermediate training $3000
    Advanced training $5000
    Good show record $5-10,000
    Trailers, clips, ties safely etc $1000...

    add whatever you can together to get a basic idea.

    Bottom line, you can sort of pick your limit, just make sure you can afford the additional premium.

  5. I do keep in touch with Hampton's breeder. She enjoys hearing about him (she still owns his sire) and loves seeing photos. I think he's one of the only babies of that stallion that has a career of any sort so far since they are all pretty young.

  6. I've only kept up with the old owner to the extent of saying "thanks for letting go of such an awesome horse" and "can I have her papers"? LOL. Took her a year to get me her papers, and I do actually hear her name occassionally at shows.

    As for insurance, I basically insured my horse for what I paid for her. I believe if you want to do more, you have to provide some sort of proof showing the increase in value. I don't think you could arbitrarily say "my horse is now worth $20K". But, definitely talk it over with your carrier/insurance agent. The increase in premium though might not be worth it-might just be better to keep her value where its at, and then sock away what you would have spent in insurance in case you do have to buy a new horse.

  7. 1. I haven't kept in touch with Izzy's owner. We used to be at the same barn, but then Izzy and I moved. Honestly, I think she was so glad to be rid of the problem pony that she isn't too worried about where she's at now. I actually need to call her and get some information here eventually... The trainer I grew up with (who we used to board with) is friends with me on fb, so presumably she knows I'm not doing wrong by the wondermare. I have no idea if they talk about me and I don't really care. I'm happy where I'm at.

    2) I search dreamhorse all.the.time. to see what I think Izzy would be worth if I were to sell her. I don't know why, since I never plan on selling her. Honestly, she needs a show record to be worth much, though--that's our big weakness. She hauls fine and handles new situations ok, but I'm too poor/lazy/cheap/scared/whatever to actually get her to something that would show up on her permanent record. I'd say "next year", but I can't imagine having the money to haul out of state and show then, either. Such is life.

  8. I think Nina's owner said 'good riddance' and heaved a sigh of relief. I emailed her once and got a brief polite reply. That was it. She is not for sale. I promised her she would not have to go to another home. I think I am her 8th after leaving the track. She is too old to insure.
    Scotty (previous horse) I thought I might sell. But I was once offered well into 5 figures for him and turned it down. I felt that I couldn't replace him and he was my once in a lifetime. He was insured for 10k until he aged out. I did not want to pay the premiums on what it would cost to actually replace him, I just wanted enough to buy a decent, sound replacement that had a little training.
    Scotty's only previous 'owner' was his track owner who didn't care. His track trainer cared enough to call some H/J trainers who liked the bloodlines when he bowed a tendon. He went through a couple of trainers as a sale horse, my trainer who I bought him from was always interested in him, but she saw him all the time.
    My horses sound like orphans. lol

  9. Ozzy's old owner is my old boss so it was easy to keep in touch. Mostly he was just glad to be rid of the horse and didn't ask much. Last year he got hurt pretty badly and moved to Florida after selling all his horses. I haven't talked to him since.

    My understanding of a horse's worth is pretty skewed because I've been in racehorses so long. Ozzy sold for $15k before I asked about him... obviously WAY more than he's worth as a riding horse, but pretty cheap as far as racehorses go.

  10. I used to see Prince's previous owner occasionally at horse shows and at the bar we both go line dancing at. I always felt awkward at first because she was a much better rider than I was at the time and I didn't want her to think I was holding Prince back or messing him up or something. She used to never ask about him, they sort of parted on bad terms when she failed an advanced pony club rating and blamed it all on him. They didn't get along very well and she decided she wanted him sold. Originally she really wanted nothing to do with the horse ever again, but since then she's matured a lot and now will ask about him every once in a while. Plus we are friends on facebook, so I know she gets all of my Prince updates and pictures that way.

    I also know the mother of the girl who owned him before that and she once made a comment to me along the lines of, "Well I'm glad SOMEONE likes that horse." I don't think sent meant it as offensive as it came across, but I was offended regardless. I remember looking her right in the eye and saying something along the lines of "Prince is incredibly athletic and talented, and I don't think I could find another horse out there more fun to ride." Not that it made a difference, but it made me feel better!

    I've traced him back to the trainer who sold him to that lady and I assume that he was just another sales horse in her barn. When I emailed her she didn't really remember anything about him, nor did she say anything along the lines of, "oh great to hear he is doing good". Poor Prince, I like to think that SOMEONE in his life appreciated and loved him before I got him, but sadly I have no idea who they are.

