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View Full Version : Someone explain this to me...Why is buying a horse so difficult?



Showjumper28
May. 29, 2010, 08:42 PM
Okay, it's not actually a serious question. But when did buying a horse become so difficult? Was it always this bad? Ads have bad photos, or no photos at all. Whay happened to conformation shots? The descriptions tell you nothing about the horse, except that apparently every horse in the world loads/clips/ties/stands for farrier and vet. And the videos are even worse (assuming the seller has one.) Why would I want to see a video of a horse out in a field trotting away from me? And that is the only video! Or the 8 second video of someone mounting it. Guess they don't want me to know what happens after they mount.

Then there are the sellers themselves. Never respond to inquiries, or give a phone number that no one answers and has a full inbox. Or want you to drive 10 hours each way, rent a hotel room overnight, without making any sort of video and want to call me when I am halfway there to let me know if the horse is still available. Seriously?

So was it really always this bad? Sorry, vent over... Sigh

PNWjumper
May. 29, 2010, 09:05 PM
No, it wasn't always this bad because there didn't use to be easy access to a media channel like the internet. It used to be that you went by word of mouth or flyers or classified ads because there wasn't anything else. It used to be the case that you didn't get to see three hundred pictures of every prospect and the first time you saw the horse was the first time you got to decide whether it would work or not. It used to be that you had to rely on a network of good trainers/horsepeople to describe prospects reliably. It used to be that the pictures you did have access to were hit or miss depending on how many rolls of film the seller used to get that conformation shot (if they got it at all).

I think what you're describing is the case that a little bit of useless information is worse than no information at all.

I would personally rather see a video of the horse trotting away from the camera than not see anything at all. But you're correct, seeing the person mount with the video cut off after mounting begs the question, "what happened after she got up?" Poor marketing is poor marketing, no matter the industry.

The truth is that we have a vast amount of information available to us on thousands more horses in a much broader geographical area than we used to. It means you get to filter through more crap, but it also means you can find more prospects. Can't comment whether it's a good or bad trade-off, especially since every good horse I've had in the last 10 years has been a result of word-of-mouth selling. But it is the reality of buying a horse in the 21st century!

(oh, and good luck to you!)

RyuEquestrian
May. 29, 2010, 09:11 PM
Why would I want to see a video of a horse out in a field trotting away from me? And that is the only video! Or the 8 second video of someone mounting it.



Hehe... I feel ya!

veritas
May. 30, 2010, 07:30 AM
I think, as PNW mentioned, is that people have a lot more access to the internet and there is no quality assurance. There are tire-kickers on both sides (buyers and sellers).

I was speaking to my BO the other day, and, as most trainers, she buys and sells horses throughout the year. Unfortunately, she'll get an email or a voicemail from some kid 12 hours away. Is it likely this kid will ever show up to see a horse? Likely not.

Good luck with your horse search. Hopefully your trainer can network and find what you're looking for.

bbbkmc
May. 30, 2010, 08:26 AM
This market is tough! If you can get someone to come look they know they can ask for a lot b/c hey, people are giving horses away! And then the vetting... I could rant on too!
There are great horses out there! And sellers try to market well! It's hard to run a barn and keep websites and videos up to date. My biggest trouble, silly as it sounds, its finding a live human to video me! One who can actually get the horse into the picture. A friend recently took a nice long movie of my mare's hooves and the sand in the arena. Argh!:winkgrin:

gallupgirl
May. 30, 2010, 09:33 AM
[QUOTE=bbbkmc;4896058]! And then the vetting... I could rant on too!
QUOTE]

This. Last one I sold the buyer wanted me to hold the horse for 11 days until their own vet could come.

Lucassb
May. 30, 2010, 09:39 AM
Hmmmm. I've never had any trouble buying horses... (coming up with the $$$ to pay for them, yes... but not finding ones I like well enough to buy!!)

Selling horses is harder, I think. The last one I sold had a four hour vetting that included 57 xrays. On a six year old! (He passed with flying colors, though... the only thing the vet could find was "well, ideally he'd have a bit more heel." Mmmkay.)

I think with the growth of internet shopping, buying has actually gotten a bit more complicated. I love looking at horses online but when I buy, i usually go to one of my trusted sources - people I've bought from before. They know me, they know what I like, and I know they have the sort of animal I am interested in, at pricing I consider fair.

ToN Farm
May. 30, 2010, 09:53 AM
Ok, maybe it was worse in the good old days (I was around then). But this is now, and there is no acceptable excuse for the poor way expensive sale horses are represented.

Maybe sellers wouldn't have to deal with all the emails, phone calls, and tire kickers if the basic information was put in the ad.

What is the reluctance to have a conformation photo? That is a 'must have' or me, and not one standing uphill or in a funky position.

Also, I am not interested in looking a a year-old video or baby photos of a 4 year old.

Not putting a price on the ad is a real turn off. I says to me that the price will vary depending on who the buyer/agent is. There is no good reason not to put up the price.

With young unbacked horses, please cut out of the 10 minutes of galloping up and down the fence line before you get 1 minute of trot. Try to get a trot that is true, not one where the tail looks like a helicopter.

