View Full Version : Joy Riding

Apr. 12, 2011, 12:16 PM
Is it a Spring Thing??
I just need to vent.
WHY oh WHY do customers call say they are looking for a particular horse in a price bracket...You do all your due diligence ask all the right questions before proceeding. Provide a ton of video and photo's. Customer shows up fully knowing the abilety, color, price, accurate height, age, sex and PRICE.
They proceed to ride ride ride horse come back as many as 3X's...then tell you they don't have the $$, or aren't prepared to make a financial commitment or don't have enough $$ to buy and vet the horse???
Then a few weeks later have the nerve to call and inquire about another horse for sale!!

Do you just have to flat out ask if they really have the money to start with or need to show you financial proof....

Do you charge for shipping to indoor in bad weather to accomidate someone?? who can't come on a fair weather day??
With gas @ nearly $4.00 gallon plus indoor fee's this is getting expensive and stupid.

I usually have a 2x's and then show me the money before you sit on horse again policy but in this econamic climete have bent over back-wards trying to accomidate customers.
When is enough enough and how do you ask?
I am seriously tired of showing horses to people who finally will divulge..almost like a secret...they only have X$$ and that includes vetting whe its as much as 50% less...and they still come ride the horse..WT* is wrong with people.

When my bank account is not showing in the green. I don't waste anyones time looking calling trying shopping. I stay home until I have the $$.

Now where's those Jelly Beans and TV remote:)

Apr. 12, 2011, 12:22 PM
My guess is they just want to ride a nice horse for free!

Apr. 12, 2011, 12:26 PM
I try not to be that buyer, but I do ask about trial periods, about payment periods - always with the horse staying where it is insured by me until fully paid for (bought the spotted menace on payments), negotiability in price range, etc.

I have also said to people, sorry I can't afford that horse, but would like to ride it once with you watching so you get a sense of the type of horse I like and can let me know if there is one you think suitable in my price range (this has worked out well for me)

I have also said, can't afford him now, but really like him. Let me know if the price drops for non-veterinary reasons (got a very nice one this way, originally advertised at 10k, sold to me for $3500 when they realized they had no idea how to back him).

The economy makes it hard on both sides, but ideally everyone would be honest about their options, financial status, riding ability, horse talent and personality :lol::yes: (in our dreams)

Sonoma City
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:39 PM
I don't know how to solve the problem, but from experience looking, some sellers are willing to drop a lot more than others, so people looking might expect more of a price break than you are willing to give them. The last one I bought had a $20k price tag on him, which was out of my price range but I figured I'd call anyway since I really liked the looks of him. After finding out everything about him via phone, email, I let the seller know that $20k was out of my budget before I saw the horse. The seller promptly said she'd take $14k for him. Still more than I wanted to pay, but not more than I could potentially pay for THE horse, so I went and rode the horse. After riding him I offered $10k and she took it. So 50% drop from advertised price. Some sellers will do that, others won't budge, but as a buyer you never know. A responsible buyer should state up front if they can not afford the advertised price, but as your experience points out, not all do. Now, if someone has no money to spend on a horse and is going horse shopping anyway, that's a completely different thing. I'm pretty sure that type of person would say they have the money even if you flat out asked them ahead of time. Sorry you have to go through this! Maybe after you talk to potential buyers for a bit, add something in there a little jokingly about having some bad experiences with buyers who couldn't afford the horse? That way they know that it is on your radar, and also know that you are serious about selling the horse for what you are asking for it, but are not flat out asking them if they can afford the horse? Buying/selling is such a frustrating process from both ends!

Apr. 12, 2011, 12:58 PM
Devil's advocate: Maybe they are seriously considering the horse (and I, too, like to try a horse a number of times) but they decide it's not the horse for them. Instead of telling you that there is something wrong with your wares (the horse) or that they found one they like more, they give you a less "personal" reason for not going forward.

Apr. 12, 2011, 02:01 PM
Devil's advocate: Maybe they are seriously considering the horse (and I, too, like to try a horse a number of times) but they decide it's not the horse for them. Instead of telling you that there is something wrong with your wares (the horse) or that they found one they like more, they give you a less "personal" reason for not going forward.