    As for selling and insurance, clearly my horse isn't worth anything at the moment, which doesn't matter because I will never sell him. I've never had insurance on him, mostly because of his age, but also because I've been told that you are better off just putting the money you would be spending on insurance into a pet health care account and saving up (I think I would only feel comfortable doing this if I had a good chunk of change to start the account out with). If I ever bought an expensive horse or had one that was worth a lot I would probably get some sort of insurance on it though.

    Obviously how much you horse is worth depends on where you live.. I'm not sure how that factors into insurance though.

  11. Great comments, guys. Tori, I have never seen it broken down like that, but that is very interesting. I wouldn't like to sell Lucy but if someone offered me an exorbitant amount of money for her and I knew she'd have a good home and be developed to her full potential, I probably wouldn't turn the offer down.

    Jessica, location is a good point. I am in New England and the cost to own a horse in this area is so high that there isn't much of a market for selling horses right now unless they're in a higher price bracket.

  12. Great topic!!

    I don't really speak to Allie's breeders, emailed them once an probably will again once we start competing with pics and stuff. I email her sire's owner (not the breeder) more as that stallion is her baby, she loves hearing about his foals!

    I have insurance coming up soon, I will have to think about what she should be valued at as she is certainly worth more now than when I got her even though we have not yet competed.

  13. 1. I keep in touch with Poppy's old owner. She likes to hear of her progress and what I've been doing with her. She didn't want to sell poppy but she knew Poppy needed to go to a home where she had a confident ride. She was an older lady and not so confident.
    With Ritchie the owners didn't want to know me after I brought him.
    2. No, not really. I always have had it in my mind that I'm never going to sell Poppy. I'm quite often thinking about what Ritchie's worth. I brought him as a project horse and I have to sell him soon.

  14. Kate, even if you had an offer for an exorbitant amount of money, I'm not sure you'd part with her!

    I once had a judge I showed under and did several lessons and clinics with offer me $25,000 for my then-5-year-old-demon-mare that we paid $5,000 for (including tack)...AFTER he saw her almost dump me into my mom's sunroof at one of the shows he was judging. I could have gotten a push-button, ready-to-go show horse that would have had me well on the way to my childhood dream of riding in the Olympics...and still had some money left over...but I had less than no interest in selling my baby. :)

  15. Jake's owners were neglectful and I was the ONLY one who rode him, so needless to say we don't talk. My leasers give me weekly updates (on lesson days and if she does something new/cool she'll text me) I also get pictures texted to me and have them added on FB, but that's different as I'm still the owner, so they HAVE to ask me about some things (like letting others ride him and show him). If I ever sold him (I'd ONLY sell/give him to the current leasers.) I expect they'd still keep me updated and let me ride him whenever, but I've also known the whole family for YEARS from MVPC.

    A couple years ago my trainer offered to sell/buy Jake for her lesson program and to foxhunt for $10,000. I can't sell him, so I didn't. Eventers are easier to price, Averages are easier to figure out. 5-7k if they go proven Novice, 10,000k if they go training, but can't move up, 15,000ish if they have gone training and talent to go Premlim. It goes up and down cuz of soundness, age, level of advancement and talent.

  16. I bought my mare from the breeder/trainer. She put a lot of time and training into the horse and turned out an animal that reflects her talent and dedication.

    That said, we are having to re-train her because she was never really taught to use her body correctly (e.g. she over breaks at the poll and throws her whole body onto her forehand). I don't feel comfortable giving any sort of detailed progress report because I'm certain she would take it as an insult (even though I obviously think she produced an amazing animal).

    We are FB friends and sometimes the comments she leaves comments on photos that make me feel like I'm leasing my own horse. It can be a little awkward but I know she means well.

  17. 1. I've kept in touch - more or less - with most of my horses' old owners, particularly in the beginning. My current horse's old owners I knew before I got the horse (coached their daughters), and they still come and see him, watch us at competitions, the daughters come ride him on occasion. We are all Facebook friends. I would be shocked if I found out that they were speaking badly of me - they are not the kind of people to do that. I think if they had concerns they would say something to me. If I were to sell him I would contact them before I put an ad up.

    But I haven't known my previous horses' owners as well and was more of a business transaction with them, which is fine. I don't want 'high maintenance' prior owners being a time and energy suck. I'm busy enough, thanks!

    2. I have an idea of what I would accept for each horse. It's higher when I'm not trying to sell them than when I am (i.e. If still want the horse they have to make it worth my while to sell). If I insured them I would insure them for a higher rather than lower amount (assuming there's no minimum - neither of mine are worth $6k).


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