Showing walk work at the beginning of a video is a turn off to me. Yes, the walk is important for dressage, but put it at the end. If I don't get a good impression immediately the first few seconds of a video, I pass.

Try to get the video out doors if you can.

I have many more gripes. I've already drive a long distance to see three horses that were not what I expected.

maxxtrot
May. 30, 2010, 10:02 AM
i also feel selling is much harder. i try to give as much detail about my sale horses as possible. i have been told i tell too much:) but that is just how i do things. and i also agree that keeping up with videos and pictures and working fulltime and doing the barn is hard, but i try my best.i also find people seem to think they can buy a nice,fancy hunter/jumper or event horse for little or no money because of the economy.they say well people are giving away horses, well yes they are, but go ahead and take one of those for your timid beg. kid and see how far that gets you. there is a reason those horses are being given away. a horse with a great brain, a good show record and does it's job no matter what, is not going to be cheap. good horses are not going to be given away people. good luck to the op, i hope you find what you are looking for.

Signature
May. 30, 2010, 10:20 AM
Agree that selling is worse. We also work full time and have 24 horses to care for, so doing videos and pictures does take effort and planning (which is fine, and necessary of course). But, so many tire kickers that ask you to jump through hoops, making videos of this, that and the other, and when you send it to them, they never even reply. This takes up hours of our time and is angering to say the least. I wish people would please say, no thank you and perhaps why, so we know if there is something we can improve, etc. We've now found that the people who ask the ridiculous stuff are also never going to buy. We've also had folks that I guess forget they've already called you and call again about the same horse a week or two later! I think some people just like to shop and are eternal shoppers but not buyers. That's fine to look through the ads and watch videos, but don't email or call unless you are truly serious.

Shopping should be much easier now thanks to videos and pics over the internet - I remember in the early 90's looking for my Children's Hunter and simply calling ads out of the Chronicle classifieds (which were 4-6 pages long) and driving hours to see one horse at a time blindly, in most cases knowing instantly upon one trot step it was a no. It took 8 months for me to find her that way... I guess with some etiquette improvement on both ends the process could be made better. :)

Sakura Hill Farm
May. 30, 2010, 10:39 AM
We try to err on the side of providing as much information as possible! Up-to-date videos on our website are the norm except, perhaps, with the foals as we try to video them no more than once a month. We also take the young ones off the market when they reach an awkward stage.

Our descriptions are on the mark. We have a set of radiographs on our own horses taken at around 3 or 4 which are kept on file at our vet's for our own purposes and make that information available to legitimate clients. This, of course, is not intended to replace a buyer's own PPE, but merely to reassure both us and our potential buyers before incurring the expense of a PPE. We post the percentage of xx and ox, registries, pedigrees, competition records of sire, dam, siblings, competition records of the sales horse, if any--in other words, we would prefer to have the potential buyer's visit to our farm and ride a confirmation of information already in their possession. We seek return business and a long term relationship with our buyers. Because we want to see our horses with happy owners, we will bend over backwards to smooth the way to ownership as best we can. Those coming from a distance can stay with us if they wish.

However, after a certain point, if a decision to buy has not been reached, we are done and move on! Dwelling on an uncommitted client is uncomfortable, for the client as much as for us. To date, every horse that we have offered for sale has been sold, if not to the first client, then to the next.

findeight
May. 30, 2010, 11:06 AM
Alot of those ads are simply backyard owners that don't buy and sell and they just don't know any better. Most are not planning to do much of it either and won't put any more effort into it then running an add for a bass boat in Trade a Boat.

Others are the equivelent of those ratty looking used car lots that spring up next to pawn shop and payday loan places.

Not really any indication of the state of the business as a whole, just reflect more "junk mail".

Have not bought or sold in a few years but never did have much problem...once I started depending on an agent and word of mouth for buying and selling. Still get a little of the tire kickers and what not but a whole lot easier.

I dunno...whoever thinks the internet has replaced those long drives to look at a single horse that is hilariously misrepresented?? Has not been my experience when drafted by friends to go look at something. Or when dilusional buyers waste half a day riding everything trainer has for sale and then low ball, as in way, way way below-like 2 zeros off the price.

Always has been. Always will be. Part of the process.

LeeB10
May. 30, 2010, 11:20 AM
The descriptions tell you nothing about the horse, except that apparently every horse in the world loads/clips/ties/stands for farrier and vet.


And if you are looking at jumpers they all do 4' easily and are prospects to go higher!! And then you click on the video and they are in a backyard doing fences that look 3' at most. Gah!

findeight
May. 30, 2010, 11:29 AM
OK, I'll play...

My favorites are the "Grand Prix prospect" jumping the 2x4 on hay bales with the goat wandering around behind it. Followed by the "Dr Phulofhteshitz pronounced him the finest example of Badenuff breeding ever at just 18 months" with 6 brown horses standing in a muddy field next to a rusty tractor with harrow and 3 junk cars. And, of course, the dog barking at the cameraperson and assorted chickens clucking over the profanity directed at barking dog.

cajunbelle
May. 30, 2010, 11:37 AM
In the 70's & early 80's it seemed as if you only got a good lead on a horse...from trainers recommendations. Times were tough! :eek:

SwtVixen
May. 30, 2010, 11:41 AM
It IS hard on both sides...

