Dollar-Store Horse Deals: If Only It Were That Easy

You never know what you might find at a dollar-discount store. If you’re a bargain-hunter, you know you have to return often in order to find the best deals. If you spy a $10 brand-name toy selling for $1, you’d better grab it. It probably won’t be there if you wait and go back the next day.

It’s much the same with trying to find a nice lower-priced horse. They’re out there, but they’re pretty much few and far between. If the asking price seems too good to be true, get out and see the horse immediately. If you like what you see, ride it, get it vetted and checked out immediately. If you don’t, someone else will. We all love a bargain.

Maybe horse prices shouldn’t rival car prices, but an awful lot of them do. In fairness to the sellers, it’s not easy to determine the value of a horse. Much like the value of a stock, a horse is worth what someone will pay on a given day. If he’s resold the next day, his value may increase or decrease. Sellers usually set prices based on what similar horses have sold for, taking into consideration individual variations like breeding and the level of training, but it still comes down to what someone’s willing to pay.

Of course, there’s always going to be people who have unreasonable expectations of the value of the horse, deciding that if Silver in the next stall sold for $5,000, then Goldie must be worth $10,000 — after all, he’s “twice” the horse and they’ve put in “twice” as much work. You just have to go look at the horse and decide for yourself.

If you’re struggling to purchase a horse, lamenting the fact that a horse costs more than you earn in a month or two, you’re not alone. You also aren’t defeated. Be persistent. Tell friends you’re looking for a horse, and don’t forget to tell your farrier, vet and feed- or tack-store representative.

Look in places you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find a good horse, and check out different types of sales flyers and advertisements. Don’t forget auctions and horse-rescue associations — you just never know. You’ve got to be willing to put in the miles and the hours to find lower prices.

Some horses remain for sale for a long time because the asking prices are too high for the quality of the horse. If a horse has been for sale for a while, the seller should re-assess that asking price — just as real-estate agents do. On the other hand, buyers shouldn’t be afraid to make a reasonable offer on the horse either. Your timing could be just right.

’Til Next Month,

-Cynthia Foley

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