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  1. #1

    Question Need your opinion on the websites of professional equestrians!

    A significant amount of professionals equestrians today have websites. However, most of them display outdated news and information.

    In your opinion, how does an outdated website reflect on a professional you are looking to work with?

    Also, why do you most often visit Trainers' websites?
    - for contact info?
    - see horses offered for sale?
    - check out services offered?
    - upcoming clinics or shows?
    - general news?

    Your input is greatly appreciated!


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  2. #2
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    Nov. 12, 2012
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    Well, since I'm not in the market for a horse, a new barn, or a trainer, I just look at websites to creep... Because I have nothing better to do with my life.... So I don't care if their information is outdated...

    I get annoyed if they don't have pictures of the facility or prices because I like to know because I'm nosy hahah

    If I were looking for a horse, I would be going through my trainer, so it wouldn't matter what's on the website, and you can always call about services and prices and stuff.. Really the most important thing to me if I were actually looking at a website would be pictures of the facility. If I don't like the facility then there's no reason for me to go any further. I guess prices would be important too, if you can't afford it, there's no reason to continue looking at it.
    Last edited by AlterHalter123; Dec. 10, 2012 at 10:16 PM.


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  3. #3
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    If a professional barn develops a website, they should commit to have it updated regularly. However, I know they are usually too busy to deal w/ that themselves and won't have the extra money to pay someone to do it...that's where FB pages come in handy


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  4. #4
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    Thank you for your answers! BaysofourLives, you make a very interesting point. We do tend to think of Equestrian Professionals as not having extra money for typical business expenses. However, a Professional Equestrian is running a business! As clients why do we allow them (I'm very guilty as well) to function without typical business standards? I would think that they more business savvy the professional the better the "business" with more clientele, owners, sponsors, etc. I agree with your comment about "they are usually too busy". Like any other business, they can't do it all. They should have a team of employees or consultants - vet, farrier, marketing, accountant etc. Other professional athletes moved in that direction long ago, why not equestrians?


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  5. #5
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    As a client, I allow my professional to function without typical business standards because she is an exceptional horsewoman who cares about her four legged clientele first and foremost, and has more business than she can handle through word of mouth. If she were to jump on the social media bandwagon just because a website promoter influenced her to do so on the strength of a random poll conducted on CoTH, I would think she had gone bonkers. Next thing you know she would be dating models and drunkenly crashing her car like the rest of the pro athletes.


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  6. #6
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    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equestrian Edge View Post
    Thank you for your answers! BaysofourLives, you make a very interesting point. We do tend to think of Equestrian Professionals as not having extra money for typical business expenses. However, a Professional Equestrian is running a business! As clients why do we allow them (I'm very guilty as well) to function without typical business standards? I would think that they more business savvy the professional the better the "business" with more clientele, owners, sponsors, etc. I agree with your comment about "they are usually too busy". Like any other business, they can't do it all. They should have a team of employees or consultants - vet, farrier, marketing, accountant etc. Other professional athletes moved in that direction long ago, why not equestrians?
    A website is a marketing vehicle (and expense.) I would not consider it "a business standard."

    I also think that having a team of employees and consultants is an unsupportable notion for most trainers. Very few professional athletes have those sorts of resources, and every one that I can think of is connected to a spectator sport that drives revenue from advertising, sponsorships and ticket sales, all of which are nearly unheard of for most equestrian sports. (PBR being a notable exception.)

    As a client, I expect that the a trainer will have accurate contact information, perhaps some facility information, a bit of information about the trainer's background and general program, and possibly in some cases, a schedule of events (show schedule, clinics and that sort of thing.) It's a nice touch if a trainer who focuses on showing to have some current results posted (and good internal PR for the clients to see the "Suzy Amateur Wins at Big Show" photo with a congratulatory note.)

    I really do not think most trainers are in need of a ton of professional web design, nor do I think most would find the expense to be worthwhile. These days, it's quite simple to put together an inexpensive site that is easy to manage/update as necessary, and unless one is entering a new market or advertising something specific - a new facility, major improvement, show series etc - spending a lot on that sort of thing is overkill.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


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  7. #7
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    Dec. 10, 2012
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    Nutmeg, thanks for your response. I appreciate everyone's opinion here. I do not agree with the idea that being an excellent horse person and having business sense are mutually exclusive. I simply think that to make our our beloved equestrian industry run a bit smoother we might start promoting our athletes accordingly. Marketing campaigns can have very different goals depending on the individual. The good trainers do already have a good client base. Would they take on a new sponsor and a new owner? HECK YES! The use of social media and websites are also great for fundraising. Why not tap a great marketing tool for the benefit of the professional?



