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wildride
Oct. 26, 2009, 11:08 PM
I'm thinking of picking up a new winter project. I've turned around several OTTB's but I need a quick spring sale, so I'm looking for something that will get lots of looks.
Geldings are easier to sale then mares and chestnut mares are very hard to sell. I've had super nice horses turned down because they were too small, wrong color, or not fancy enough. I know a good horse comes in any color, size or gender, but I need a fast sale and a horse that will appeal to a larger group.
If confirmation, movement, temperament, soundness and potential were all equal, what would be the most desirable sex, size, color or other defining character?

shawneeAcres
Oct. 26, 2009, 11:34 PM
Gelding, 16+ hands, prefereably 16.2ish, good mover but not HUGE movement, MOST IMPORTANT must be QUIET and a KICK type ride. I market horses and this is what everyone wants. Needs to jump around a course, be sensible, have good ground manners, no vices or major soundness issues. And honestly MOST people don't want OTTB's (even though I love them!) and "fast sale" in this market really doesn't exist. I have had DEAD QUIET horses, had one this past spring, took FOUR MONTHS and dropping price to sell him, VERY quiet, had a NICE lead change, jumping around 2'6", nice bay, not fancy but decent mover, easy to deal with, 16.2 and thought I'd NEVER get him sold. Girl that bought him adores him and realizes what a deal she got! The market is jsut fickle right now. People think they can get fancy for no $$ but honestly most of those horses, the owner will jsut sit on til the market recovers!

vali
Oct. 26, 2009, 11:43 PM
It's kind of hard for all those things to be equal, but greys (especially dapple!) and black horses sell well. Chestnut geldings with chrome are also popular. Quiet disposition and jumping talent are also key, and the 16-17 hand size range is the easiest to sell, although I like smaller horses as well. Having had a few horses with feet problems I focus in on good feet, which is not so easy to find with OTTBs.

Jleegriffith
Oct. 27, 2009, 09:10 AM
It has been my experience over the past two years that the market has really changed and there is no such thing as quick sell. Not saying that is always the case because with some horses they speak for themselves and you have people beating down your door. Other horses are so nice yet nobody even wants to look at them.

When I am going to do a resale I only shop by this criteria- 16+ h, geldings, some white, no major blemishes, no vices, a horse that is quiet enough to put leg on, doesn't have to be a fancy jumper but safe and likes to ride out of the ring quietly.

I love love love my ottb's but when I was doing resale the horses that I made the most profit on were nice Qh's or appendix crosses from downstate that had been western. I would get them going english, start them over fences and do a few shows. No problem selling them at all!

I have noticed that people go nuts over dark bays with a bunch of white on them and black is even better. People either love a grey or hate them so that can go either way.

I am buying with the average adult amateur in mind. I trained myself not to buy what I wanted to ride because I prefer something a bit hotter and forward and the typical buyer can't ride it. I also want that big back cracking jumper but most people don't want that either. Most of the time it is not the pro's who are buying horses but your adult ammy rider. You don't need that going to the olympics horse because your average person can't ride it. I would rather have the safe yet competitive model of horse.

The only way to make a profit is turning a horse quickly so buy something that just needs a bit of retraining until anybody can get on it and go. That is where the money is to be made. If you keep a horse a year putting on that mileage on it will in many cases me there is no profit to be made. Even with the CANTER horses I try to do as much as I can to make them really broke in a short amount of time. Lots of trail riding, x-c schoolings, local h/j shows, foxhunts and more. Make a really versatile horse that an ammy can ride and it should be able to get sold fairly quickly.

retreadeventer
Oct. 27, 2009, 09:21 AM
desirable sex, size, color or other defining character?


Gelding, 16 hands at least (why people WANT this big a horse is beyond me, most cannot ride the 16 hand horse but that's what they want), DARK color (bay or brown or black) and absolutely spook-proof as the most wanted characteristic.

I always laugh when I hear that. If you take away the alertness and sensitivity, and make a horse "spook proof" you will have something half dead. I don't want to ride a horse like that but many people do. . . and end up having to send them to trainers to get them "rideable".