Hmm usually a serious buyer will tell you why they didn't like the horse and get off straight away.
This is not a sour grapes..I sell everything I offer and proudly have a very above average PPE past rate.Firm price is firm price and negotiable means reasonable not in another Zip code.
Its the abject total waste of horses energy and my time for someone who probably isn't even going to buy a horse or doesn't have anywhere close to asking let alone a realisitc offer.
Its just a vent. I have heard so many off the wall excuses. Had people cry and leave the barn because they loved the horse and were embarressed they didn't have the $$.
Had embarressed people who thought $15K was $1500........not $15,000. had spouses war, parents/children war...
Had people bring a trailer and cash thinking $2000. cash would buy a $10,000. horse.

I would prefer a buyer say I have X to spend, what can you show me before they come
...Than coming riding and saying I love the horse but only have this to buy him.

I'm not goig to groom school and take the time to show a $30K horse to someone w/ a $5K budget, thats ludicrious. I also would prefer not to have someone ride a horse we all know they can't afford and risk the liable if horse or rider are injured. I also don't want to see someone ride a horse who is clearly unappropriate for them even if they can pay for it!!

Apr. 12, 2011, 02:28 PM
Well, I've had the opposite experience, very honest about my price range, then sellers would show me several horses, all nice, and at the end tell me they were 50% more than my budget! "Well, we thought if you liked him/her that you could somehow come up with more money!"

Waste of everyone's time.

Apr. 12, 2011, 03:24 PM
I think some people are just stupid. I have a "friend" who got hell bent on buying a horse, despite not being able to afford it. She was trial riding horses she knew she couldn't afford, but didn't seem to process how rude it was to the owners. She ended up offering $1,500 on a horse (newly) listed at 5k, which I found to be downright insulting. She then badmouthed the owner after her offer was declined, ranting about how they were going to lose all that money paying board on the horse until he got sold.

Apparently people think horse owners are willing to just get rid of horses. Yes, they cost a lot to feed/maintain while they aren't getting sold, but that doesn't mean sellers are going to offer you a gigantic cut!

Apr. 12, 2011, 03:37 PM
Well, I've had the opposite experience, very honest about my price range, then sellers would show me several horses, all nice, and at the end tell me they were 50% more than my budget! "Well, we thought if you liked him/her that you could somehow come up with more money!"

Waste of everyone's time.

Yes... it certainly does cut both ways!

Judy: That is a waste of time. It must be a giant PITA but it seems like the nature of the beast. Doesn't this happen all the time in real estates as well (where people look beyond their budget because they want what they can't afford)?

I wonder if the business model would be structured differently. For example: Law firms that do shareholder derivative suits against corporations often pay the up-front costs of litigation (because the individual shareholder can't afford to). If the case looses then the firm walks away with a loss, but the pricing structure if they win takes this into account and makes up much more than the difference. In your case this would mean that you would need to price the horses (the "win") keeping in mind all of the time and energy that you will put in to showing the horses to window-shoppers (the "losses").

The above analogy may not be totally applicable, but it sounds like you are feeling uncompensated for the time that you spend showing horses to unqualified buyers. Bottom line: How can you make it feel worth your while? I don't think that people will pay to try the horse, but would it help your own psyche if you value a horse at $30K and offer him for $32.5K to account for your sweat equity in the sale process?

Apr. 12, 2011, 03:39 PM
My sisters neighbors do exactly that.
Someone-certainly NOT us, told them you might as well look @ all price ranges even those well beyond your means, so you can get a feel of different breeds/training/disciplines....
And the real kicker-shopping for a trail horse.
They see something pretty online & knowing it is either not in their buget or discipline, sometimes both.
They call & set up an appontment.
I know of one just recently 4x over their $ limit they looked @ and rode twice.
These types think that they are entitled.
And don't understand the time & energy it takes to properly "show" a horse.
They see no difference in looking @ a muddy pony standing in the field and a well prepared presentation.

Sorry, can't tell you how to not have them come initially, but you can normally tell by their vehicle, dress, demeanor and language whether it may lead to a sale.
Absolutely charge if you transport to a different location.

Apr. 12, 2011, 04:00 PM
Allow me to speak as a buyer - a first time buyer at that.

1. I'm afraid of making a horrible horrible mistake and buying a horse that falls apart or I cannot ride.

2. The committment scares the crap out of me and I wonder about all the things that could go horribly wrong. I buy the horse and lose my job for example. Or am I just going through some kind of midlife crisis?

3. I am getting all kinds of advice; solicited, unsolicited, united AND conflicted. This makes me worry about number 1 more.

