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LarissaL
Aug. 9, 2009, 01:17 AM
If a hunter prospect's ad led with this photo, would it appeal to you? Not a pricey horse (sorry, no more details as I don't want to cross into advertising). I'd like to gauge whether I'll need another photo shoot. Thanks!!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3451/3803322276_d67d1c830d.jpg

Philosopher
Aug. 9, 2009, 01:26 AM
It's not terrible by any means, but if I were marketing the horse, I would try to get a photo with the neck a little longer and lower and the horse a little cleaner.

kellidahorsegirl
Aug. 9, 2009, 01:34 AM
For me, I'd like to see the horse super clean. I'd also like to see the rider super clean (not hunter show outfit, but at least a nice polo. (and I comment on the rider, not to critique, but because I think the rider completes the picture....a distracting rider takes away from the horse)

As for the movement of the photo....I wouldn't be too excited about this horse based on this photo...I don't know if she actually is, or its just the angle, but the horse looks like she's leaning into her circle.

Her ears make her look slightly irritated...and she's not in any sort of frame (in MY opinion). More just an average looking horse.....

I think you need to get photos that make your horse special. Make her stand out in the crowd. In this market, that is super important.....because the buyer can be extra picky about what they're looking for.

neutral milk hotel
Aug. 9, 2009, 01:35 AM
I find the rider and background a bit distracting. Perhaps she would be more invisible in a polo shirt and tall boots? The long whip could go away too. The grass is long and objects in the background are noticeable. Also, I'd like to see the horse CLEAN! White markings, pulled mane. If you are advertising it as show-ready, it should look like a show horse! The horse looks great in the photo, that is the correct 'moment' to take a picture of the trot at; mostly because you can hide if it's a good mover or not. So perhaps include a conformation picture as well?

LarissaL
Aug. 9, 2009, 01:35 AM
I would try to get a photo with the neck a little longer and lower

Hah, he's an Arab/Saddlebred so that's always a good thing to keep in mind ;) Thanks!

Kneigh
Aug. 9, 2009, 01:38 AM
Hate to say it - but I'd do another photo shoot. You know the old expression, "You only get one chance to make a good first impression," and while this photo is not downright bad, I think you could do better.

Sunny Side Up
Aug. 9, 2009, 01:44 AM
I agree.
Firstly, I think the background is pretty distracting. Like the block thing and swingset(?) on the left.
The horse looks pretty good... since your marketing him/her as a hunter, you want their head long & low. Also, the horse should be turned out as really clean (not saying he looks abused dirty! But if we're talking ads). Maybe give him a bath, pull his mane and clip him up a little.
Nextly, the rider looks pretty good, however I'd suggest maybe wearing your field boots and a clean polo. If you can, it would be great to put your horse in a bridle that matches the leather of your saddle or vise-versa.
Good luck!
EDIT: Went back and looked at the previous post..I pretty much said everything that was stated above =P

LarissaL
Aug. 9, 2009, 01:58 AM
Thanks guys! I appreciate all the input. Bummer, as I have limited use of a photographer and would have liked to reuse a photo, but I'll have to turn up some extra resources to get it done :)

As for the clean, I have a newfound respect for you guys and your hunter chrome with this horse. :lol: I swear he's stained himself straight down to the skin with that red dirt.

Sunny Side Up
Aug. 9, 2009, 02:04 AM
Also, one thing! Maybe if you can loose the dressage whip just for this photo session? If possible! Nothing bad with dressage whips, but it would just make the picture less distracting, IMO ;)

kellidahorsegirl
Aug. 9, 2009, 02:07 AM
Maybe for your photoshoot, after a bath if he's still not sparkling white....baby powder might work to 'cover up' the red dirt??? My horses don't have much white, so I don't have this issue, but its just a thought :)

Individualblue07
Aug. 9, 2009, 02:55 AM
where are you located at?

If your close enough I might be able to help you out with a photoshoot.

Lucassb
Aug. 9, 2009, 09:28 AM
Additional, fussy details:

If you can, use a fitted pad that shows an even 1" around the saddle. The one you have is distracting because of the bulge of pad behind the flap.

If you can, I would put the horse in a D ring snaffle and make sure the bridle fits correctly with all the straps neatly contained in the keepers. Full cheeks are not out of bounds in the hunter ring (in fact, many would say they are traditional,) but they aren't what's in. If you were asking a training question, I would not even mention the bit, but in this case, you are trying to represent a rather unconventional animal as a hunter and "dressing for the party" will help to convey suitability.

