2024 Purchase Prices of Horses in the USA

If it seems like everything costs more in 2024 (should that be this year’s motto?). You aren’t alone in that feeling! Inflation is real, and horses and other livestock are not immune to those price changes. 

How much do horses cost in 2024? As is true with every big purchase, the price of a horse will vary greatly depending on what you are looking for. On one end of the spectrum, it’s possible to purchase a project horse for a thousand dollars or less. Conversely, you can spend $75,000 or more on a well-trained show horse. 

The price of a horse will depend on a variety of factors, but this guide should give you a solid idea of what to expect. Keep reading to learn how much a horse will cost you this year!

What Factors Affect the Price of a Horse?

There are several things to consider when looking at the price of a horse. While every horse is special and valuable, the adage “you get what you pay for” does apply here. The following are a few factors that will affect the price of a horse.

  • Old Age – Senior horses will generally be lower in cost. Older horses are more prone to injury, weakness, and health problems. They will not have as many years left under the saddle as younger horses. This is a natural aspect of aging. Many senior horses can have years of riding left in them, so a horse in his twenties shouldn’t be overlooked. Quarter horses, Morgan horses, and Icelandic horses are breeds that tend to stay fit and work well into their senior years.

  • Young Age – Horses should not be trained under saddle until they are almost finished growing, which happens between the ages of four and six. That means a foal will have several years before training can even begin. A significant amount of time and work will need to be invested in a very young horse.

  • Breed – As with any animal, a horse with a pedigree will fetch a higher price than a grade or mixed-breed horse. Breeds that are rare or are known for their excellence in particular disciplines will cost even more. The more common a horse is, the more you can find members of that breed at reasonable rates. Quarter horses, Arabians, and Paint horses are common in America.

  • Level of Training – Training a horse is no small feat – a horse needs many hours on the ground and under the saddle to be considered a safe mount. The person who trained that horse will expect to be compensated for their time and effort by charging a higher price. This also applies to training in specific disciplines. The higher the level of training, the higher the purchase price.

What is the Current Purchase Price for a Horse?

Understanding that there is a wide range in the purchase price of a horse, there are still generalities that can be made depending on the breed. Listed here are some of the most popular and easy-to-find breeds and their typical purchase prices.

How Much Does a Quarter Horse Cost in 2024?

There is a significant range in Quarter horse purchase prices. If you are not looking for a particular line, you can generally find a broke, sound, and safe Quarter horse for between $5,000 and $10,000. A senior Quarter horse, even one that is sound and healthy, can typically be found for even less than that.

If you are looking for an elite show prospect, you can expect to spend more, up to and surpassing six digits. The most expensive Quarter horse on record was named Moonin The Eagle and sold for over $2 million.

How Much Does a Thoroughbred Cost in 2024?

Thoroughbreds are best known for their prowess on the racetrack. While the most elite racing prospects can cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, you don’t have to have deep pockets to own a Thoroughbred. You can purchase an “off-the-track Thoroughbred” (OTTB) for as little as a few hundred dollars to $3,000.

Keep in mind that purchasing directly from a racetrack will carry some risk. Some of these horses have old or fresh injuries, and all have been trained to race, requiring re-training. Still, a sound Thoroughbred with an ideal temperament can go in any direction, as they are a versatile breed.

How Much Does an American Paint Horse Cost in 2024?

The American Paint horse was developed in the United States and remains a popular breed, particularly in the Western circuits. Because Paints can be readily found, their prices are not as high as the rarer breeds. You can typically purchase a trained purebred Paint for around $5,000 – $10,000. Paints that are advertised as “project horses” can be purchased for significantly less. 

How Much Does a Pony Cost in 2024?

The term “pony” is used to refer to a horse that is under 14.2 hh. There are several pony breeds, with a few of the most popular being the Shetland, Welsh, Pony of the Americas (POA), and the Miniature Horse. Ponies make terrific companions and are invaluable lesson horses for children.

However, children grow up, and most ponies cannot comfortably carry adults. This leaves an influx of ponies on the market. They can typically be found for much less than standard-sized horses. Trained ponies can generally be found for $2,000 – $8,000, with many of the smallest costing as little as $1,000 – $1,500.

How Much Does an Arabian Cost in 2024?

An Arabian can generally be purchased for between $3,500 and $10,000. Arabians are beautiful and intelligent horses with kind temperaments and incredible endurance. They can be found for such relatively reasonable prices simply because the market has been flooded with them over the years.

How Much Does a Mustang Cost in 2024? 

Mustangs are unique to this list in that they are not intentionally bred but are rounded up from government land and auctioned to the public to maintain sustainable feral herd sizes. Mustangs are auctioned off by the Bureau of Land Management for as little as $125. In some cases, the agency will pay up to $1,000. If privately purchasing a trained Mustang from another owner, you can expect to pay $5,000 or less.

There is a reason Mustangs are so cheap. If you bid and purchase a Mustang from the BLM, these horses are completely feral. You must have the experience to handle and train wild horses. This isn’t for the faint-hearted, or those brand new to horses.

How Much Does a Friesian Cost in 2024?

Friesians get a lot of well-deserved attention for their captivating beauty and courageous spirits. They are not a rare breed but are not particularly populous in the United States. You can expect to pay a premium for one of these horses. If you are looking for a purebred, registered Friesian, you should plan to pay between $20,000 and $50,000. A highly-trained dressage Friesian can cost as much as $75,000 or more. If this is outside your budget, you might consider a Friesian cross; you can often find one for around $10,000 or less. 

How Much Does a Morgan Horse Cost in 2024?

The Morgan is one of the oldest American horse breeds. They are known for being an easy keeper with a solid temperament. Because Morgans are not as readily available as many other breeds and types of horses, the average horse is slightly more expensive than a more populous breed. You can expect to pay between $7,000 and $10,000 for a purebred Morgan.

How Much Does a Percheron Cost in 2024? 

The Percheron is a popular draft breed used in tourism, driving, and agriculture. Percherons are gentle giants and can be excellent family horses. A purebred Percheron can be purchased from a breeder or private party for around $7,000 – $10,000. Because draft horses are so often sent to auction after they are no longer profitable, they can also be rescued for as little as $1,000 – $2,000. 

How Much Does a Belgian Cost in 2024?

The price of a Belgian is similar to that of a Percheron; a Belgian can be purchased through a breeder for around $10,000, but because of the prevalence of “working” Belgians, they can also be purchased at auction for very little. Belgians are used heavily in traditional communities in the Northeast and the Midwest and are generally off-loaded when they are no longer able to work on the farm. 

Buying a Horse in 2024

Though buying a horse today is more expensive than in previous years, there are ways that you can make your dream attainable even on a smaller budget. Horses that need a tune-up or veterinary care will be significantly less expensive than “turn-key” horses. Foals can be purchased for much less than a horse who is a little older simply because of the time and training involved.

Senior horses should not be overlooked either; there are many gems available that still have several years left under the saddle. If your budget is not quite hefty enough to spend $10,000 up-front on a horse, your dream of owning one may not be out of reach.

There’s more commitment to horses than their purchasing price. To learn all the financial obligations of horse ownership, visit my article What Does it Cost to Own a Horse? Complete Expense Guide.

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Carmella Abel, Pro Horse Trainer

Hi! I’m Carmella

My husband and I started Equine Helper to share what we’ve learned about owning and caring for horses. I’ve spent my whole life around horses, and I currently own a POA named Tucker. You can learn more here.

Thank you for reading, and happy trails!

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