4. So many horses that I feel like Robin Williams in Moscow on the Hudson the first time he goes to an American grocery store for coffee.

So on behalf of all the rest of us runaway brides (when it comes to horse buying) I truly do apologize. Try to have patience with our crazy.

Edited to add: Regarding price and offer. I have found just because the seller puts a price on the horse doesn't mean the horse is worth the money. I know someone who got a horse out of auction, put 30 days on it and is aksing $3K. The horse is of a type that is thick on the ground and often times free. I would not offer 1/2 that for this horse. So I am not averse to offering a low price. I'll tell you why up front though and won't take offense if you say no. And I won't dicker with "firm". I'd sooner just not even discuss it if I think the price is too high.


Apr. 12, 2011, 04:30 PM
JBRP- Ah, the joys of selling horses.

I could go on and on about the frustrations of selling horses but over time I remind myself NOT to go out of my way for buyers BEFORE I meet them in person because it almost always ends in frustration. No more rearranging my whole weekend to show horses to people who don't show up. If I am home then I will show the horse but otherwise you have to make your schedule work with my schedule.

I now prefer to have the person call me first before they come to see a horse. If they can't call and talk to me then they more than likley aren't very serious. I can also get a much better feel via an actual conversation about whether the horse will or won't be a match or if someone is a tire kicker.

I will remind them of anything that may rule the horse out just in case they didn't read the ad real well. I always mention injuries and vices in my ad's but some people will come to look and then decide they can't live with the horse because of xyz which was clearly mentioned in the ad. That can be a bit annoying.

I try to be very clear with people that I work full-time and I am a volunteer for a non-profit organization that I sell horses for. I am more concerned with making the right match than making money but my time is very important to me. I won't trailer the horses all over god's creation and I won't take time off work to meet buyers. I realize that makes a limited window but I only become bitter and frustrated when I take my personal time off of work to have someone come out who wasn't honest. If you show up and represent yourself accurately then that is all that I ask for. I don't take it personally if you don't like the horse or if it doesn't work out. I am just happy when I get to meet cool horse people.

That being said if you come out and prove to be a normal person who is a good match for the horse then I will bend over backwards to accomodate you. If you aren't a good match than I would rather be honest about the fact that the horse won't work than to make a bad sale.

Apr. 12, 2011, 04:49 PM
There could be a number of reasons for backing out due to finances. Someone may have thought a bonus was coming in that did not or a raise was expected that did not materialize.

A friend recently sold a horse to someone who looked at the horse at least 3 months ago. This person was hemming and hawing as well. Then she got a nice tax refund and suddenly being able to purchase the horse with this 'extra' money made the whole deal for her and she ran up and bought him.

So, people who say they cannot afford the horse may have some of these scenarios in mind.

As far as personality - of course you may think you like a certain type and then realize that your version of this type and the seller's version of this type are two different things.

As far as the rider's experience...well we all know that someone may think they are the greatest because they can ride every one of their trainer's horses not realizing that said trainer has all well schooled, push button types.

I know someone else who is selling a horse and had someone come look at her and ride her twice now. She is also hemming and hawing, but she had a really bad spill and has some confidence issues so seller is being patient because she does not want the buyer to buy said horse without being sure said horse can help her with her issues.

It takes all kinds on the sellers' and buyers' end! Without these people, just think how boring life would be!

Apr. 12, 2011, 05:35 PM
I personally know a woman who peruses the ads, goes out and tries horses with NO INTENTION of buying one. "just to see what's out there".

she has also argued with one seller who would not allow her to get on her green bean sale horse. There was a liability issue or rule or whatever it was, but the woman in question told the seller it was RIDICULOUS because she is A TRAINER. (FWIW, she is NOT a trainer. She's a horrid rider, and abusive to boot).

Ugh, selling and buying is such a tough experience. I once requested to visit a horse a second time and ride. I had a video taken, I liked the horse enough, but after watching the video, I wanted to ride her one more time to be sure. The seller was awful to me. Nasty emails and whatnot. I did not buy that horse.

Apr. 12, 2011, 05:38 PM
Oh ya, RE: Phone calls.

When I was seriously buying, I CALLED the seller immediately (if a number was listed). If I had emailed and hemmed and hawed, I would not have my mare. There was no thinking on that one. I sat on her, rode a bit. Before I dismounted we were making shipping arrangements. Never even OFFERED a low price. Cash n carry.

