View Full Version : Selling a horse ?

May. 6, 2012, 12:00 AM
So I decided to sell my girl. My trainer helped me write an amazing ad, pics and videos and priced her for me. The ad has been out for 2 weeks now and I haven't had a call or email. Should I worry? Maybe make some changes? Trainer says absolutely not-she's worth every dime, it's only been 2 weeks. I'm thinking-OMG it's been 2 weeks!

May. 6, 2012, 01:03 AM
Some take a year and some take a week. It really depends :)

May. 6, 2012, 07:13 AM
some horses just do not sell at all

May. 6, 2012, 07:47 AM
if you think it is a pricing issue, then look at what comparable horses are selling for. By comparable, I mean same breed, same age, and same experience. You'll have to assume that all horses are sound for sake of comparison. I'll do comps both nationally and locally depending on my market.

Two-weeks is not particularly long for an ad to be up. Usually only the scammers contact you during that period.

May. 6, 2012, 09:05 AM
Two weeks is NOT a long time, but you might want to think about where the ad is. You say it's been "out". Is it one place or many? Some online sites tell you how many views.

Lots depends on her age/training/location/experience.

A couple years ago I was shopping - there were two mares I really liked; one had been on the market about 10 days when I found the ad; the other had been on the market a year.

May. 6, 2012, 10:37 AM
It's not a good market right now. There is a glut of nice horses for great prices. I purchased my 2nd level Oldenburg (premium) mare for less than $5K.

Perfect Pony
May. 6, 2012, 10:42 AM
It's not a good market right now. There is a glut of nice horses for great prices. I purchased my 2nd level Oldenburg (premium) mare for less than $5K.

I'd like to know where they are?

What I see out there are either way overpriced horses (many that never sell), or cheap and lame horses.

Those that are sound and sane and less than 10k sell fast, so to the OP, yes, I would worry. A genuinely nice horse (not a world beater, but nice, sound sane horse with correct gaits) in the 5-10k range I cannot seem to call or see the horse fast enough (3 I have lost out on in the past few months because I work full time and can only see horses on weekends). I have looked at a few in the 10-25k range and all were either lame or not worth the price. 25k+? You better have a serious competitor with a close to BNT riding it.

May. 6, 2012, 10:43 AM
I have actually noticed the market getting better - reasonably priced rideable horses are selling, sometimes fast. One ad may not be enough - and you must have good pics, good video, and a realistic price. And two weeks isn't very long - put some flyers up at area shows and tack stores, and put out a few more ads. Many GMOs have advertising opportunities - take advantage of that too!

Not GP - sounds like you got a killer deal!

Perfect Pony
May. 6, 2012, 11:02 AM
I have actually noticed the market getting better - reasonably priced rideable horses are selling, sometimes fast.

Well that's is the point isn't it? The "reasonably priced" part. Too many people seem to want 20k for an average horse that has done nothing. And a lame horse? I'm sorry but that lame horse you are selling is worth zero.

A horse will sell immediately with a decent ad and a fair price. Some horses I see still on the market 2 years later. I just had a thought in my head about selling my pony and she sold, but I am smart enough to know that she was worth what someone would pay for her, and I would rather give a great home a screaming deal and stop paying the board every month.

May. 6, 2012, 11:44 AM
There is a glut of nice horses for great prices. I purchased my 2nd level Oldenburg (premium) mare for less than $5K.
I wish this were true for my area. I have been looking for over a year, and there are inexpensive horses that have a host of serious health/behavior issues and then there are the higher end horses that are way more than I will ever need or want in a horse. Or there are are youngsters that are years away from ever being ridden.

May. 7, 2012, 12:10 AM
I would worry if no one responded in two weeks. You havent gotten even an inquiry on her. Serious buyer tend to run through the ads often, if not every day. Do other people think your mare if worth what you are asking? Have you looked at what other comparable horses are selling for?

I wouldnt totally flip out about this if I were you, but I would be questioning myself as to why not even one person has asked about her. Maybe you are advertizing in the wrong place and the right buyers arent seeing her.

May. 7, 2012, 10:57 AM
I'm having this problem right now on a very nice mare who is listed as "make an offer." if I were in the market, she's exactly what I want, but I can't afford a second horse no matter the deal (she belongs to my friend).

I've posted her in tack stores, FB groups and two online ad places. I've tried listing her with a price tag, expecting folks to low ball, and I've tried listing her just as make an offer.