I often say you can't have it both ways. You want a horse to go easily without kicking and spurring and use of the crop, and jump and be bold and listen on cross country and in stadium, yet not look at a paper blowing across the ring - this sort of horse is well trained and experienced animal who can and does cost a lot of money because someone has invested time and money in him.

If we could find such horses to make within a few months and get a quick sale with - we would all be millionaires. The Irish horses fit this description probably as well as any breed of horse I've worked with. When they were cheap to buy and import, I think a lot of trainers made killings with them before the econony caught up to the exchange rate, etc.

I have a very nice horse who is a champion in all respects, and he still spooks EVERY DAY at something and he's been ridden in the same place daily for eight years. I dearly love him but he is not and never will be spook proof - yet he will PACK anyone over jumps anywhere anytime.

I think quiet, quiet, quiet - and gelding - are the "musts". After that it is all just preference but if you know what you are doing the horse will sell itself no matter what color or size it is. (It is very hard to sell mares in my area for some reason, that's why I say "gelding" is a must.) I guess look for a TB who is like an Irish horse! Wish I could find some! :)

Oh and JLee and I must have posted at the same time. EVERYTHING she says. I would consider her advice in this field, she has a good bit of experience and knows whereof she speaks.

Jagged
Oct. 27, 2009, 09:55 AM
16h-16.3h, 5-11yo, gelding (or extremely non-mareish mare). I find most people don't like chestnuts as a whole, unless they are super flashy/chromey.
-Quiet
-Rideable
-FORGIVING
-Straightforward
-More of a kicker than a go-er
-Not spooky, has some experience but not too much that drives the price up.
-AMMY ride. Who cares if Phillip can ride him... for 99% of the riding world that would have no point if the horse takes advantage of a lesser rider.
-Good ground manners.

jn4jenny
Oct. 27, 2009, 10:12 AM
Even with the CANTER horses I try to do as much as I can to make them really broke in a short amount of time. Lots of trail riding, x-c schoolings, local h/j shows, foxhunts and more. Make a really versatile horse that an ammy can ride and it should be able to get sold fairly quickly.

IME this final qualification, lots of "miles", is the make-or-break in this recession economy. I can't tell you how many ads I've seen in the midwest for all the other characteristics listed in this thread BUT that say "Just started over 2' fences, shows promise!" That's the deal killer. And to say "Has been to a few schooling shows" is only marginally better. You're not going to see a checkbook until you've got the versatility.

IrishWillow
Oct. 27, 2009, 11:35 AM
[QUOTE=shawneeAcres;4461946]Gelding, 16+ hands, prefereably 16.2ish, good mover but not HUGE movement, MOST IMPORTANT must be QUIET and a KICK type ride. I market horses and this is what everyone wants. Needs to jump around a course, be sensible, have good ground manners, no vices or major soundness issues.[QUOTE]

Totally agree!

Gelding, over 16h, and quiet are MUSTS for a resale. The Ammy owners are the ones with money to spend, and they want big, quiet geldings that can go to the show and not act stupid. Also, I PPE EVERYTHING now... I've had a few great horses that never had lameness issues, but wouldnt vet. No point to that.

IronwoodFarm
Oct. 27, 2009, 11:50 AM
If a quick spring resale is imperative, I wouldn't take on a project horse. If you can afford to keep the horse indefinitely until a sale is made, then fine. There are sales happening there, but it is slow going.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Oct. 27, 2009, 12:00 PM
To hit the broadest market look beyond eventing. The horses to sell quick are not the horse's I want for myself at all.

The best experiences I've seen on resale between me and my friends have actually been quarter horses or paints (although our personal riding horses are OTTthoroughbreds). I got burned on a ridiculously talented, jump the moon, well put together, fancy moving OTTB, btw. If I tried to sell my current OTTB there is no way I'd get what I paid and he's fancy with lots of chrome (I paid finished show price though--he wasn't a project).

The vast majority (COTH excluded ;) )of your market for resale can't do TB or don't want to. The horses we made good money on were around 15'2-15'3"--one was over 16 (mine wasn't quite 16 hands but all had good sized barrels) and we owned them for at least a year [jn4jenny is absolutely correct!!!]. 2 fancy bays and one plain chestnut (plain horse had an extensive national show record though--he was a rehab). No soundness issues/vices.