For that reason, I also echo the comments about the rider's attire. If that were my horse, I might even put the show clothes on and braid the horse to give the appearance of being at a (hunter) show. You are trying to help the buyer picture your horse in the hunter ring, so the less you leave to their imagination, the better.

Parrotnutz
Aug. 9, 2009, 09:43 AM
If a hunter prospect's ad led with this photo, would it appeal to you? Not a pricey horse (sorry, no more details as I don't want to cross into advertising). I'd like to gauge whether I'll need another photo shoot. Thanks!!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3451/3803322276_d67d1c830d.jpg

If I were looking to buy another hunter <heaven forbid> looking at this photo I would ask the seller:
1....how small is he/she. Cause to me the horse looks small with the rider.
2....Why are you focusing on hunter prospect. The horse doesn't "look" the part with the head and neck up and tight and not soft in the back <think more long and low> The legs do, but not the overall look and that does include the ears.
3...I agree that you need to lose the dressage whip, even though i ride with one for avertisment purposes, no

Overall picture needs to be a relaxed...lower frame horse whoe appears pleasant. the legs are good enough.

yellowbritches
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:04 AM
An eventer to an eventer: I wouldn't consider this a good sale picture for any discipline, for all the same reasons every one has mentioned for the hunter market. When I get a horse ready to take pictures for an ad, I groom the horse as if he were about to go to a show- a good bath, mane neat and tidy, everything trimmed up, tail brushed out. He should look like all I need to do is braid him before he goes to the show ring. I worry SLIGHTLY less about the rider (usually me), but I try to put on clean britches and preferably my boots (but not always), and a clean shirt, preferably a polo (I NEVER wear tanks in sales pictures). If we take pictures in the ring, we drag the ring first, and if the horse is jumping, we build attractive jumps (usually with good ground lines so they really jump well). If we are doing pictures in a field, we try to not take them where there are distracting things in the background (though, you can always crop stuff out).

This is a silly picture and was just a snap shot as I was riding this horse to the ring for a set of sale pictures, but he's a paint and you can see how sparkling clean I got him for this (he was not fancy and was very, very green, but I "dressed" him up like he was the fanciest thing in the barn, like I do all of them)- http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=392269&l=b2160632e9&id=840606599

This picture is another picture that I don't think we used in an ad (someone requested a confo shot, and I think we cropped some of the distracting stuff out of the background when it was sent). The mare is sparkling, shiny clean (I actually might not have given her a full on bath because they all typically look this good after daily grooming), her whites are WHITE, her tail is clean, brushed out, and neatly banged. Her bridle is clean and I'm in clean britches, clean boots, and a clean polo- http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=285462&l=6b98391943&id=840606599

MrWinston
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:20 AM
If you are going to use the full cheek snaffle, it needs keepers.

Chylli
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:49 AM
Thanks guys! I appreciate all the input. Bummer, as I have limited use of a photographer and would have liked to reuse a photo, but I'll have to turn up some extra resources to get it done :)

As for the clean, I have a newfound respect for you guys and your hunter chrome with this horse. :lol: I swear he's stained himself straight down to the skin with that red dirt.

I keep my Pinto/Wb body clipped all summer. Just makes it easier to clean and keeps the white, white. Just a thought to make it easier on you. As for the picture. I agree with the others, clean, pull mane, etc.

Summit Springs Farm
Aug. 9, 2009, 02:46 PM
dirty horse and tail, sour expression from horse and rider, unkept pasture, poor riding attire, crop unhunter like, and helmet. screams backyard!!!
Having said that I do like your horse's movement and head, have to get going or would say more, Good luck, get a nice picture and you'll be glad you did!:D

danceronice
Aug. 9, 2009, 02:55 PM
I don't care what the rider looks like. But the background is driving me nuts--it's too dark, especially around the horse's head where he has black--he blends in.

The number one thing I care about if I'm looking at pictures of horses is that the horse pops out. I don't care if he's show groomed, I don't care what the rider is wearing, I could not care less what equipment he's using, I want to be able to see the HORSE. My biggest pet peeve is conformation photos that aren't, with the horse fussing, standing in a hole, turned at an odd angle, etc. For a riding shot, a light background with no extraneous junk and a horse who's clean will make me look twice. Dark or blurry and I don't care if he's turned out to suit George Morris's taste.

And your horse is a cutie. Nice trot!

Seven-up
Aug. 9, 2009, 04:33 PM
Call me crazy, but if it's a hunter prospect, I want to see him over a jump. ;)


If he hasn't been started over fences yet, build a (safe-looking) chute and free jump him a few times.

If I were looking at an unconventional breed for a hunter, I would darn sure want to know if he jumps nice.