When a client responds to an ad....... which is usually well
defined...and asks the questions again (sigh), theres a quick insight to they type of client I have at hand. I then probe what they (think) are looking for...... and start connecting the dots.

I have refused to even make an appt with clients I feel unsuitable...and have even escorted some politely to their cars asking if they remember their way home as they proved to have misrepresented themselves.

I start every appt with the client ridng one of the school horses -- and have the sale horse ridden by me or one of the students next.... we might mount the client or not....... <g> and go from there.

Its not easy, but having a list of questions asked and answered first narrows down the field long before appts are made..... although time consuming.

Cell phones offer 30second vids that can get 3 jog passes, 3 or 4 fences with lead changes, and dressage transitions if you are good......... and great for instant conformation shots....! They can be zoomed in ... and sent to emails for albums of pics.

Marketing is marketing no matter what the product.

cheval convert
May. 30, 2010, 12:00 PM
SwtVixen, I love how you market your horses! As someone who has only bought a few horses but has looked at more than I care to think about, your way would work well for me. In my younger days, before I was bold (and smart)enough to say thanks but no thanks, I got on horses I had no business sitting on, riding around lawn furniture in muddy back yards:eek: Now, older, wiser and no longer able to bounce, I have said on more than one occassion, "That horse scares me" and walked away. I ride for enjoyment and have no intention of being scared or hurt while trying out a prospect.

You don't happen to sell cheval canadiens do you?

Flash44
May. 30, 2010, 01:45 PM
Funny this topic should come up. I'll drive 2 hours to see anything remotely close. Looked at 5 horses in past 4 weeks.

#1 - very close, just a few minor things that kept me from making an offer

#2 - horse was giving rider a hard time mounting, and when she finally was able to get on, horse reared about 4 inches, rider burst into tears and got off and took horse back to the barn and untacked it

#3 - pretty much what i want but 2 semi-important things missing, made an offer, seller refused to budge on price so i asked for a call should seller reconsider

#4 - adequately represented but not what i am looking for and a little pricey

#5 - horse refused to jump (seller must have forgotten to tell me over the phone even though I stated I am looking for a kid safe h/j horse)

Oh, and I'm only getting about a 60% response rate on emails/calls...

BeeHoney
May. 30, 2010, 02:29 PM
Don't be too hard on sellers with regard to video...Doing a good sales video is really hard! First, you have to have the horse spanking clean, have a day with perfect weather, and have someone to video you who has a steady hand and experience videoing horses, and who can keep from making commentary during the video session (why is this always the hardest part?). Then, you need to have a great ride.

Then--the hardest part--you have to edit the video, because a good sales video is a quick "blurb" of what the horse can do. So I've got to compress about 15-20 minutes of video into about 4-5 minutes, maybe less. I might try to put in mounting, 10-20 seconds of walk, a +/-minute of trot, a minute of canter, try to include some lead changes, then some jumping. Editing video is tedious and time consuming. Oh, and I've got to crop out the segment (or erase the audio) where my DH saunters by and briefly mentions some graphic details about a problem one of the dogs is having that involves a very personal body location. Then, there's all that technical stuff that has to happen to get the video into the right format and loaded on the internet. And there is always a glitch somewhere!

If I have a show video, that's the best, but a young horse might not have that. Or they might not be at their best at a show. The real kicker? Young horses get better so fast that a video might be out of date in a month.

Anyway, sorry for your frustration and good luck in your search.

Go Fish
May. 30, 2010, 02:48 PM
I buy horses occasionally. Maybe this will make you feel better. I usually go directly to breeders because I shop for young horses. I've had pretty good success with this method, or perhaps I've just been lucky. Maybe I'm an oddball.

Have done the same thing buying dogs...that works, too!

Perfect Pony
May. 30, 2010, 03:05 PM
I buy horses occasionally. Maybe this will make you feel better. I usually go directly to breeders because I shop for young horses. I've had pretty good success with this method, or perhaps I've just been lucky. Maybe I'm an oddball.

I am starting to shop right now, and this is how I am doing it this time. Last time I shopped I saw 35 horses over a period of 10 months. I drove all over hell and back here in CA, sometimes driving an entire day! Only to show up and find a lame horse, or something completely different that advertised. I spent $2500 on vetting horses. And speaking of vetting, you uys may think 50 xrays are ridiculous, but take it from me who bought 2 horses that passed basic pre-purchases, one ended up a trail horse with a chip in the knee, and I am retiring my "sound" 8 year old this week with arthritis in her neck and a wobblers diagnosis. If I saved what I have spent on her I would have a 50k budget to shop with today!

All my experiences have made me decide to deal with breeders and horse-people with good reputations and a history of selling nice, sound horses. And any horse I buy will have extensive xrays including cervical xrays. I can see if a horse is lame or sound on any given day, what I can't see is what their general skeletal structure looks like and what might bite me in the butt in the future. I know way too many people with horses that have been retired or euthanized at too young an age, horses that passed a simple pre-purchase but had issues that would have shown on xrays.

meupatdoes
May. 30, 2010, 04:08 PM
I have the opposite problem.

