Ask Frankie: Horse Sales, Horse Buying, Taxes



Should I Sell My Horse?

Name: Bridget Y.
Location: FL
Horse: 13 yr old Oldenberg gelding
Discipline: Hunter/Jumper
Rider: Middle Age

I have a 13yr old Oldenberg gelding that I compete in the Low Adult Amateur jumpers. We were planning to move up to the Adult Amateur jumpers as we had started schooling at home closer to 4’.

I have been riding with my current trainer for 9 years and have owned this horse for 5. I really like him but my trainer says I need to sell him. He started stopping at fences a few months ago. At first I thought it was me but then my trainer competed him this spring to tune him up and he stopped for her in the ring. After that show I put him in full training and after watching her almost having to beat him over fences she started lowering the fences and at first he was better then he started stopping at even very small fences.

I really don’t want to sell him but I don’t know what to do. My trainer said he is not lame and he doesn’t look lame. She said he just has a bad attitude. I was planning on keeping him as a forever horse, but don’t want to stop jumping. Do I need a new trainer or a new horse?

Bridget Y. FL

Frankie Sez:
Frankie Holsteiner AskPeople don’t listen. All horses know that. The Frank, he has to really yell to get his lady’s attention. She’ll want me to jump the big sticks, and I jump ‘em, have fun jumpin’ ‘em.

Then The Frank’s back legs start hurtin’. I try to tell my lady I’m sore by going full speed at the jumps. When that doesn’t work, Frank drops a leg or two into the poles. There, you pick that up. And when that doesn’t work, Frankie yells.

See, like I said. Horses know people aren’t that smart. So I gotta spell it out sometimes. “Give me some of that Lance Armstong juice in my legs, Lady.”

That’s what Frankie says, when Frankie’s yelling for the good stuff.

Kristine Sez:
By yelling, Frankie means “stops at fences.” Sounds like your horse is yelling too. Time to get the vet out.

What to do with Pushy Horse Trainer?

Name: Craig S.
Location: NM
Horse: looking…
Discipline: Hunter/Jumper
Rider: Age 32

I used to ride when I was a kid. I showed ponies in open shows and then leased a horse at a hunter/jumper barn and showed in equitation, junior hunters, and some medals. After High School I wasn’t able to afford riding, but missed it dearly.

I’m 32 years old and finally in a financial position to be able to not only ride but actually buy a horse of my own. I started back into it by taking lessons at a dressage barn, but really wanted to jump again, so I moved to a hunter/jumper barn. It’s primarily a show barn, but they teach lessons too. I have been taking weekly lessons there for a year and they said I’m ready to buy a horse.

I don’t think I’m that interested in showing, but the barn is already pushing this on me. They have been having me ride some horses that are for sale, but I was thinking of spending under $5,000, and all these horses are over $10,000. They said I won’t be able to find a safe horse that I can jump for under $10,000.

I only jump 2’6” and probably would never want to jump bigger than that. I started doing some horse shopping on my own and have found lots of horses that are less than $5,000 that seem to fit what I’m looking for. I brought this up to one of the trainers and she yelled at me and told me if I want to buy a horse without consulting them, I need to find another barn.

I really like this barn. It’s convenient to work and home and isn’t too expensive. Is a horse that is under $5,000 really not going to be able to work for me?

Craig S. NM

Frankie Sez:
Frankie Holsteiner Ask Ten-large? Frankie doesn’t know much about finances, but I heard on NPR’s Marketplace Morning Report that ten stacks will get you a whole house, provided you don’t mind living in Detroit.

Frankie knew this mare from Detroit once. Striking mare. Handsome, really. Disheveled. World weary. Like with the George Clooney patented stubble, but you know, on a lady-horse.

Anyway, she always had this distant look in her eye. Didn’t say much. I think about her sometimes. She must have seen some stuff up there, right? All that snow. Copper thieves. Wonder if she had to fight off anyone trying to get her shoes.

If I was to guess, you sound like a real swell fella, Craig S. No Zoo, either. I think if you found a horse and just brought it a six or eight bales of hay, a day, he’d probably be fine popping you over the jumps.

That’s my vote.

Kristine Sez:
$5,000 is plenty. Get a vet check (including drug test). Shop on your own, or find someone you trust. Go around your trainer—if they don’t like it, find another barn. It’s your wallet.

Stall Bookkeeping?

Name: Ken B.
Location: RI
Horse: none
Discipline: accountant-ing
Rider: bald, out of shape

Frankie, who does your taxes? Presumably, you make income, right? For your entertainment, athleticism, and companionship, you are given room & board with some type of healthcare plan, plus bonuses.

Where do you stash your receipts throughout the year? Ever been audited? Work a calculator?

Ken B. RI

Frankie Sez:
Frankie Holsteiner AskAbacus, Ken. Abacus. That way I can move it with my nose.

Ever seen a horse pick up a single piece of hay that’s mixed in with their bedding? Our noses are like those fingers you got there. ‘Cept better, in my opinion.

Frankly, Ken, I’d be happy to give up some of my grain for horse-unemployment. Frankie’s never thought about taxes before, but I don’t see why we couldn’t pass that bucket around the barn and take a collection for those poor racetrack fellas. They got it, bad, ya’ know? Not their fault.

Frankie has no dependents, either. (Thanks, Lady.) The horse tax code would be simple. Don’t munch it all, pretty much. That’s what we need to do. I’ll hash this out in the barn tonight. I can already hear that grey-haired Palomino, complaining. He hasn’t jumped in years. Still eating, too. “I got mine!” he says. Everyday. Like the rest of us don’t keep the barn full so the hay comes and the people clean our poop or yell when he’s running like a lunatic and wants to come in. Right, he just exists all on his own.

Thanks for the thought, Ken.

Kristine Sez:
Frankie for president.

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Equestrian author, rider, and horse advocate Kristine Oakhurst has performed every equestrian related job there is from being a groom, vet tech, stall cleaner, catch rider, barn manager, trainer, and even board member for a breed committee. Her first novel about a discarded ex-racehorse and homeless 16 year old girl has just been published. [Checkout Tall Omaha at Amazon]