I even have a good instructor in the area pimping her on Facebook. The instructor has told me there is no market for her currently, but after 6 more months of training she'll sell quickly ... Apparently folks don't want greenish horses right now, no matter the quality (in my area)

Eta: she's been listed since January. I've had two phone calls and three PMs/emails. Only two people have tried her. One ended up leasing her but it did not work out long term.

May. 7, 2012, 11:57 AM
I just managed to sell a horse and it took about 6 months of trying. You get to enjoy the fruits of my 'life experience' for free!!!
- I PAID a well known instructor to do an evaluation and give me a suggested price to list her at. I am pretty sure she was giving me a pre-recession level price because even I thought it was rather high. Other instructors I rode with thought it was high too but said since WKI said that, maybe she is worth it? Outcome: Total waste of my time and money getting her opinion. Yes, her suggested list price was way to high, and she did not send anyone my way. Pretty sure she never mentioned horse to anyone.
- Equine.com and Equinenow.com did not get me one solid lead (nobody called or e-mailed). Craigslist brought out the crazies and time wasters. Dreamhorse.com gave me two solid hits but neither of these ended up buying her.
- Having people read my ad and suggest edits really did not help get any more interest in horse.
- The suggestion of 'Comparing to other similar ads' pisses me off because it DID NOT HELP me at all. How do you actually know what a horse sold for? Just because it says SOLD on Dreamhorse does not mean that the lister actually got that price. Also if you have an uncommon breed/cross-breed, good luck finding similar horses to compare to! And even if a similar horse sold for 5 gazillion dollars, that similar horse may have just found the one sucker out there to pay too much for a horse. Or the flip side, the horse may have been marketed by BNT who may have actually gotten that price, but the average amateur getting that price? You just do not know.

I would get more than your instructors opinion though.

Should I worry?
Well you can, but it will not help in selling your horse any :D

Maybe make some changes?
It is really hard to say. You can PM me your ad and I can give you a fellow amateur's opinion!

All in all, selling a horse was a terrible experience for me hence why I called it a 'life experience'. I did want to get a replacement horse, but the experience has left me feeling resentful so I will wait awhile.

Lisa Cook
May. 7, 2012, 12:31 PM
If you haven't had at least an inquiry in 2 weeks....something is not right, in my opinion. The market is definitely improving, at least in this area.

First place to look is your asking price. Look for ads for similar horses and experience and see if you are close. If you have impartial friends who can give honest & direct feedback...ask them if they could review the ad.

I've sold 2 and bought 2 in the past 9 months...and no inquiries in 2 weeks indicates something is way wrong with the ad. Your trainer, who is so adamant that the horse is worth every penny....is this trainer getting a commission on the sale, by any chance? And is horse in training and/or regular lessons until she is sold? If so, you may want another independent evaluation of the horse's value.

Lisa Cook
May. 7, 2012, 12:39 PM
I'm having this problem right now on a very nice mare who is listed as "make an offer."

That may be your problem. When looking for a horse to buy, I automatically skip over "make offer" or "inquire for price" ads. That may be just me, but if I don't have some indication where the buyer's head is at in regards to price...I'm moving on.

May. 7, 2012, 07:28 PM
That may be your problem. When looking for a horse to buy, I automatically skip over "make offer" or "inquire for price" ads. That may be just me, but if I don't have some indication where the buyer's head is at in regards to price...I'm moving on.

Good point. I did list her for a price and got no (real) inquiries. Figured I'd change things up. It's only been a week that I've been doing the "make an offer." I've got shares on Facebook, but that's about it.

The "make an offer" is really like "hey this is a steal of a deal and we're willing for you to throw us ANY figure." I really thought my price tag I set earlier would at least warrant some folks biting low.

I know my pics aren't the best quality for under saddle, but it's really hard to get someone to get there and take useable, good pics.

Here are my pics: https://picasaweb.google.com/Lindsay.Street/MochaForLeaseSale?authuser=0&feat=directlink

As I get better photos, I've been switching out the "bad" ones with the better ones. I got some good standing pics Sunday and I'm hoping they pay off this week.

Bad photos = not a good way to market a horse lol

I hate our riding photos so much.

Should I just can the riding photos and risk folks not taking her seriously as a riding horse, or just depend on video since our photos are so bad?

(Sorry OP, I'm hijacking your misery!)

May. 7, 2012, 10:28 PM
Azuwish: Those pictures make your mare look hot, tense, and nervous to me. If she isn't then I would get the pictures redone. If a horse is advertised as going under saddle then I expect to see pictures that represent the horse at his or her current level. I also expect pictures to be recent, the pictures uploaded are almost 5 months old. I think different pictures would help a lot.