People keep calling me with cute horses that I have to turn down.

I bought my last horse when somebody called me and said, "I have a cute horse for you!" I said, "OK" and they drove it over 500 miles and dropped it off at the barn door.
Effort expended: waiting for it to arrive.

The horse before that was given to me (or at least half of it) by a friend.
Effort expended: waiting for it to arrive.

The horse before that was found for me by a trainer. She said "There are two horses out there in that paddock; pick one."
Effort expended: walking over and picking one.

I haven't actually so much as browsed the internet to find something in the past four or five horses. People call me. Then the horses just ARRIVE.

I just turned down another one I would DIE to have the ride on, but I just can not swing board and maintenance on one more horse.

I imagine that when I am in the market again I will go to the racetrack and point at the one I want to put on the trailer, but given the current 'waiting list' that is probably far more effort than necessary.

Lord help me find the strength to keep saying "NO."
It gets harder and harder the cuter the horses get.
:lol::lol::lol:

DaisyHunter
May. 30, 2010, 04:24 PM
Showjumper, I know how you feel!!!! :lol:

There's a plethora of ads featuring horses for sale $10k + yet they'll post a not so groomed head shot or a pic of the horse grazing! The ads are too casual for my tastes. I want to see some professionalism and effort put forth when someone is marketing a horse. I want at least one conformation shot on that ad page. A video? on request is okay. This is were I'll be a little forgiving because not everyone knows how to shoot a good video.

But, I can accept some leeway here, I love hunting for ottb's. It's been awhile since I've done so. I must stay away from that Canter site.

hntrjmprpro45
May. 30, 2010, 06:57 PM
I have the opposite problem.

People keep calling me with cute horses that I have to turn down.



This is my problem too. I am not even in the market and I keep stumbling across some very nice horses (in all sorts of price ranges) that are very hard to say no too.

I think most selling/buying problems come down to unrealistic expectations. I have seen too many people asking for horses that are upper level prospects but can also pack around a 12 year old, conformation that could make even the nicest Devon hunter breeding horses jealous, and the all-mighty "bomb proof" temperament (my biggest pet peeve because no horse is 100% reliable 100% of the time). At the same time there are sellers who expect to get lots of $$$ for horses that are practically useless. In general though, it is MUCH harder to sell a horse than buy one.

Midge
May. 31, 2010, 07:48 PM
I start every appt with the client ridng one of the school horses -- and have the sale horse ridden by me or one of the students next.... we might mount the client or not....... <g> and go from there..

Every Appt?? I would probalby find that a bit offputting.

shawneeAcres
Jun. 1, 2010, 02:23 PM
All of my ads have photos, videos, concise descriptions and I respond IMMEDIATELY to inquiries! And we sell plenty of horses/ponies due to that fact! Now the videos aren't "fancy" with music and subtitles etc, but that is not necessary.

Aven
Jun. 1, 2010, 03:20 PM
Rant on!

I have a horse that is for sale or trade. Some of the pics of the trade horses have been silly. I cannot tell a thing about your horse as its stands with its head in the grass up to its knees almost directly head on... Or the riding pics of the most ridiculous moments.

(ie don't post one of these..http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd125/Grey-Run/Spring%202010/_IGP0436.jpg lol this is one of my horses, my namesake, the smallest SW tossing his head due to a persistent fly instead people should post one like this http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd125/Grey-Run/Spring%202010/_IGP0434.jpg)

Or not in focus.

I try to take realllly nice pics of anything I am trying to find a home for. Even with the rescue dogs I try to get slick pics that show what the dog looks like. People want to know, and they aren't usually worried about conformation of their pets.

It can take a lot of effort to get a good pic. Flies, unskilled handlers or unskilled camera operators etc make taking great conformation shots very tricky.

It took us over 1/2 an hour to get this
http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd125/Grey-Run/Spring%202010/IMGP9929.jpg

but if I want someone to take the time to consider my horse, I feel its up to me to make it worth their while.

tidy rabbit
Jun. 1, 2010, 03:26 PM
OK, I'll play...

My favorites are the "Grand Prix prospect" jumping the 2x4 on hay bales with the goat wandering around behind it. Followed by the "Dr Phulofhteshitz pronounced him the finest example of Badenuff breeding ever at just 18 months" with 6 brown horses standing in a muddy field next to a rusty tractor with harrow and 3 junk cars. And, of course, the dog barking at the cameraperson and assorted chickens clucking over the profanity directed at barking dog.

STOP MAKING FUN OF ME!!! Dr Phulofhteshitz, who we both know is excellent, did say all those things! Just cause you don't like adorable barefoot children in a muddy paddock and goats in the background. Sheeesh, ya old stick in the mud.



bwwwaaaaaaaaaa

TheJenners
Jun. 1, 2010, 03:33 PM
I think buying a horse is difficult because sellers have been taking advantage, and buyers are responding to that and being more demanding...which, in a vicious circle makes buyers want more and sellers willing to give less unless they are TOTALLY serious about selling. Which, as we know, some aren't.

