Researching the price of horses around 1750

Horses played a vital role in transportation, agriculture, and warfare during the 18th century. Understanding the price of horses during this period provides valuable insight into the economic landscape and the value placed on these magnificent creatures. In this article, we delve into the historical record to uncover the price range of horses around 1750.

Factors Influencing Horse Prices

The price of a horse in 1750 varied significantly based on several factors. These included the horse’s breed, age, size, conformation, temperament, training, and overall health. In addition, regional factors such as supply and demand dynamics, local economies, and transportation costs influenced horse prices.

Breeds and Types

Various breeds and types of horses were available in the 18th century, each with its own characteristics and price range. Common breeds included the English thoroughbred, Arabian, draft horses, and various local and regional breeds. Thoroughbreds, prized for their speed and agility, generally commanded higher prices than other breeds.

Average Price Range

While specific records of horse prices in 1750 are scarce, historical accounts provide some estimates. On average, a horse could cost anywhere from £5 to £20 in Great Britain during this period. It is important to note, however, that these prices could vary widely based on the factors mentioned above and local market conditions.

Regional Variations

Horse prices varied by region due to differences in demand, availability, and local economies. In urban areas and thriving commercial centers, where horses were in high demand for transportation and trade, prices tended to be higher. In rural and agricultural areas, where horses were used primarily for farm work, prices may have been more affordable.

Maintenance Costs

In addition to the initial purchase price, horse owners had to consider the ongoing costs of maintaining their equine companions. Expenses such as feed, stabling, veterinary care, and equipment added to the overall cost of horse ownership. These factors influenced the decision to purchase a horse.

Symbolic value

Beyond their practical utility, horses had cultural and symbolic value in 18th-century society. Owning a fine horse was often considered a status symbol, reflecting wealth, social standing, and prestige. Horses were also admired for their beauty, grace, and contribution to leisure activities such as hunting, racing, and equestrian sports.

Inflation and currency conversion

When examining historical prices, it is important to consider inflation and currency conversion. Currency values and purchasing power have changed significantly over time. Adjusting the prices quoted in historical records to today’s values provides a more accurate understanding of the economic context.

Quality and Purpose

The price of a horse in 1750 was largely determined by its quality and purpose. Horses with desirable characteristics, such as good conformation, strong build, and desirable temperament, commanded higher prices. Horses bred specifically for racing or riding might have been more expensive than those used for agricultural work.

Market Demand

The demand for horses also played an important role in determining their prices. In bustling urban areas and cities, where horses were in high demand for transportation and trade, prices tended to be relatively higher due to increased competition. Conversely, in more rural and less populated regions, where horses were used primarily for agricultural purposes, prices may have been lower.

Supply and Availability

The availability of horses in a particular region or market also influenced their prices. Areas with a higher concentration of horse breeders and traders would typically have more horses for sale, leading to potentially more competitive prices. Conversely, regions with limited access to horse breeders or where transportation costs were higher may have experienced higher prices due to scarcity.

Age and Training

A horse’s age and training were additional factors affecting its price. Younger horses with less training may have been more affordable, while older and well-trained horses with proven skills and experience could command higher prices. Trained horses were in demand for a variety of purposes, including riding, carriage pulling, and military service.

Inflation and Currency

It is important to consider inflation and currency conversion when examining historical prices. The value of currency changes over time, and the purchasing power of money in the 18th century differs significantly from today. Adjusting historical prices for inflation provides a more accurate representation of the value of horses during this period.

Trade and Imports

During the 18th century, horses were not only bred and traded locally, but also imported from other countries. Horses from prestigious breeding areas, such as Arabians from the Middle East or Thoroughbreds from England, carried a certain prestige and could be more expensive due to their pedigree and reputation.

Documentation and Records

While historical records of horse prices from the 1750s are limited, several sources provide insight into the cost of horses during this period. These sources include diaries, letters, advertisements, and legal documents related to horse sales and transactions. Analyzing such records helps researchers and historians piece together a more complete understanding of horse prices in the 18th century.


While accurate records of horse prices in 1750 are limited, historical accounts and estimates suggest that the cost of a horse in Britain during this period ranged from £5 to £20. Factors such as breed, age, training, and regional variations played an important role in determining the price. Horses had both practical and symbolic value, serving as essential work companions and status symbols in eighteenth-century society. Examining the price of horses provides insight into the economic realities and cultural significance of equine transactions during this period.


What was the price of a horse around 1750?

The price of a horse around 1750 varied depending on factors such as breed, age, training, and location. On average, however, a horse could cost anywhere from £5 to £20 in Britain during this period.

How much did a horse cost in 1750?

Putting this all together gives an average price of about 80s (or 4 pounds sterling) for a draught horse in 1750, This will go up or down depending on the age and condition of the individual horse of course – don’t look a gift horse in the mouth as they say.

How much did a horse cost in the 1800?

In the 1800s, horses were relatively expensive, costing on average $60. This was in contrast to other animals such as pigs, which only cost $5, and milking cows, which cost about $20. Even goats were cheaper than horses, only costing $2.

How much did it cost to buy a horse?

Horses can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000 depending on their pedigree, performance record, and good manners. The bigger the budget, the more options you have as a horse owner to choose from. Besides the initial purchase of the horse itself, there are costs towards hay, feed, veterinary exams, training, and grooming.

What were horses used for in the 1700s?

While horses were likely used for work, such as to plow fields and transport goods to market, most of the evidence shows that people rode their horses, whether for business, pleasure, or sport. Indeed, aside from one’s own two feet, horses were the main form of transportation of the time.

How much did a horse cost in 1700s?

A regular riding horse, of average age in eighteenth century England would have cost approximately 4 pounds, we know from probate inventories. Average income for labourers (the lowest-paid workers) was about 12 pounds a year, we know from the accounts of building firms employing labourers.

What was the average wage in 1750?

FOR TWO CENTURIES, from the 1700s until World War I, the average wage for one day’s unskilled labor in America was one dollar.

How much did horses cost in 1870?

Wheat per bushel $1.02 Horse, average work horse $150 Flour per barrel $3.00 Horse, good saddle horse $200 Corn per bushel 40 cents .

How much did a cow cost in the 1800s?

Cattle were not worth much unless they could be sold. The only way to do this was to drive them to the markets in the eastern states. (The Eastern states had the biggest populations – here a cow could be sold for $40+, back in Texas they were only worth $5).

How much did a horse cost in the 1500s?

A sumpter was a pack horse and cost anywhere between 5 and 10 shillings to buy. There were 12 pennies in a shilling, so a basic pack horse would cost our labourer 15 days’ wages. A top of the range one would cost 30 days.

How much did horses cost in 1870?

Wheat per bushel $1.02 Horse, average work horse $150 Flour per barrel $3.00 Horse, good saddle horse $200 Corn per bushel 40 cents .

How much did a horse cost in colonial times?

Because of the ease of transport horses afforded, many colonists bought a horse as soon as they could afford its maintenance. The price of a horse ranged from £5 – £1000, depending on breeding, speed, and ability.

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