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View Full Version : ♣ What is appealing to YOU? ♣



electric stride
May. 27, 2010, 09:27 PM
I'm just curious what is appealing to you in terms of an ad. What do you want it to say? How much info? What kinds of pictures/video? What draws your eye to one for sale ad over another? What makes you email the owner for more information?

Also, i'm not sure if this is possible due to the no advertising policy, but maybe post some ads that you find particularly well put together? And then maybe some that are not so well put together and why they aren't? As long as it isn't your horse, I guess it wouldn't be against policy? :winkgrin:

make x it x so
May. 27, 2010, 09:44 PM
Good:

Words: Not too wordy. I want to know basic info, not a paragraph's worth of a life history of the horse. The more detailed stuff is better left for once the person is actually trying the horse.

Pictures: A few pictures, preferably a jumping shot (assuming the horse jumps), confo shot, and a flatwork shot (even if the horse isn't a great mover, I'd like to see how they frame up). The jumping shot should be taken at the height which the horse is advertised as jumping.

Video: Short clips, maybe an entire round at a show and then some basic flatwork, also.

In general, I want it to be concise but not too vague. I want a sense of what the horse is like, and whether it's worth my time to call/schedule an appointment.

twobays
May. 27, 2010, 09:46 PM
My ideal ad involves a good conformation shot and a quick video. I want to see it w/t/c both ways and then see it jumping whatever height it's being advertised for. One course is fine.

I don't want to see hours and hours of poking around the ring flatting and I really don't want to see your jump warmup. I understand that you have to hop a few crossrails/little jumps before you move up to height, but I don't need to see it (unless that's the extent of what the horse is doing.) Unless you can't post a video, I don't really need a bunch of o/f pictures. You can't get a good idea of how a horse jumps from a still photo, so that really isn't necessary.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be honest in your ad. If you browse through ads on the internet, every freaking ad claims their horse has a 10+ jump and wins the hack. They can't all be winning the hack! Especially if you're selling an AA/children's horse, I don't think most people are going to be turned off by an admission that the horse will only get a hack ribbon in modest company.

equidae
May. 27, 2010, 09:54 PM
Over-use of adjectives is a turn off for me. I'd rather just see objective statements about the horse like ' 16.2 Dutch gelding with hack-winning trot', rather than 'Stunning gorgeous magical pink princess carousel horse of a mare' in an ad. Too many unnecessary details are also distracting. I don't care if the horse likes its ears brushed or how it bows for treats. Just tell me the facts, is it quiet or more spooky, brave or does it need more 'support' by a strong rider, how high it's jumped WITH a rider over a course, what it's done for shows.. etc.

equidae
May. 27, 2010, 09:59 PM
Bigeq.com has a lot of professional ads which would be good examples to follow.

theinstigator
May. 27, 2010, 10:08 PM
Short, sweet, and to the point as far as the description of the horse. I don't need fluff, just the basic info and a few pictures (jump, trot, and a "no tack" confo pic). If you advertise a show record, give me the best details, and know that the internet is a powerful tool and I can probably find that horses results without too much effort ;)

If you include a video, show WTC each direction and a course of jumps (assuming the horse is for the hunter/jumper market). No more, no less...about a five minute video maximum. Make sure the lighting is good (ideally an outdoor ring) and make sure the person videoing is using the zoom so you can actually see the horse LOL. If there is alot of talking or noise in the video, edit it with a simple "white noise" mp3 instead of music and keep the edits VERY simple. I personally want to see a continuous round of flatwork (no obvious edits) and the same thing in the coursework. All to often I see the first two jumps of a course and :EDIT: all of the sudden it's the last fence. I know the horse is not majikal and speshul; I know you cut something and that's a red flag.

I have logged several hours making show videos for my old boss, and he was a perfectionist.

LeeB10
May. 28, 2010, 12:46 AM
The jumping shot should be taken at the height which the horse is advertised as jumping.


We are usually shopping for jumpers and nothing bugs me more than a horse that is advertised as 1.30 and then the video/pictures are from something that is clearly not what is advertised. Be mindful of what you are claiming the horse does so that the pictures and videos reflect this.