I honestly think what sold mine (he wasn't a talented jumper--deer jump) was the fact that he was blood bay with a gorgeous head, quiet, and had been trail ridden out in the Black Hills. I don't think the gal cared that he had been roped off, shown recognized dressage or hunter schooling shows. My friend owned hers for a few years and put a decent show record on him in the hunter ring (he was a QH, mine a breeding stock paint). All of them were western horses we converted.

All the horses were geldings that were under 10 yrs old, but over 6. Had decent stride, comfortable gaits, not downhill, no vices, pretty heads.

My criteria 1. temperment (should be able to be a person's first horse) 2. looks--pretty head a must, 3. sex, 4. color 5. size

FYI I've seen people pay crazy amounts of money for horses that were palomino or dun/buckskin too.

EiRide
Oct. 27, 2009, 03:53 PM
When I go shopping I always look for a 15.1-15.3 hand mare, usually green or a bit of baggage--that is the best bang for my buck because no one wants a little mare with some issues or lack of experience!

When I walk into the barn and say, "don't even pull a gelding out of the stall, and small is fine" people about fall to their knees in joy. This tells me you should look for a large, quiet, easy gelding with some miles on him.

Beam Me Up
Oct. 27, 2009, 04:11 PM
Definitely big quiet gorgeous geldings sell best. Chrome helps. As does being "hunter type" (h/j folks seem to like the bigger build/hunter movement, while eventers can go either way so it broadens the market).

That said, as a recent buyer and current seller, I'm really down on this market.

Because I have not yet sold my big, quiet, gorgeous gelding with chrome, I was looking at seriously cheap (like, 750 - 2.5K) and what I found is that while there are plenty of OTTBs/CANTER horses in that range, there are also a surprising number with a year or 2 off the track, some schooling shows, jumping courses, foxhunting, etc. in that range too. Some were being sold by victims of the economy; others were probably OTTB projects forced to compete against the "distress" sales.

Definitely horses that have serious mileage (rec shows and events) are still going for a decent amount, but my sense is that the "profit" of putting 6 months on them is much less than it used to be.

FWIW I bought a directly OTTB with some resale no-nos, so I really hope he works out for me long term.

Coppers mom
Oct. 27, 2009, 09:10 PM
Great advice so far! Just wanted to add...

Well, horses are on the market here usually no more than two months, and they range from solid 3rd level dressage horses to just raced last week OTTB's, so there is such a thing as a "quick sale" in this economy.

You have to price them at what they are worth right now. It's better to sell the horse "cheap" and fast than hang on to him until you have to get $20,000 to make a small profit. The higher you price them, the more likely you'll end up hanging on to them until you barely break even. People seem less willing to pay for potential anymore, and the ammies are looking more at the mind than the possibility of going to the Olympics. It's very important to be realistic when you're pricing the horse in order to get a quick sale.

Also, miles are great, but they're also expensive. Plus, the more miles the horse has, the more picky people are, to the point of silliness. When it comes to OTTB's, we've had more luck selling them after being under saddle for a week than once they've started jumping. Once they're showing, it's like people want them to win every time out, be dead quiet, have changes, etc etc for only 5K. Even if they've only been under saddle for 6 months, you start getting the people that have unrealistic expectations. The less time you have them, the more likely you are to make a net profit.

jenarby
Oct. 27, 2009, 11:55 PM
When I go shopping I always look for a 15.1-15.3 hand mare, usually green or a bit of baggage--that is the best bang for my buck because no one wants a little mare with some issues or lack of experience!

When I walk into the barn and say, "don't even pull a gelding out of the stall, and small is fine" people about fall to their knees in joy. This tells me you should look for a large, quiet, easy gelding with some miles on him.

Ummm.....why can't I find a buyer like you?? :)

EiRide
Oct. 28, 2009, 01:02 AM
Ummm.....why can't I find a buyer like you?? :)

Because I don't buy often? And I like to breed my own. :-)

skip916
Oct. 28, 2009, 02:46 AM
give me black geldings or give me death...