For example: client pony for sale. People come from somewhere, I don't recall, and the weather is horrid. I ride pony in (no joke) sideways rain and pony is fantastic. Kid rides pony and loves him. In the barn aisle, we give Mom and kid time to mess with pony only to find out after she leaves that she had pulled aside the stall mucker to ask "is this an injection site?? Looks like one...."

findeight
Jun. 1, 2010, 03:34 PM
STOP MAKING FUN OF ME!!! Dr Phulofhteshitz, who we both know is excellent, did say all those things! Just cause you don't like adorable barefoot children in a muddy paddock and goats in the background. Sheeesh, ya old stick in the mud.
bwwwaaaaaaaaaa

Oh...my bad, I must be getting jaded again to say anything about the famous Badenuff line and the famous NACM farm and POC brand on their left hip. As if anyone would need that POC brand to recognize it is a Badenuff or consult the NACM studbook.

tidy rabbit
Jun. 1, 2010, 03:39 PM
What is NACM?

findeight
Jun. 1, 2010, 03:46 PM
What is NACM?

Why, the famous North American Crappy Mover.

tidy rabbit
Jun. 1, 2010, 03:48 PM
Why, the famous North American Crappy Mover.

Oh, not to be confused with the WTF registry of North America.

:)

findeight
Jun. 1, 2010, 03:57 PM
Oh, not to be confused with the WTF registry of North America.

:)

Yes, quite correct. They are often confused by those who fail to do proper research before looking at sale videos.

dags
Jun. 1, 2010, 03:58 PM
I think buying a horse is difficult because sellers have been taking advantage, and buyers are responding to that and being more demanding...which, in a vicious circle makes buyers want more and sellers willing to give less unless they are TOTALLY serious about selling. Which, as we know, some aren't.

For example: client pony for sale. People come from somewhere, I don't recall, and the weather is horrid. I ride pony in (no joke) sideways rain and pony is fantastic. Kid rides pony and loves him. In the barn aisle, we give Mom and kid time to mess with pony only to find out after she leaves that she had pulled aside the stall mucker to ask "is this an injection site?? Looks like one...."

Good lord, remove pony and sideways rain, replace with horse and good weather, and this could have been my client. She also went snooping through the trash cans. I was mortified, my back was turned for mere moments.

leilatigress
Jun. 1, 2010, 04:20 PM
I will admit I am the perpetual shopper. I will also admit I do not even inquire on any breeder website that has not been updated in 6 months or more. Sakura Hills is an excellent website and as soon as I get more familiar with the bloodlines we will be talking. Selling in this market is the pits and also buying in this market is also the pits. I have promised my trainer I will not buy anything until she looks at it since I am the Western Princess and shopping for the DD's Dressage mount. I want a QH less than 16 hh halter bred on the bottom side with cow sense on the top prefer a female no bays need apply less than 10 years old with at least 2 years on the show road. Trainer wants a 14 - 15 hh pony or warmblood/TB schoolmaster older than 15 does not care if its gelding or mare and since I am a stubborn mule will agree on the bays for the moment. I however have complete trust and faith in my trainer. No the 7 y/o really doesn't get a say in this one she MIGHT get one on the next one. Vids are nice and I would prefer to see the canter work first, trot and then maybe some walk. Videos do suck to edit and asking a seller to go through hell for a sale is just plain nuts. There are plenty of reliable honest sellers and many post on this website. I do wish you luck and being there hope you find what you are looking for.

Linny
Jun. 1, 2010, 04:44 PM
A friend of mine (friend A) took a nice mare off the track over the winter. Mare (age 5) was bought by Friend B (racehorse trainer) as a 2yo and friend A had worked fro Friend B at the track and had handled mare much of her career.
Friend A did some basic stuff with her at a barn that mainly does trails etc. over the winter, then offered her for sale for a modest amount. Mare is super easy going (my 10yo, non horsey son groomed an handled her, right off the track) and while she's not a "strip" horse, she's pretty, with a cute face and correct. Mare is sound as hickory. Off track 6 months, in work, easy to ride and handle-but needs finishing. Willing to step over rails or X's but NOT trained to jump.
We put together a nice montage of pics of mare, from her last race through her sale. Mare was NOT jumping because this was a trail barn and no jumping trainer was on hand.
For $1k buyers were looking for horses jumping 2'6 courses with lead changes. For $1k they jerked Friend A around for months, as bills add up.
Some wanted her for free. Others offered to "outbid the killers" for fear she's end up at auction. (Mare was never a rescue of any kind!) Luckily mare found a teenager who loves her and she's even been to a small show, but wow, what a pain.

I can see a person like my friend not having video at the ready and tons of pics, but if you are a professional who buys and sells, doesn't it make sense to keep a file on your computer of pics and video of all your horses? Spring for the pic and or vid at a show. When client has a lesson, shoot some pieces of video. It doesn't have to be perfect, just decent enough quality that a buyer can get an idea of what horse is like. If the horse is being sold as a saintly 2'9 horse for the mortified adult, let me see a whole trip with the afforementioned nervous adult. I will forgive her swinging leg, looking into the ground rail and grabbing mane because if her horse still jumps the fence, he has earned his halo with me.