Flash44
May. 28, 2010, 09:57 AM
Your heading should be bare bones facts to include:
height, breed, gender, age and basic ability (hunter, trail horse, etc)
you can elaborate on the horse's history and qualifications in the text
include how many yrs showing at what height/division
include show record / accomplishments
include if horse is ridden by pro, ammy or kids
photos should present the horse in a positive manner
bad photos are a turn off and will result in buyers crossing you off the list
mention health, soundness, ez keeper, travels well, and any other positive factors

Lucassb
May. 28, 2010, 12:30 PM
Another vote for concise ads with specifics, rather than lots of adjectives.

I would like to know the horse's (show) name, age, height and job. It's nice to mention recent results... If it's been Champion AA Hunter at Lake Placid, VT Summer Festival, etc... now you have my attention. I will look the horse up via the USEF tool, (which is why I want to know the show name) but a smart seller will whet my appetite a bit so that I am motivated to spend the time.

Please, spare me the pictures of the horse standing around in turn out or endlessly trotting around the ring. One lap in each gait in each direction is fine. I don't want or need to see your warm up; I assume you prepared the horse prior to turning on the video camera.

Links to a couple recent videos - preferably from the show ring, with zero edits - are great. They don't have to be perfect (although it's a nice way to show the horse off!) Sometimes a vid showing the horse coping with a minor rider error here or there is not such a bad thing. Like most amateurs, I like a horse that can take a joke. If the horse's owner cannot ride the horse over a course the height that's being advertised.... get someone else to do the ride.

At a minimum, show me a lead change in each direction and a full course of jumps. Try to have the horse and rider dressed neatly and conservatively - you want my attention on the horse, not the rider or the tack.

HuntJumpSC
May. 28, 2010, 12:44 PM
I bought my filly from a very simple, no photo Equine.com ad. It said: "Darling rose grey appendix filly" Inquired for pics and more info, liked what I saw (and got good references from some COTH'ers) and she was mine before the week was out. :winkgrin:

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
May. 28, 2010, 03:13 PM
I want to see video w/t/c both directions with lead changes. In total, this portion of the video should not exceed one minute. I do not need an 8 minute video of the horse trotting around the rail.

If the horse is being advertised as a hunter, I want to see hunter courses. I want to see it over a REAL course, not crossrails or airy verticals. If it's a seasoned show horse, I'd prefer a course from an actual horse show. Unless it's a bandit-priced bargain, I'd rather not see it jump around a ring littered with garbage and old tires.

If it's being advertised as an eq horse, I want to see equitation courses- rollback turns, trot fence, counter canter, etc. Again, if it's a seasoned show horse, show footage is best. I don't want to see the eq horse loping around outside-diagonal-outside-diagonal.

If it's a jumper, I really DO want to see footage of it completing a jumper course at an actual horse show. Unless it's a jumper PROSPECT, in which case, I'd like to see it jumping some technical courses at home over a decently indicative height for its intended division.

Videos should be well-constructed, should not include offensive music (I prefer no music, but some quiet background music is not a problem for me), excessive commentary from the trainer or videographer (your excessive compliments of the horse do not make it look better), and should be composed by someone with a steady hand. I do not want to have to take dramamine before I view the footage. Also, it helps to use a decent camera- grainy, pixelated videos are hard to decipher and can mask minor flaws. If you don't own a decent camera, borrow one. It's worth it.

Wording in the ad is less important if there's a decent video. Age, gender, breed (link to pedigree perhaps), height, and a few comments about its show record are adequate.

I also like to see the price included in the ad to avoid wasting my time or yours. If it's the "if you have to ask, you can't afford" type, you're likely not marketing it yourself, and your trainer likely doesn't need to advertise it on youtube to get it sold. Considering how subjective the price of horses is at this point, just list the price. If it's a 17 year old childrens horse and you're asking $85k, just say it. Or if, for whatever reason, this makes you uncomfortable, at least give a range (under $10k, $25-50k, $50-85k, etc).

doublesstable
May. 28, 2010, 04:26 PM
When mentioning height - actually measure the horse first instead of guessing. I can't stand it when someone says "my horse is 17 hands"... then the horse is barely 16 hands.

It's hard when you are a tall person and go out to see a 15 2 hand horse.. blaaaa.

Whatever is said - make sure you are not wasting your time or the buyers.

Agree w/ conformation shot and a video showing - walk, trot, canter and a short course at height horse is jumping...

Breed - breeding lines:
Height:
Color:
Age:
Training:
Disipline:
Ability:

Flash44
May. 28, 2010, 04:32 PM
I am exactly 15h tall, so I can get a pretty good feel for whether or not a horse is 16h or over just by standing next to it.

