How Much Does an Quarter Horse Cost?

The Quarter horse is among the most popular horse breeds in the world, with over 3 million registered specimens worldwide. This breed is growing rapidly and shows great promise for delivering the best horses that the competitive scene has ever seen.

If you’ve already decided to get a Quarter horse, the first thing that comes to mind has to relate to price. After all, this is a naturally competitive breed with all the physical, temperamental, and cognitive characteristics of a born winner. I don’t blame you from wanting one, given the circumstances.

Today’s article will discuss the factors that influence the price of a Quarter horse and what to look for when getting one. The average Quarter horse will take you in the neighborhood of $2,000 to $10,000, with prices varying a lot for this breed. You will even find Quarter horses reaching $50,000 a piece or even $100,000 or more.

Factors That Impact the Price of a Quarter Horse

A Quarter horse’s price will vary wildly since multiple factors influence the animal’s value. These include:

– Bloodline / Pedigree

The bloodline has a major influence in establishing the horse’s price. That’s because many of the horse’s characteristics, both physical and temperamental, are transmitted biologically from father to offspring. This means that the foal of an award-winning competitive horse has more chances of inheriting its father’s prized characteristics.

You will find details about the horse’s bloodline in its papers, or you can talk to its owner about it before the purchase. I also advise informing yourself on the matter and understanding the major bloodlines available and what each of them brings.

You should prepare your wallet for the task since sought-after bloodlines will burn a visible hole through it.

The type is also of key interest here. The American Quarter horse comes in three types:

  1. Bulldog – Study builds, compact, and powerful. It’s an excellent asset for ranch work, carrying heavy loads, and perform tasks too difficult for other breeds.
  2. Thoroughbred – The Thoroughbred is slimmer with a muscular but thin body and fitting legs and joints. This is a type of horse built for speed, making it ideal for competitions and racing events.
  3. Progressive – The progressive type is versatile with an athletic and muscular body, a short head, and a strong neck. The body type is a mix between the 2 previous types, and it’s a great choice for shows and training displays.

– Age

The horse’s age also makes a huge difference in terms of pricing. The most expensive horse ranges between 7 and 14 years of age. These are its peak years when the horse is the strongest, fastest, and more physically capable than it will ever be.

The situation changes if the horse is a foal. This means you, the buyer, will have to invest in supplementation, regular veterinary check-ups, and additional care to ensure its proper development. You also need to spend money and time on training and getting it competitive-ready, which will take years. All these things will drop the horse’s price significantly in many cases.

Similar problems occur when the horse is older. At this point, you will most likely get the horse for its sentimental value and as a casual riding asset. It’s past its prime, which means that the horse will not be of much use from a competitive standpoint. It also lacks the strength and speed that are so defining for Quarter horses in their prime.

In other words, you should establish your goals before purchasing the horse. A younger one will be cheaper, just as an older one, but both come with their own downsides. A Quarter horse in its prime will require a significantly higher investment.

– Training

Horse training generally takes time and requires patience and money. This also depends on the horse’s temperament since not all are as easy to train. If you’re looking for a trained specimen, expect to pay $2,500 and up if this is the only metric influencing the price.

If you’re not willing to pay that, get an untrained one and handle the situation yourself. It will be cheaper if you are a trainer yourself or have someone close to you who is. Just make sure that the horse trainer is a trustworthy individual who does a good job and doesn’t cut corners.

The training program is critical since it’s not only about establishing physical discipline. It also teaches the horse manners and trust and allows you to bond with the animal more intimately. The American Quarter horse is an intelligent animal, willing to please its trainer and who enjoys human company.

Get yourself a horse with good genetic baggage, train it, and you will get yourself a life-long loyal and caring companion.

– Color

The American Quarter horse has 17 registered colors:

  • Chestnut
  • Sorrel
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Gray
  • Bay
  • Palomino
  • Cremello
  • Buckskin
  • White
  • Perlino
  • Dun
  • Red dun
  • Grullo
  • Red Roan
  • Bay Roan
  • Blue Roan

In truth, all these are variations of two underlying colors – black and red. If you’re really thorough about your horse’s color, just remember one crucial thing – the horse will change its color over its lifetime.

Foals will generally present different shades of color compared to themselves after shedding their coat. As adults, their coloring will vary in degree, which is why choosing your horse based on the foal’s color can be deceiving.

It’s also worth mentioning that the horse’s coloring is heavily influenced by genetics, which is still unclear. That being said, some colors are more valuable than others, depending on how popular they are.

– Show Performance

Naturally, not all horses are the same in terms of performance. Even with the same training and workout, some will perform better than others, just like humans, dogs, or any other animals participating in racing events.

The more proficient the horse is in speed racing and its physical characteristics, the more it will cost. The price will jump considerably in the case of award-winning horses with impressive competitive achievements under their…saddle.

If you plan on getting a competition-ready horse with top competitive achievements, have at least $100,000 prepared. The price will vary along these lines, with legendary names going double or triple that. If you’re not interested in the horse’s pedigree, you might as well look for one with fewer trophies.

Cost of Owning an American Quarter Horse

Now that you have got your dream horse, your next concern should be the maintenance cost. After all, you will own that horse for a very long time, depending on its age. An American Quarter horse can live around 25 years with proper care, love, and adequate medical attention.

Overall, many areas will require you to sink in money, including:

  • Diet and nutrition – An American Quarter will generally eat 1% to 2% of its total body weight. The dietary necessities will end up higher on the horse’s spectrum and engage in regular physical activity such as shows, competitions, equine events, consistent workloads, etc. The bill will generally reach around $100 per month, maybe more if the horse also needs supplementation.
  • General stable maintenance – $50 per month for cleaning and disinfection. The horse needs a clean and dry bedding at all times.
  • Vet appointments and check-ups – The vet appointments may take you up to $100 per month. This, of course, will depend on how often you take the horse to the vet. If it’s not a competitive-ready specimen, you might not need too many veterinary visits. Generally speaking, a horse that doesn’t engage in strenuous physical activity and shows no health problems only requires several vet visits per year.
  • Horse maintenance and grooming – Your horse requires daily grooming, especially if you have a competition-oriented animal. The standard equine kit should include a stiff brush, tail and mane brush, a curry comb, a soft brush for the coat, and a hoof pick. This is the minimum necessary to keep your horse in mint condition. You should also throw deworming in this category.
  • Regular dental care – Keeping your horse’s teeth in pristine condition is key to preserving its health long-term. Bad teeth will affect the horse’s feeding abilities, causing health issues and pain along the way. Have a professional assess your horse’s teeth health regularly to make sure everything remains within the safe parameters.


The American Quarter horse isn’t a pretentious animal. It’s relatively easy to care for, but it does come with its unique requirements. If you plan on getting an American Quarter horse, consider the many factors that will influence its cost.

The good news is that there’s an American Quarter horse for everyone, in pretty much all price ranges.

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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