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@2001 Jennie Williams
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     $? $? $? $? $? $? $? ? ?

     This is the million dollar question. Price all depends on what you want the horse for and what use are you going to put it to. The main categories that will affect the price of a horse are:
                       

          1)    Brio (Spirit & Enthusiasm).
          2)    Smoothness & Speed of gait.
          3)    Training.
          4)    Manners.
          5)    Bloodlines.
          6)    Sex.
          7)    Age.
          8)    Intelligence.
          9)    Show Record.
        10)    Breeding Record.
        11)    Color.
        12)    Size.
        13)    Health.
        14)    Use.
        15)    Personal Preference.

                
     As you can see, there is a lot to think about when choosing a horse. And remember, no horse is perfect. No horse is going to have literally everything that you want. (And if you do have that horse, I want to buy him from you.)  You are going to have to compromise at some point in your decision to buy a Paso Fino, or a horse of any breed. However, each item on the above list increases the price as you add each one.  In other words, the more quality, the more good things, the higher the price. 

     The first question to ask yourself is "What do I want to do with my Paso Fino??"

     You can't imagine how many times I have heard the statement, "I just want a trail horse that is safe, will do anything that I ask it, is exciting for me to ride, but will let my kids ride, too. And by the way, it would be nice if it was good enough in conformation and gait to go into the show ring and win, because I might want to try the show ring, but I am not going in the ring unless I know I can win. But I also want it to have perfect manners on the ground, be a palomino or pinto, be exactly the right height, perfect health, about 6 to 10 years old, and generally be just a 'good ole horse.'  But I don't want to pay over $1,500. Can you find me that horse?"

     If you find that horse, please let me know because I would buy it in a heartbeat !!

     Think about what you are asking for. Quality costs. That is a fact. Because what makes quality is dedicated breeding of quality animals and long term love, attention, extensive training, and tons and tons of time. And as you all know, time is not free.

     Take this scenario: A breeder has to buy a quality mare with good bloodlines and then breed it to a quality stallion. Let's say he lucks out and someone gives him a wonderful mare with drop dead bloodlines. So now he needs to find a good stallion. Stud fees start at $1,000 and go up to $3,500. Let's be conservative and say that our breeder chooses the middle of the road. OK. He now has $2,000 invested in this baby that he must wait 11 months and 11 days for (almost a year). During that year he has to feed that mare, costing a minimum of $100 per month ($1,200 for the year).  So the time has come at last and the mare foals. The day the baby hits the ground, our breeder already has $3,200 in that baby. Now he has to spend the next two years feeding and caring for and teaching ground manners to our baby. We will figure that his time is free, so all we are talking about is the food and expenses for 24 months. ($2,400). OK, our breeder now has a horse that he can start putting under saddle and training for real. He currently has $5,600 in this baby. Let's say conservatively that he wants to professionally train this baby to start it off right. That's about $500 per month. Reasonably he can plan on 3 months of training ($1,500). Now he has a 2 year old baby with 3 months of training who shies at everything it sees and only needs experience, and he only has $7,100 in this baby at this point. And then someone comes along and says, "Boy, that's a good looking baby, I'll give you $1,000 for it, but only if you give me an additional 3 months of training." Can you really blame our breeder when he is a little put out by that offer?

     The bottom line of the above exercise is that horses are not free to the breeder or the trainer. Granted, many of us breed for the sheer love of the breed, but occasionally we have to bring in enough money to feed our horses. So don't be horrified at the prices that you may see in your search for the perfect Paso Fino. There are reasons that some are more expensive than others.  However, don't feel alone. Everyone goes through "sticker shock" when first pricing quality horses of any breed, and Paso Finos in particular.

     The bottom line in your search is COMPROMISE. What of the above list is the most important thing to you. What would you like to have, and what can you do without. If you want lower prices and safe trail horses, higher age is your best bet. Older horses have been there, done that, and seen most of it several times over. They are generally more settled. Since Paso Finos can live into their mid 30's, a 15 year old horse is not old, but it is usually safer and less expensive. It is only less expensive because the "public perception" based on other breeds of horses is that 15 to 20 years is OLD!  It isn't so for the trail riding enthusiast.  

     If you are looking for a fabulous show horse to ignite the show ring and win everything in sight, then you had better own a bank and go to the best trainers in the world.  Remember, the more training, the higher the price.  Paso Fino prices start reasonably at about $3,500 and go up to the sky's the limit.  You can get Paso Finos for less, but you better be looking really carefully at why that horse costs so much less.  It is an important fact that one trip to the emergency room is more expensive than a good quality, "safe" horse.  It is also important to note that NO horse is completely SAFE. 

     One final thought on pricing.  The market has been changing lately.  The greatest demand right now is for a pretty gelding that is 14 to 15 hands tall, 8 to 12 years old, that is trail experienced and conditioned, smooth gaited, and that beginners and advanced beginners can ride, with exquisite ground and trailer manners.  The "push button" horse.  And since demand is high and supply is low, you know what happens to the prices.  You can reasonably expect to pay $4,500 to $7,500 for the above horse.  Do not fall into the trap thinking that you only want a gelding, so he will be a lot less expensive.  It ain't necessarily so. 

     It is further very important to understand that color affects price a whole lot.  If you want a paint, a palomino, or a black, then be prepared to pay for those colors, as they are at a premium.  The reason is that they are very few and far between.  However, in my opinion, color should be one of the last priorities on a list.  It is like going to buy a used car because it looks pretty on the outside, but may not run more than 5 miles off the lot.  A pretty color is not going to be that friend for life, unless that pretty color has the personality, the gait, the training, and the manners to go with it.  And if it does, then you really are going to pay for it.  Inexpensive horses in those colors usually have something else as a drawback.  That is fine if you are willing to take the down side just to get color.  Consider your needs, and then decide on color after you meet the horses.  Don't cut out all horses that are not the color you want unless you have real money to spend.  This breed is not like quarter horses where you have 4 million in the US to choose from.  You have less than 50,000 registered Pasos, scattered throughout all 50 states, which means that color is going to greatly affect the cost of a horse.  You can always put color on your "wish list" but don't let it be the only thing you look for.  

     Good luck in your search, and be persistent. You can find an affordably priced horse if you are flexible and realistic in your needs and you are patient in your search. We would be happy to help you find that horse.  We try very hard to match the right horse with the right rider, so that everyone, including the horse, wins. 

     And if you do own that bank, I know of a lot of people who would like to talk to you!

 

 

Jennie Williams

Paradise Paso Finos

678-592-8206