CBoylen
Aug. 9, 2009, 04:56 PM
Hah, he's an Arab/Saddlebred so that's always a good thing to keep in mind ;) Thanks!
If you're aiming him at the hunter market, learn not to volunteer this information. Let them see the horse first if possible, and if the ad makes you list a breed list it as something like crossbred or sporthorse. If someone asks of course tell them the truth about how it's bred, but since it's an unconventional cross for the hunter ring you really want them to get an impression of the horse before giving them the automatic impression that it is not suitable due to its breeding.

Trees4U
Aug. 9, 2009, 06:24 PM
Ditto what CBoylen said.

Is that cross considered a National Show Horse?

Sunny Side Up
Aug. 9, 2009, 08:41 PM
Is that cross considered a National Show Horse?
Yeah, an SB/Arab is a NSH..my friend had one.

Seven-up
Aug. 9, 2009, 08:53 PM
A pulled mane would be nice, too.

Anyone who buys him can of course pull his mane themselves, but it would show off his neck better and make him look more huntery. When you add the high head and the long mane to the fact that he's a NSH, well, none of those things really scream hunter. When you tell them what breed he is, you want people to say, "NO! REALLY??" instead of them saying, "Oh, yeah. I thought that's what he was."

What sort of movement does he have? If you took the photo a half-step later, would his knees be up at chest level? I've seen NSH's move, but maybe this guy is a very uncharacteristic NSH.

Late
Aug. 9, 2009, 09:17 PM
A pulled mane would be nice, too.

Anyone who buys him can of course pull his mane themselves, but it would show off his neck better and make him look more huntery. When you add the high head and the long mane to the fact that he's a NSH, well, none of those things really scream hunter. When you tell them what breed he is, you want people to say, "NO! REALLY??" instead of them saying, "Oh, yeah. I thought that's what he was."

What sort of movement does he have? If you took the photo a half-step later, would his knees be up at chest level? I've seen NSH's move, but maybe this guy is a very uncharacteristic NSH.

you'd be surprised how many horses bred like that move with the huntery flat knee - I've got a 4y/o right now that can't get anywhere near that big round saddleseat-type trot. Of course, his neck still comes out of his body pretty much straight up :lol: go figure, plus his half-sister can move out fairly flat as well and conformationally fits the bill better, but she's got the tail carriage... ugh.

as far as taking sale photos in the same place you took this last one, is it possible to mow the grass at least in the strip you'll ride through? I think that combined with a clean horse alone will get you cleaner photos - less uneven looking ground around one of the most important parts people will focus on: the legs.

And better yet, if you can get a third person to help with the photo shoot, maybe find someone to tie some streamers to the end of a stick or dressage whip and stand 15ft in front of the horse and shake the streamers on the ground... I saw the pro's use it at the arab shows in the hunt classes (after they were pinned) to get ears and an interested expression. just a thought :)

Good luck!

Seven-up
Aug. 9, 2009, 10:35 PM
you'd be surprised how many horses bred like that move with the huntery flat knee - I've got a 4y/o right now that can't get anywhere near that big round saddleseat-type trot. Of course, his neck still comes out of his body pretty much straight up :lol: go figure, plus his half-sister can move out fairly flat as well and conformationally fits the bill better, but she's got the tail carriage... ugh.

Haha, yeah, my experience of seeing NSH's was when I worked at a SB/Arab farm. It would stand to reason that they didn't have any huntery movers there. If it moved bad (for a NSH) I'm sure they got it off the farm as quickly as possible.


The OP's horse doesn't look like the NSH that I know, either. I can see the arab in it, but that's about it. So maybe he moves like he looks...NOT like a typical NSH. I'm sure you can change an awful lot about the way they move by trimming and shoeing them differently, too.

2bayboys
Aug. 10, 2009, 10:10 AM
Just curious, why are you trying to market this horse as a hunter? It doesn't look the type, as least from the photo provided.

kashmere
Aug. 10, 2009, 10:42 AM
I would second everything yellowbritches said.

findeight
Aug. 10, 2009, 10:53 AM
Wow...have had Pintos, Palominos, high white chestnuts and greys. QHs, Paints, TBs, Arabians and some unknowns.

Would not even take trail ride without cleaning this one up. Never a second chance to make a first impression and all that. Plus, I like mine presentable, even if I am the only one to see it. On a sale ad, I'd wonder what else was not cared for. And somebody else was dead on with expression...sale pics need to be HAPPY. Make a looker smile too. This...well...doesn't.

Far as a Hunter, there is absolutely nothing in this picture that says it is a Hunter prospect. No level topline, no long and low and, the biggie, where's the jump? If you want to say it jumps, it needs to jump in a picture. Presented more like a Dressage prospect here, or maybe an Eventer...but I bet they like to see it jump too.