If you are taller than me and really want to be able to judge a sale horse's height, make marks on your face or head to equal 15.2, 16.0 and if you are tall enough, 16.2 so when you stand next to it the seller can see exactly how tall the horse is. Just kidding.

Height really doesn't matter to me. I guess if you are really tall you should care, but the horse's ability to do a job is way more important to me than a few inches either way.

doublesstable
May. 28, 2010, 04:42 PM
I am exactly 15h tall, so I can get a pretty good feel for whether or not a horse is 16h or over just by standing next to it.

If you are taller than me and really want to be able to judge a sale horse's height, make marks on your face or head to equal 15.2, 16.0 and if you are tall enough, 16.2 so when you stand next to it the seller can see exactly how tall the horse is. Just kidding.

Height really doesn't matter to me. I guess if you are really tall you should care, but the horse's ability to do a job is way more important to me than a few inches either way.

I look like a total doof on anything under 16 hands. And when shopping I have not only been a part of it, but seen others that want a horse bigger than 16, go out to see the horse, maybe a really long drive to find a 15 hander standing there... It can be frustrating...

I should measure how many hands I am.. I have no idea. :lol:

jewll27
May. 28, 2010, 07:43 PM
my two biggest pet peeves with sale ads:

-videos that are so so long of them hacking and then not jumping!

-loud, distracting music. I cant focus on the horse when theres music blaring!! I really cant stand it

danceronice
May. 28, 2010, 10:50 PM
My #1 pet peeve: videos where the seller obviously got hold of amateur editing software. Sepia tones, choppy music-video editing, text and graphics--all I want is a clear, steady, video of the horse doing what it does, where ideally he takes up most of the frame.

DandyMatiz
May. 29, 2010, 12:35 AM
(fictitious but this would work for me)
Title: Tobascco, 1998 Liver Chestnut Arabian S.S. Orion son. Excellent Herd Sire.
Info: Tobascco is winning in the arabian circuit in 2nd level Dressag, Working Hunters, SHIH and SHUS. Has won regionally in Halter as a yearling, 2yo and 3yo. Accomplished Field Hunter. His sire is SS Orion who is still showing in the working hunters and in 2nd level dressage. Dam is Pascion S who is owner's personal field hunter and dam of 5 working hunters. Her dam, Galaxia SSB is doing working hunters, as are all of her maternal siblings, at the age of 20. Tobascco is passing this on with his sons X, Y and Z all winning in Halter and in SHIH. Daughters A, B, C and D are doing Training level Dressage with scores in the (billions or whatever).
Tobascco is 15.2hh, easy to handle, has excellent semen and is easy to collect. Has had 3 foals exported to canada and 2 to Australia.

Photo of head, Side Photo 1, side photo 2. Short video clip showing Dressage, short clip showing over fences.

WingsOfAnAngel
May. 29, 2010, 12:10 PM
My ideal ad involves a good conformation shot and a quick video. I want to see it w/t/c both ways and then see it jumping whatever height it's being advertised for. One course is fine.

I don't want to see hours and hours of poking around the ring flatting and I really don't want to see your jump warmup. I understand that you have to hop a few crossrails/little jumps before you move up to height, but I don't need to see it (unless that's the extent of what the horse is doing.) Unless you can't post a video, I don't really need a bunch of o/f pictures. You can't get a good idea of how a horse jumps from a still photo, so that really isn't necessary.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be honest in your ad. If you browse through ads on the internet, every freaking ad claims their horse has a 10+ jump and wins the hack. They can't all be winning the hack! Especially if you're selling an AA/children's horse, I don't think most people are going to be turned off by an admission that the horse will only get a hack ribbon in modest company.

Precisely.

superpony123
May. 29, 2010, 01:52 PM
i can't stand...

a long video. i cant stand it when they get ahold of free editing software and put in music (IDC what song it is, i dont want to hear it) or change colors or sometihng. AND DONT SHAKE THE CAMERA! USE A TRIPOD OR BORROW ONE, MORE PEOPLE HAVE THEM THAN YOU THINK! i want to see W/T/C once each direction once or twice around the ring, a few close up jumps (not warm ups! dont waste my time!), and a course or two. i also want to see some brief leg yields, shoulder ins, haunches in, etc if the horse knows how. a lot of sale vids i see can be like 10 mins long! i dont have the time!

and tons of adjectives. i mean, i like descriptive, but not overdone. if you say how beautiful/handsome/etc your horse is 10 times, it's going to make me wonder if you dont have anything else to say about the horse.

extreme vagueness. i know a picture says a thousand words, but not exactly. i want to see a conformation shot, a jumping picture, and a trotting pic would be nice. i dont want to see 15 head shots and stuff. i know Mr Snuffles is a cutie, but i care about the performance, not how many cute pics you can take.