Coppers mom
Jun. 2, 2010, 02:10 AM
After shopping in Spain, I'm a little over this whole "Omg bad video/pictures/description".

Do you know what an ad looks like in Spain? I mean, a good one?

Brown horse. 5 years old. Tall. Three bloods (like an anglo arab, but different, hard to explain from my limited knowledge), High school movements. 5,000 euros. Then a distorted picture of him tied to a wall on a two inch line that's about three feet above his withers. Or, some gawd awful riding picture that was poorly timed, focused, and prepared for.

Be happy with the "crappy" ads over here :lol:

buschkn
Jun. 2, 2010, 05:23 AM
I definitely think it is harder to sell than buy. I can see how buying would be hard when people are looking for one be all end all horse. I am usually looking for prospects or youngsters, so base my decision more on bloodlines, conformation, and basic athelticism. I have bought almost all or my horses from video or even just word of mouth for the last few years, without even sitting on them.

That said, I make sure to get good video usually, and talk to the seller a LOT before buying one sight unseen.

As a seller, I try hard to honestly represent my horses, and provide photos and video. Currently the video has been a problem because my camera was giving me grief but I just bought a new one so hooray for me.

The number of people who will come try horses and have you go way out of your way to accomodate them and then just fall off the face of the earth is astonishing.

Unfortunately the problem definitely goes both ways. Best of luck in your search, but for my part I am grateful we have all the media and internet resources we do as I have bought horses from Germany, British Columbia, Texas, and Ontario all just from video, and they are all fantastic. :)

Showjumper28
Jun. 2, 2010, 03:56 PM
You know what's sad? I don't need a fancy video! I asked one seller 10 hours a way to please just make a 30 second walk trot canter video so i could get a general idea of the horses movement. She said no, she had too many other people who were interested. I decided to pass. A general idea of what the horse is like, foward, quiet, kick along, crazy, dead lame. Just want to know if its even close to what I am looking for. I really want foward but can't seem to find one, they all have a temperment of 2. LOL

I don't mind driving the distance, it's even kind of fun (road trip!!!!). But I am not going to drive more than 5 hours blind. I just don't see the point of having to take off from both jobs to get out of the car for 2 seconds before deciding it's a no go. I work 7 days a week, I need all the info I can get before driving out to see a horse. I know sellers are just as busy, so you would think they would understand. I have seen some good ads, they just were not the right horse. I don't want to bother the seller, if I can tell from a video that the horse isn't what I want. Wouldn't this make the sellers lives a little easier? Less calls from people who aren't really interested? I guess there just as many bad buyers as bad sellers. So the search continues...

Thanks to everyone for the luck, I think I am going to need it.

tidy rabbit
Jun. 2, 2010, 04:02 PM
I guess it depends on what the horse was priced at, not knowing your budget at all, but for example, if I had a horse priced at 2K and some called me up and said they were a 10 hour drive away from me and asked for video, more pictures, etc, I'd figure they were not really going to come see my 2K horse.

Now for a 20K+ horse, you betcha I'll make whatever video you want if you're a qualified buyer.

Coppers mom
Jun. 2, 2010, 04:39 PM
I guess it depends on what the horse was priced at, not knowing your budget at all, but for example, if I had a horse priced at 2K and some called me up and said they were a 10 hour drive away from me and asked for video, more pictures, etc, I'd figure they were not really going to come see my 2K horse.

Now for a 20K+ horse, you betcha I'll make whatever video you want if you're a qualified buyer.

Agreed. Your price range makes a big difference. For example, if you've only got 5K, don't expect someone to do a lot for you, and don't expect more than what you'll realistically get. Someone e-mailed about one of the horses who was listed at $6,000. It was ok if he was green, but he had to have a very big, floaty, A show trot, be started over fences up to at least 2'6", and had to know his job (which, of course, would make him not green). But if he was all that, he wouldn't be listed for 6k. Consequently, she was stuck in the "unrealistic" pile and wasn't exactly on the top of the list when it came to making extra videos, taking extra pictures, etc.

Distance is also a big deal. I don't put a lot of faith in people who are more than a few hours away actually coming. 99% of the out-of-state people never actually end up making the trip, so I'm not exactly going to jump through hoops.

Just don't make yourself look like a tire kicker and you'll be fine. For example, if you're only two hours away, don't ask for a million videos as if you're traveling across the country. Don't ask a million stupid questions, and don't be unrealistic about what you're going to get for what you're spending.

And for heavens sakes don't act like whatever the owner does isn't good enough. I had a woman tell me after seeing a video of a horse that it didn't look like he'd ever been around a 3'6" course. And I was like "Well that's just super, but that's a video of him doing the Amateur's at the Duke Children's Classic." Not to mention she had a copy of his extensive show record in the High Juniors. She then came out and kept poking at a knot on his leg and squealing that he picked it up. Never mind that if you poked any of his legs he'd pick his feet up because, and I know this is crazy, but I actually taught him to pick his feet up like a good boy. You don't have to suck up, but don't be a total jerk and act like everyone is some kind of shady salesman out to get you.