Beam Me Up
Apr. 12, 2011, 05:46 PM
You can always state FIRM on all your prices--that might reduce the number of people planning to lowball or try to get for much less.

But there will always be annoying buyers and sellers out there. I've met plenty of both!

Carried Away
Apr. 12, 2011, 06:04 PM
Buying and selling truly suck...however, as someone who bought a new horse recently, I can tell you that I respected the sale ads that said the price was firm. If the horse was out of my price range, I moved on because I knew I couldn't afford it.

On the other hand, I am in the equine insurance business, and every day I am appalled at the value many people think their horses are worth, for sale or not! I am not stating this in regards to the OP's dilemma, but I can see why those who are shopping offer a lot less than asking price in some cases. Sorry, but your 10 year old green broke trail horse with navicular issues isn't worth 10K ;)

Apr. 12, 2011, 06:21 PM
I can adress some of you thoughts.

Pricing..I just don't get all the built-ins. I price the horse based on 1. What I paid. 2. How much "Honest" educations its been given. 3. Soundness,conformation. 4. Mind..not necessarily in that order.
Its NOT what the market will bear or color.
Since I try extremely hard NOT to buy for re-sale anything with a vice and don't buy damaged goods to start w/ thats all plusses. Prices are very fair realisitc for the product and I think in 30 years I have been told maybe 3X's horses were overpriced. Although in each case I sold the beastie actually for more money.

I always have Firm or negotiable depending on horse, buyer and situation...

I agree if you can't call me in person don't come!!
Vehicles,tack,clothes, are not valid barometers. The upscale SUV or Big A** truck and Monaco boots n tailered sportsman don't mean anything.
The humblest of attire can hide a wealth of sincereity and earnest $$$$$.

Since I do this full time its hard to say "No" and I am guilty of re-arranging my family time to show horses.
Just recently I got a last minute call about a horse. I supplied on the spot good current video, pedigree, race record, current photo's from side front back, under tack and jumping, feet and legs. Buyer wanted to come right up, we agreed a time and I left to run errands and a meal w/ spouse. Buyer arrived hours early!! Called me when on property, no fore warn of early arrival. We flew home to find out Buyer was a Fuller Filly and horse would not be proportioned EVER to accomidate her...I asked Spending price only to find out my lowest priced horse was their Top $$$.
Although they did look at several more before leaving me fuming for wasting a lovely afternoon out w/ hubby.
I could have steered her in a whole nother direction w/ seller who did have nice horses in her range but that offer was rebuffed....if you have hamburger $$ buy don't look at Steak..

I so gave up doing the GM presentation making myself nuts..

Now there's issues revolving around State Taxes..do you build it into the price? Price w/ caveat taxes not included or eat the tax$$$. States are loking for more and more things to tax.
My accountant did provide me w/ a solution for our state.

I do not mind being told horse won't work.
I would rather a buyer say this is my budget range. My prices are advertised so I don't play commission games.

Seriously don't text asking for specific video and photo shots. If you like what you saw and do not live a plane ride away come try the horse.

Here's a good example of "Good" customers...fly in during a snow storm ride horse in 14inches of snow. Be honest call next day arrange vetting, wire funds, pay board until horse is picked up.
Or drive all night to try horses in several locations. Call next day be frank and honest, make a good offer, get horse vetted in 24 hours pick-up horse pay cash plus board :).

Not haul horse to indoor I pay for to try horse. Then come back to try horse, then bring trainer (who loved horse) ride again, come back again w/ own tack. then disappear...try several more, vet some who fail, and then 1. expect horse to be same price now that its competing successfully,2. expect it not to be Sold to someone else.

I could write a book of just reasons and excuses.....
My Dad won't give me ..my money...
Mother-in-law out of town
Husband left me.
Has some white in corner of 1 eye.
didn't stand still while I was talking.
Has no white.(didn't you see photo n video)
Its a mare.(didn't you read Ad..see video/photo's)
Walks w/ one foot in front of the other...For the life of me only person to see that.
My trainer says horse has bowed hind tendons..pic's they took w/ cell phone.
To big,To small,To wide, To narrow..to fit in their trailer.
Haven't found a place to board horse yet...why are you looking then.
Saddle won't fit. Don't want to buy new tack.
Trainer is far away in another state and could only see video on Cell Phone.....
Thought it was a diffrent color??? WT video/phots again

I love selling horses..its the people. For every 3 there's that awesome person who makes the whole experiance worth while
Please feel free to add on :)

Apr. 12, 2011, 06:46 PM
I ask for video and ask a ton of questions, but will often buy without riding the horse. I typically know what I want and if the seller will spend some time via email and the phone, have bought many without riding. I bought the spotted one without even video, just a few pictures and a couple long phone conversations. So, you may actually rule out good buyers by insisting that they make time to come see/ride the horse.