RyuEquestrian
Sep. 5, 2011, 06:13 PM
The jumping shot should be taken at the height which the horse is advertised as jumping.


We are usually shopping for jumpers and nothing bugs me more than a horse that is advertised as 1.30 and then the video/pictures are from something that is clearly not what is advertised. Be mindful of what you are claiming the horse does so that the pictures and videos reflect this.

This as well as several of the other posts regarding too many adjectives are my biggest pet peeves in horse ads. Also, don't make promises (i.e- will be your next Hampton Classic Derby Winner etc.), let the horse speak for itself. However, the worst lines are "Buy him now, or be beat by him later" or "Buy him now before he is 6-figures!"--way too pushy in my opinion.

I think that it is all about layers: Draw them in, tell them WHAT it is, then tell them ABOUT it.

The photo(s) catch your eye, then there should be enough text to "qualify" the horse and see if it meets your criteria i.e- Price, Location, Height, Age, etc. Then, if the buyer is interested, there should be enough information to find out more in depth information: performance career, if the horse is young- dam/ sire information etc.

RougeEmpire
Sep. 5, 2011, 08:03 PM
If the words "super cute" or "sweet" are in the ad I am instantly turned off. A horse is not a god damned cookie. "cute" and "sweet" usually equate an owner who is not realalistic about their horse.
"Super sweet personality, very loving and cute jump"...make me run the other way.

Rel6
Sep. 5, 2011, 09:53 PM
When mentioning height - actually measure the horse first instead of guessing. I can't stand it when someone says "my horse is 17 hands"... then the horse is barely 16 hands.

This, except I have the opposite problem. Since I'm a shorty at 5'1'', 16.3h is about the tallest I really want. When I show up at your horse is actually 17.2h its a little disconcerting!

RugBug
Sep. 6, 2011, 01:19 AM
"cute" and "sweet" usually equate an owner who is not realalistic about their horse.
"Super sweet personality, very loving and cute jump"...make me run the other way.

Hah...I am very, VERY realistic about my horses and I just sold one that I think I put "sweet" and "loving" in his ad. Well, not his ad, but rather his website. Ad was pretty basic. One photo, standard text with a link to an extensive website that included the facts and all the extras. Truth be told, the horse IS super sweet (and also gorgeous), so I put it in the ad.

Advertising this horse, I did a lot of things that I thought I never would (video with music, one video that was WAY too long, use of adjectives, etc). Turns out sometimes you use what you have and the video you thought was the perfect length and showed all the right things, really wasn't. Had he not sold quickly, I may have re-done somethings, but I was at the point of "just get him listed" so it went up different than I had ever imagined.

My list:

GOOD pictures
Decent unedited video (if you use music, it better be unobtrusive)
Factual ad text with Age, height, training, breed/registry, manners.
RECENT Show record if available. If record is old, I want to know that, too. Yes, I will ask for the show name and I will verify, so don't lie.
Price - don't put the price and I'm going to assume I can't afford the horse.

GypsyQ
Sep. 6, 2011, 10:54 AM
Should go without saying, but don't forget to put Age, breed, sex, and height. I agree about using superfluous adjectives. Some people talk so lovingly about the horse that you wonder why on earth they're selling it. Likewise, avoid the sob stories regarding the need to sell. "Need to downsize" or "sadly outgrown" are sufficient. Decent conformation shot and performance shot or video.

RougeEmpire
Sep. 6, 2011, 10:59 AM
Hah...I am very, VERY realistic about my horses and I just sold one that I think I put "sweet" and "loving" in his ad. Well, not his ad, but rather his website. Ad was pretty basic. One photo, standard text with a link to an extensive website that included the facts and all the extras. Truth be told, the horse IS super sweet (and also gorgeous), so I put it in the ad.

Advertising this horse, I did a lot of things that I thought I never would (video with music, one video that was WAY too long, use of adjectives, etc). Turns out sometimes you use what you have and the video you thought was the perfect length and showed all the right things, really wasn't. Had he not sold quickly, I may have re-done somethings, but I was at the point of "just get him listed" so it went up different than I had ever imagined.