Linny
Jun. 2, 2010, 04:49 PM
I am not in the horse biz but my work has been sales/marketing.
People have different (higher)expectations when dealing with a pro or sales barn. If your website says you buy and sell and has a "horses for sale" link then be prepared for high expectations. Be prepared to field questions via email and phone. Sure if the email looks like it was tapped out via text by a 12yo, hit delete, but because of the internet, many legit people are making the first contact even though they are working with a trainer.
Answer the phone and check that email daily. It is frustrating to see a horse you like and not hear back for days after calling or emailing.
If a horse you are representing is in your barn and has been boarded there for a time, you should be able to get a couple of decent pics. If it's a showhorse, splurge and buy a couple of photos.
When a horse comes in for sale, begin building a portfolio of pics/videos. Anyone with a computer less than 3 years old should be able to do basic editing. Trust me, ask your 14yo students, many of them can do it. Trade them for a lesson or an extra hack. Most buyers don't need a super, hi-def pro quality video but they want to see what the horse can do. If he's advertised as a 3' horse with changes, show him jumping 3' and changing. If you show him hopping over X's I assume that your text is a lie or you've inserted the wrong video clip.
Videos don't need to be perfect because most of the buyers are no perfect riders. If you show him getting caught in the teeth by a clutching rider and still jumping like a trooper, I like him all the more.
Any show/sales barn should have at least one place on the property without a messy distracting background, that is level where decent pics can be taken. Take them out in front near the flowers or on that cement pad behind the barn where you store extra jumps.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jun. 2, 2010, 04:58 PM
Good lord, remove pony and sideways rain, replace with horse and good weather, and this could have been my client. She also went snooping through the trash cans. I was mortified, my back was turned for mere moments.

I rode my project horse in a clinic with a h/j trainer that was visiting. He owned a beautiful ottb, which he had brought along. During one of the breaks, this 12 year old girl, who up until this point had only ridden ponies, got on and rode this horse over the jumps. 3 foot with scope for much more (highest the little girl had ever jumped--and he was forgiving), good gaits and form, had his changes, was great and I had already realized my current project (who jumped like a deer) wanted to go be a fancy trail horse.

So, I tried him later on that day, but felt guilty because you could tell the girl loved him, so I waited a few days for her mom and dad to decide. Eventually I bought him. A week after that visiting trainer was long gone, I found a needle/syringe when dumping out the trash. Which, unfortunately, corresponded to my wonderful new horse's suddenly-crazy behavior... :(

I guess I can feel good about saving the kid from 16'3 1/2 hands of holy terror, but that's about it. I almost quit riding after a year with that horse.

So it does happen...

Oooh... the stories I know now about that "trainer." I don't think word-of-mouth from trusted sources sounds like a bad way to find a horse.

lotc2005
Jun. 2, 2010, 05:02 PM
I am also horse shopping with the same issues the OP seems to be experiencing. Right along with the seller refusing to make a video on a horse that's over 10 hours away. I checked that one off the list right away, which is too bad, because I really liked him.

My biggest pet peeve is when horses are listed for $1 or $100 or please inquire for price. I may very well be able to afford some of the horses that are listed like that, but I don't want to waste my time or the seller's time calling, only to find out, after they've gone into complete detail trying to sell the horse, that it isn't even CLOSE to my price range.

I've called on two like that, and will never call again. One of the horses had only been under saddle for a couple months, so clearly I'm not looking at horses with an extensive show history and thinking they are in my price range. I don't have a ton of money to spend on a horse, which is why I am willing to look at something super green, maybe not even started yet. Who would have thought that looking for an amateur jumping prospect could be so difficult and discouraging?

I can't wait until horse shopping is a task I can mark "completed" on my list!

tidy rabbit
Jun. 2, 2010, 05:08 PM
Who would have thought having a ubber nice green super broke no prep easy on the eyes dude, with out a single blemish on him or any issues either mental or physical could be so hard to sell?

I have decent ads, I have a website, I return calls, make additional video, answer all the questions, people say they're booking a flight, then POOF. No buyer. I call to find out if I missed a communication from them, ahhhh no, decided to look at something closer to home for 1/2 the price, wont vet, but they lowered the price. Ohhhh okay.

Then along comes someone within an hour of me who is a qualified buyer, who doesn't ask a million questions, who can tell if its their type, can actually show up at a show, watch it go and TRY the horse, without making me jump through hoops....

so, guess it's all relative. It does get tiresome and I have to say you better like the game if you're gonna play it.

:)

me, there's nothing I'd rather do.

caffeinated
Jun. 2, 2010, 05:14 PM
You know what's sad? I don't need a fancy video! I asked one seller 10 hours a way to please just make a 30 second walk trot canter video so i could get a general idea of the horses movement. She said no, she had too many other people who were interested. I decided to pass.

See, this kind of thing depends a lot on circumstances, too.

A horse at one farm, sure, I could get some video clips and have them online in a couple days because there are always people around to help.