But there are realistic reasons. I recently did not buy (in partnership) a horse because the money that I had set aside to do that with, I ended up spending to buy back my now 19 year old former OTTB and I had tried several at that point. So, sometimes, it is real that someone thought they had the money, but don't. Remember a horse is a luxury. You may have that money, but then need to do a major car repair, or house repair or....

My worst experience. Drive 5 hours, ride horse, like horse. Arrange to vet horse, ask if they need deposit - am told no, they can tell I am serious. Tell buyers that I will need my vet to look at x-rays before final decision (pre-digital era). Get vet check results all is good from vet who did PPE. In the 5 days between the vet check (on a Wednesday) and my vet being able to get/look at the films (the following Monday), they sold the horse out from under me (on Saturday), using the results of my vet check as a selling point.

ETA - I am guilty of test driving cars I could never afford. I used to do this for amusement in graduate school. It somehow seems less egregious. :winkgrin:

Apr. 12, 2011, 10:33 PM
I don't understand why not to ask for video and photos before seeing the horse. I bank online, I teach online, I take classes online, I shop online. For me it's just efficient to see the horse this way before going out to see the horse in person. Not to mention I can forward it to my trainer and get input before I need to arrange to go see the horse with my trainer.


Apr. 12, 2011, 11:18 PM
Pricing is tough. I never know when to ask how negotiable the price is. It seems odd to ask before you've seen the horse (and have no idea what he is worth TO YOU or how he compares to other similarly priced horses you have looked at), but on the other hand, I also don't want to waste my (most importantly ;)) or the sellers time if a horse is out of my price range. When I was horse-shopping I looked at quite a few that were a few thousand over what I had budgeted, and ended up buying one listed in that range, but for 2/3s of the asking price.

Apr. 12, 2011, 11:25 PM
I don't understand why not to ask for video and photos before seeing the horse. I bank online, I teach online, I take classes online, I shop online. For me it's just efficient to see the horse this way before going out to see the horse in person. Not to mention I can forward it to my trainer and get input before I need to arrange to go see the horse with my trainer.


I don't think a video is the problem. A video of WTC and jumping at the level advertised is just fine. The problem is buyers asking for a video of highly specific things when they live 5 minutes away. You should be able to decide if the horse is worth a second look (AKA go see it in person) w/ needing a video of it dancing the poka wearing a boa and playing the harp.

Apr. 13, 2011, 12:08 AM
I sent you a p.m.

Apr. 13, 2011, 08:41 AM
Here's another thing I get in videos and photos that I can't get just looking at the horse - I can see conformation and movement and assess them carefully. For example, I saw a horse up close and personal and noticed a weakness on one side of his hip. I asked for video to show it to my vet/chiro and only in the video did I notice that his suspensories were shot. So even if you live next door, I want pictures and video so I can see the horse.

See what I mean? Face to face has great disadvantages in this way.


Apr. 13, 2011, 10:37 AM
Oh video and photo's should be the 1st thing asked for..then a follow up phone call if you want to proceed...If you don't say thanks am still shopping...saves everyone alot of frustration:yes:

But asking for very specific views angles and them more gets to a point of irritation.
Video's are only as good as your internet speed and can be decieving. Photo's as well depending on light camera etc.
sometimes its not convenient if weather doesn't cooperate and you need 2 to do under tack.

We are all guilty to some degree of buying a car/truck/tralier/house that wasn't what we thought of and was fraught w/ issues.
Horses are the same..some like Scubed is confident and not so much a 2nd guesser other until the day the horse dies or is sold didn't realize how wonderful it was until gone.

Some just like the shopping process not the result, some are just so gun shy they will find a reason no matter how ridiculious for fear the next horse will be better.:eek:

The buyer is afraid to part with their money and the Seller has no money to part with unless the horse sells:):):)