And, yeah, bag the breeding end because there is even less that says Hunter in National Show Horse breeding then this picture shows.

BTW, not a thing against the horse itself. Nice quality, I have nothing against the color when cleaned up. Just nothing that hints at a Hunter prospect.

Beau Cheval
Aug. 10, 2009, 10:58 AM
To add on to what others says I was struck by the fact that it looks like she is falling in towards the camera and is not balanced.
To be honest, no hunter person is going to be interested in this horse no matter how cheap. This is a horse that will, ideally, end up in some loving owners yard being ridden around for and maybe jumped <2.
I wouldn't even try to market this horse as a hunter. It just isn't. This horse will probably be placed best by letting kids looking for their first horse ride him. Or if he could be at a lesson barn where the same type of people are then you might be able to sell him. Of course, that is only a valid idea if his temperament is suitable.
Sorry if that came off rude, I don't mean it to, it's just my opinion.

magnolia73
Aug. 10, 2009, 11:38 AM
IMO, that horse's biggest grab is his coloring. He is a lovely paint, lovely neck and head. Needs to be shown off with a really good bath, tail comb out and tidy mane.

I would think most "diamond in the rough" serious hunter people would not be interested in a saddlebred/arab without jumping photos, a video of the horse loping over said jumps and NO MENTION of arab or saddlebred.

It seems like the market is more local people, less serious about big time hunters who will love the coloring and pretty and the nice trot. He'd probably be a pretty type for someone to do local pleasure type classes on. Very eyecatching. But you need to get him clean, clean, clean and looking happy to do the work, plus maybe put a kid up on him for the photos if he is the easygoing sort. The rider look a scootch big on the horse.

LarissaL
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:05 PM
:lol: Point take on the cleanup. I appreciate the other more detailed thoughts too, regarding whip, polo and such.

As for why a hunter prospect, I'm not going to say too much as per the advertising rules here (though this seems to be negative advertising, if anything :winkgrin:). He's not A circuit quality. We can definitely agree on that. I phrased the initial post vaguely with "hunter prospect" as that's the option frequently given in online ads.. they don't really distinguish "could be the hack winner in the A's" and "hop him around the local circuit, he's got a quiet brain."

I can see not mentioning the breed. His registration papers as a NSH are lost (previous owner), so he won't be appealing to anyone doing anything breed-related.

Rider size is unfortunately nonnegotiable (how I wish it was, for my sake and not just for photos!). I fit better on horses over 16h but this guy needed a home at the time and hopefully buyers won't hold it against him that the sucker who took him in is a bit too big :D

magnolia73
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:09 PM
Rider size is unfortunately nonnegotiable (how I wish it was, for my sake and not just for photos!). I fit better on horses over 16h but this guy needed a home at the time and hopefully buyers won't hold it against him that the sucker who took him in is a bit too big

You don't look huge. But your best market as an english horse is "kid safe to go have fun on a pretty horse at a show". A smiley kid having fun, if possible, communicates this. You look like a pro, working to train the horse. Which says to me- green horse, not ready for a kid to go have fun on. You don't need to be ridiculous and have your baby niece standing on him barefoot over a 2'6 jump, but if you have a good riding kid you can grab for a photo op....

S1969
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:24 PM
:lol: Point take on the cleanup. I appreciate the other more detailed thoughts too, regarding whip, polo and such.

As for why a hunter prospect, I'm not going to say too much as per the advertising rules here (though this seems to be negative advertising, if anything :winkgrin:). He's not A circuit quality. We can definitely agree on that. I phrased the initial post vaguely with "hunter prospect" as that's the option frequently given in online ads.. they don't really distinguish "could be the hack winner in the A's" and "hop him around the local circuit, he's got a quiet brain."

I can see not mentioning the breed. His registration papers as a NSH are lost (previous owner), so he won't be appealing to anyone doing anything breed-related.

Rider size is unfortunately nonnegotiable (how I wish it was, for my sake and not just for photos!). I fit better on horses over 16h but this guy needed a home at the time and hopefully buyers won't hold it against him that the sucker who took him in is a bit too big :D

I think your price will help prospective buyers figure out whether "hunter prospect" means A's or local circuit. This is the type of horse I might buy for one my kids; local circuit possibly, or the horse for schooling/hacking at home instead of at the lesson barn. So I personally wouldn't worry too much about your size or the "hunter" title because when you price the horse people will figure it out. But even as a backyard owner, I often scroll past ads that don't have great pictures.