May. 7, 2012, 10:57 PM
The pics are from different dates, some 5 months old all the way through this past Sunday (you can see she's sporting three different coats lol).

She can be tense and nervous but has made huge strides — I have her advertised as needing a calm/patient rider or rider experienced with ottbs (this is a huge hit against us right now since she's really only schooling training level so has little "training" to speak of). Unfortunately, like I said, I have no good pics of her current training — all under saddle pics are at least 4 months old.

I do have a few recent photos of her going bitless, but she's moving downhill. It shows a relaxed, happy horse, but doesn't show off her quality.

Is your suggestion to just go with video (I can self video and have several videos of her going nicely) and scrap any under saddle photos since I can't get any nice ones?

I'm taking her to a show May 20 and hoping someone will come armed with a camera to share photos.

Twisted River
May. 7, 2012, 11:35 PM
I think whether or not you should worry, and how long you can expect it to take to sell your horse, assuming she is priced correctly, depends largely on price point and location. Most people will search within a couple hundred miles from home. Is there a large equine community in your area or are you super rural?

There's A LOT of horses in the $5,000 and below price point and lots of people that can afford them. But they are low on either talent, training, or both! So not a large pool of buyers looking for them. Don't expect them to travel beyond a couple hours.

There are not a lot of people that can afford $40,000 and above, and there aren't a lot of horses in that price point. Those horses don't tend to sell too fast, but they do seem to reliably sell in a 3-6 month time span. These people also do tend to fly around the country to try horses.

I think if you are priced appropriately in the $10-20,000 range, you should get some interest in a few weeks time. You may find buyers a little more willing to travel, but likely not beyond a realistic driving distance.

Lisa Cook
May. 7, 2012, 11:40 PM
Azuwish...honestly speaking....those under saddle pictures are doing you no favors. I'd remove them, even if it means just showing conformation shots in the meanwhile, until you have something better. Just IMHO. Good luck!

May. 8, 2012, 12:01 AM
Thank you for your input! That's what I want to hear. Everyone has been like "they're fine." My position is awful, and she looks tense (I *think* this was a day when there were demons in the woods; when you only get a photographer every so often and that day happens to coincide with demons ... well ...).

I've been wanting not to use them since I got them but felt compelled to do so since everyone is always like "you have to show the horse under saddle."

I have videos that do that anyway, so it's not like folks will assume she's not broke.

Honesty always appreciated :)

Twisted River
May. 8, 2012, 12:06 AM
AzuWish: I wouldn't necessarily take out the riding pictures. To me it depends on asking price. If you're only asking a few thousand, I would leave them up. Most horses I see in that price point have far worse pictures and look greener under saddle than your mare does.

I also want to compliment you on how well you turned your horse and yourself out for the pictures. She looks extremely well groomed and I appreciate your clean clothes and collared shirt.

I think your horse is beautiful and if I was looking for a re-sale project I would consider her. I'm honestly surprised you're not getting more interest in her. But hey, at least you've gotten some interest :D

For future photo sessions, have your photographer take pictures almost non-stop! I had to use my dad once to take pics. He is not an equine photographer :lol: But I just told him to start taking pictures and don't stop! In 20 minutes he literally took 96 pictures. Guess how many were usable? 4! But, those 4 were excellent. 1 of them was absolutely stunning, calendar worthy. I didn't even know my horse could look that good. Tell your photographer to start shooting and don't stop. You only need a few great ones.

May. 8, 2012, 09:33 AM
I'd like to know where they are?

What I see out there are either way overpriced horses (many that never sell), or cheap and lame horses.

Couple here in Cocoa, Florida. :)

May. 8, 2012, 10:58 AM
Twisted, thanks for the input and the nice words! Yes, she's a low-figure horse — though I'm working on a deal now that would give me more time to work with her to make her a higher figure horse. Fingers crossed the deal goes through and I can get this horse to a level that will make her much more marketable.

Then I can make a progress thread here about her! Woohoo!

OP, best of luck! You sound like you're in a better boat than me :)

May. 8, 2012, 11:10 AM
Azuwish...I just bought a horse after months and months of looking. When I saw things like "needing a calm/patient rider or rider experienced with ottbs", I would pass them over, because that just made me nervous and suspicious. I ended up with an OTTB that was in my friend's barn. It might be better to discuss that with potential buyers in person if they call. The pictures aren't great, but don't bother me..I would have called to check her out without that kind of comment in the ad.