My list:

GOOD pictures
Decent unedited video (if you use music, it better be unobtrusive)
Factual ad text with Age, height, training, breed/registry, manners.
RECENT Show record if available. If record is old, I want to know that, too. Yes, I will ask for the show name and I will verify, so don't lie.
Price - don't put the price and I'm going to assume I can't afford the horse.

To be honest I don't know a single pro trainer (including myself) who looks for "sweet" and "cute" when looking for a childrens/junior or amature horse. We look for SAFE, sound (mostly) and proven record. When clients come to me and show me a "super cute!" horse they found 9 times out of 10 its an unsuitable animal but they get caught up in "super sweet" and "super cute". I find that people looking for "Confectionary Horses" as I call them often get so caught up in "cute face" and "so sweet" they they over look the sickle hocks, lack of training, lack of size ect ect ect. I then must tell them " I don't care how "cute" this horse is don't you dare bring it home". As a professional looking (always) for horses for clients I want cut and dry descriptions with NO "fluff" or filler, aka words that would describe things I might buy in a bakery :lol:

RugBug
Sep. 6, 2011, 11:55 AM
To be honest I don't know a single pro trainer (including myself) who looks for "sweet" and "cute" when looking for a childrens/junior or amature horse. We look for SAFE, sound (mostly) and proven record. When clients come to me and show me a "super cute!" horse they found 9 times out of 10 its an unsuitable animal but they get caught up in "super sweet" and "super cute". I find that people looking for "Confectionary Horses" as I call them often get so caught up in "cute face" and "so sweet" they they over look the sickle hocks, lack of training, lack of size ect ect ect. I then must tell them " I don't care how "cute" this horse is don't you dare bring it home". As a professional looking (always) for horses for clients I want cut and dry descriptions with NO "fluff" or filler, aka words that would describe things I might buy in a bakery :lol:

While I agree a bit, I think you can pass up a nice horse just because some owner gets flowery. My horse sold in two weeks for his rather low due to a previous injury asking price. I don't think the adjectives hurt him. Here's the ad text:


XXXXX is a 13 year old gelding by XXXX (XXXXX - XXXXXX) out of XXXX (XXXX - XXXX). He has a solid foundation of correct flatwork and was in professional training for 5 years. His training has been easily maintained by an amateur for the last 3 years. He does counter canter, flying lead changes, and has lateral basics. He is best-suited to a confident advanced beginner or intermediate rider who is looking for a well-schooled partner for the dressage arena. XXXXX has loads of presence that gets you noticed in the show ring and always draws a crowd. He was started by a Tom Dorrance devotee and has excellent ground manners: clipping, tieing, trailering, standing for vet/farrier, bathing, etc with no issue. His "in-your-pocket" personality is a real draw. XXXXX is being offered for sale because I no longer have the time for him.

I did get a little more fluffy on his website, but that's why I built the site: for the extras.

At any rate, counting a horse out just because it's called sweet is silly. Reading and writing ads is a skill. Some people are better at it than others. Some write true ads. Some are able to lie better than others. The trick is to be able to evaluate the whole ad and not just get stuck on a few words that you might not like.

Linny
Sep. 7, 2011, 11:36 AM
Pics and/or videos should be representative of what you say he does. Don't tell me he's a winning show horse then give me a pic of him hopping over a 12" rail made from two lawn chairs and a garden rake.

Don't tell me he's shown on the line and give me a pic of a fuzzy, muddy early 2yo standing 4 feet down a gully on your farm.

If you are selling a "show horse" then spring for pro photos (one or 2 is fine) and get a good quality video.

Don't make me sit through 5 minutes of trotting only to see where you clearly edited a missed lead when you finally asked him to canter. If he jumps, get good jump video over the height he's advertised at.

As for edits, I was online browsing recently and found a lovely horse being shown in an EQ ring at 3'6. The horse looked lovely and saved his rider a time or two when she was slightly tentative. His form would certainly win on my local 3' circuit. About 3/4 of the way through the video, there was a very noticeable "jump cut." (Horse went from cantering into the end of the arena to taking off over a jump on the far side.) Now, I am not looking but would certainly have been interested in this horse based on what I saw if I were, but the first theing I'd have done was ask what was edited out. I'd have rather they left in a skip change or mis behavior since for the other 2 minutes the horse was an angel. Either way the seller is going to be asked about it, so why not leave it in?