But someone wanting an u/s video of a horse from the other farm is going to have to be awfully patient - there is no real riding ring, so it depends on having good weather (on a day I don't have work, or show horses to other people), then it depends on also being a day I can get a volunteer out to help me, since I have not figured out how to take video of myself riding other than the "through the ears" type of video. Then you have the added situation of how the horse is feeling that day as it may have not been ridden in weeks or even months. And of course then you get all those things in order and get out there to find the horse has an abscess. heh.

I think both buying and selling is really hard and really frustrating for all involved. One person's "detailed" is another person's "vague" - what is a reasonable request to one person might actually be very difficult to the other depending on their situation. And of course the same words might mean different things to different people (see "sound" haha).

kansaschester
Jun. 2, 2010, 05:31 PM
I have been both a buyer and seller of a lot of horses. Interestingly, I have never seen a video or even picture of any horse I have bought before I tried it; they all have been identified either through the trainer network or through extensive phone conversations with the owners.
As a seller, while I do provide videos and pictures of my sales horses, I find that engaging in detailed phone conversations with potential buyers will eliminate a lot of wasted time for both parties. Misaligned expectations can cause giant frustrations for buyers and sellers; communication is key.

dags
Jun. 2, 2010, 06:11 PM
I rode my project horse in a clinic with a h/j trainer that was visiting. He owned a beautiful ottb, which he had brought along. During one of the breaks, this 12 year old girl, who up until this point had only ridden ponies, got on and rode this horse over the jumps. 3 foot with scope for much more (highest the little girl had ever jumped--and he was forgiving), good gaits and form, had his changes, was great and I had already realized my current project (who jumped like a deer) wanted to go be a fancy trail horse.

So, I tried him later on that day, but felt guilty because you could tell the girl loved him, so I waited a few days for her mom and dad to decide. Eventually I bought him. A week after that visiting trainer was long gone, I found a needle/syringe when dumping out the trash. Which, unfortunately, corresponded to my wonderful new horse's suddenly-crazy behavior... :(

I guess I can feel good about saving the kid from 16'3 1/2 hands of holy terror, but that's about it. I almost quit riding after a year with that horse.

So it does happen...

Oooh... the stories I know now about that "trainer." I don't think word-of-mouth from trusted sources sounds like a bad way to find a horse.

Oh yeah, get that fully. But my white sandal & slacks cladden mother of The DD Who Can Do No Wrong does not need to be the one handling THAT particular confrontation with a snakey pro.

Similarly, say the red drop on the white horse was, I dunno, a bug bite. I definitely don't need a respectable pro thinking, and then blabbering, that my buyers will accuse you of drugging and search the trash till they find evidence :)

Halfhalting
Jun. 2, 2010, 06:20 PM
I think it's hard to be a seller and a buyer too. Sellers are personally invested in their horses, both emotionally, physically, and financially. It's not like you're selling a car. It's personal and it impacts the wallet; it doesn't get any harder than that.

But from a buyer's perspective, it can be hard too. I think it's harder if you are searching for THE horse, not just A horse. For instance, in my experience this year, I have seen some great horses. Great bloodlines, great breeders, great looks, great gaits, etc. But if the horse is pissy in the stall, or if the "ride" wasn't making me smile ear to ear, than the horse isn't for me. If I was a trainer or re-seller (dealer, whatever you call those folks), I would have snatched some of them right up! There are lots of people out there that like different traits (some like a push ride, some like a flat gait, some like spirited horse, etc). But if a buyer is looking for something specific (like a life-long partner), it can take longer and can also be financially draining. I am out almost 2K on flights, hotels, gas, etc (don't tell my DH!). But that is my choice to search high and low instead of settling on something that may be close by. I am thankful to have that ability.

I am also very thankful for the sellers who put in the effort and time to show their horses to prospective buyers. The ones that make videos or take pictures are more likely to get a successful "away" buyer. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. But ultimately, it is my (or any buyer's) choice to take the chance based on whatever the seller has to entice them... even with video and perfect pictures, it's still a gamble. But aren't we lucky to be in this position?

And then once you find the one that makes you swoon, getting an agreeable vetting is the next hurdle. *sigh* That's a whole new thread in itself...

PNWjumper
Jun. 2, 2010, 06:52 PM
so, guess it's all relative. It does get tiresome and I have to say you better like the game if you're gonna play it.
:)
me, there's nothing I'd rather do.


Amen to that, TR! :)

I will say that the most strife I ever had selling a horse involved selling a little $3500 rehab horse. The buyer did a major vet check, was unhappy when the vet was indecisive and it turned into a 2-month ordeal. The end result was great and she's had 4 or 5 years of perfect matchitude with said horse, but BOY was it "playing the game!"

On the other hand, I sold a $45K jumper sight-unseen over the course of 3 phone calls (to Denver, no less!) before the check was wired to my account. And I just sold another moderately expensive jumper prior to even putting an ad up.

I do think it's harder to sell than to buy (especially in this market!), but it's no bed of roses either way. Lots of "noise" to sort through in this day and age. But I gotta say that I'll take the noise over not-enough-to choose-from any day of the week!

And BTW, I'll take any of your ponies off of your hands, TR. I can pick one (or more?) up on the way to the East Coast at some undetermined point in the near (or not?) future :lol:. And I PROMISE the check will be in the mail shortly after that..... :D