A nice, uncluttered picture is great - clean horse, clean tack, non-distracting rider. I personally like to see a nice conformation picture of the horse as well - not only does it give me a good look at the horse but also demonstrates that the seller understands what buyers are looking for (rather than some silly picture of the horse grazing or looking out over it's stall door). Would be fabulous if you can get a young rider on board as well, but that wouldn't be a deal breaker if I was looking at horses. A well-written description (spell checked, good grammar) is a must too, of course!

rabicon
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:32 PM
Agree with others on the cleanup and rider etc...

If your not asking much for this horse why not offer him as a trail horse or low level eventer or even pony club prospect. You might do better with pony club prospect than a hunter prospect. :cool:

findeight
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:36 PM
I can see not mentioning the breed. His registration papers as a NSH are lost (previous owner), so he won't be appealing to anyone doing anything breed-related.


Then he is not actually a NSH and you can honestly omit that from any ads. Because, without papers going on only the word of the seller? He, honestly, could be anything. He does look the part minus the usual action but he could just be an ASB cross or a part arab for all you, or that seller, can prove. Call it a Pinto and you can actually get papers from that organization for a nice tobiano like this one.

Might see if you can direct some of your marketing towards that color market. It's attractive and looks like a good type...see if there is a Pinto club near you that has some shows. Imagine it will google.

DMK
Aug. 10, 2009, 01:02 PM
I think your price will help prospective buyers figure out whether "hunter prospect" means A's or local circuit.

oh, you'd think that, wouldn't you? :lol::lol::lol:

But i had one for sale a couple years ago that i bought as an ammy prospect. let's just say the best 4 jumps of his life were the ones he took before i paid for him! fortunately he was cheap, huge, kind and a good mover. he just didn't have a jump that i was worth paying rated show entry fees. it wasn't hideous, but it sure wasn't special.

so i had him for sale at what you would call a good local show price for a horse with his mileage (meaning not a lot of showing, because i toyed with the idea of keeping him to hunt and use as a practice horse). i can't tell you how many people called thinking he was going to be their next devon mount. :rolleyes: and then after i explained to them that i knew what it took to be that horse and in my estimation, he wasn't in the same universe, ergo the reason i was selling him at the price shown. then i beggged them to let me send a dvd before they came back.

About 1/3 listened to me and figured i probaby knew what i was talking about, and wasn't trying to lie to them so i could NOT sell a horse that i was trying to sell. Another third waited for the DVD and then agreed with me that they had not just stumbled on the hunter bahgin of the century. the last third wouldn't believe me, would insist on coming out RIGHT AWAY! to see this super bargain, and then be mad at me when he was ... exactly as billed.

one funny moment was a lady who called me as she was driving down for a road trip to look at a bunch of horses in the area. she figured out i had a clue and this wasn't the horse for this client, but she had other clients who showed local, so it was worth her time to see him. we watched his 17'2 hand pretty self lope around a course on a loose rein as pretty as you please with her rider and had the following conversation:

trainer: he's such a nice horse and such a lovely mover
me: yes, and this is pretty much his ride every time...
trainer: shame about that front end, though...
me: no kidding
trainer: damn, he'd be perfect for [rated show client] with a better front end...
me: let's face it, if the front end was better, he'd be my a/o horse and there would be at least a "1" in front of that current price...
trainer: good point.

:lol::lol:

moral of the story: don't assume the price will tell people anything!

RugBug
Aug. 10, 2009, 02:07 PM
I can see not mentioning the breed. His registration papers as a NSH are lost (previous owner), so he won't be appealing to anyone doing anything breed-related.


Along with other things mentioned (tack, horse turn-out, rider turn-out) I would have a nice jumping shot. Unfortunately, he looks Arab/cross and therefore a lot of people won't even read the ad unless there is a jumping picture that would rule out the Arab stereotype. You're going to have to lead with proof that the horse could be a small time hunter, so that you don't lose the 'looks like there is a lot of Arab in there' people.

Also, I would think if this horse's brain is his biggest selling point, I think a video showing him being very quiet on the flat and around the horse would do loads to bring people in.

S1969
Aug. 10, 2009, 03:32 PM
oh, you'd think that, wouldn't you? :lol::lol::lol:

Fair enough! I guess what I meant was that *I* would probably figure it out, anyway. :lol:

see u at x
Aug. 10, 2009, 04:08 PM
Whereabouts in MD are you? I may be able to come photograph you riding the horse if you'd like. I'm no pro, but I can take fairly decent photos that would get the job done:

http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2583/114/69/1058848026/n1058848026_359203_3293232.jpg

http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2583/114/69/1058848026/n1058848026_359233_3757146.jpg