  8. #8
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    I think in today's world, there is a place for internet marketing. Having 'been there, done that' in the horse/training world (LONG before internet days), I thoroughly understand the lack of time, and the focus on care, safety, well-being, and oh yeah - training! However...

    There are any number of HS students out there who have a pretty good hand on the social networking/internet world. And there are CAREERS in this area. My niece graduated from USC (the one in CA) with a degree in public relations and has a VERY NICE job as a Social Media director for a PR firm in Los Angeles. She'd LOVE to work with athletes, but her current clients include a big name media corporation and a well-known winery, among others.

    If a trainer could find a riding student who was interested in such a career, a bit of barter might be a win-win situation. The trick with barter is that it MUST be a win-win situation - AND it must be treated like the business contract it is. And the student must be mature enough to understand the difference between a teenagers FB page and a business page. No drama. No gossip. BUSINESS marketing.

    Carol
    www.ayliprod.com
    Equine Photography in the Northeast


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  9. #9
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    I look at horses offered for sale. The thing that annoys me most is when they don't have a price or at least a price range for a horse. Truthfully why waste mine and your time, since they are so busy, answering how much is this horse questions all the time?
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


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  10. #10
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    Also hate when there is a "for sale" page then a coming soon, or not for sale at this time, or a "check back later" or a call for options. If you're going to have a sale page, tell me whats for sale.

    Also when they don't post location or trainer fees/boarding fees. There's probably a reason why I'm looking at your site, so it would be useful to know if you're near me, or in Antarctica. Also if you're a good few thousand dollars out of my price range, I don't even want to bother contacting you, so please let me know a few prices.


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  11. #11
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    Jun. 16, 2011
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    Well I just made my website a few months ago and I hope to keep it as up to date as possible, but it can get hard. I also know that there are some people that pay others to look after the pages. That can be good but what I have seen is that the people that are paid to update a site go missing sometimes. So unfortunately not all site owners are to blame for lack of updated.

    I also get a bit frustrated when prices of sales horses are not listed. How are people supossed to avoid being tire kickers if they don't know the price, also how do others research the prices of horses if no one will post prices.



  12. #12
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    When I was looking to start taking lessons again, I really wanted to see the facilities, the horses that you have lessons, and a bio/info on the trainer. If they didn't have those types of things, it was hard to get a grip on what type of program they are. Also, please, please, please make it professional and have somebody proofread your page! Nothing worse than lots of spelling errors and grammar mistakes. Those things just make it seem like you have put no effort into making your website legitimate.


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  13. #13
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    Nov. 12, 2012
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    For the love of everything beautiful, please make sure the riders on your page are actually your riders...

    I was looking at this barn's website from my area, and on the "our riders" page, they have pictures of another girl from a very similar competing barn in the area! Like seriously... How does that happen?



  14. #14
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    I don't understand barns that are boarding/training horses that do not list their location/address. I may know they are in my general area, but have no clue WHERE. And that can make a big difference (ie, a barn located in "Leesburg" can be right off the Dulles Toll Road and fairly easy to get to, or be practically to the MD/VA line! A street address would solve that!).

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE spell check and grammar check and for all that is good and holy DO NOT use text speak of any kind (even in your blogs...no lols) or emoticons. If you are bad, like me, and read to fast over what you've written, get it proofread by someone else before publishing (I have a very good friend who's an English teacher...her services and skills can come in handy).

    Remember the KISS philosophy (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Clean lines, simple colors with font in a color and type that is easy to read. Don't write novels. Keep things short and sweet. A trainer doesn't need a whole lot more than a couple of paragraphs for a bio...we don't need to know your life story!

    Pictures (of places, horses, and people that are YOURS) are never a bad thing!



  15. #15
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    When I was looking for a barn to trailer in to for lessons, I looked for the following:
    -Close enough that I can trailer to, so make sure you have up to date contact information.
    -Professional Appearance
    -Pictures/Proof of success at shows
    -Quality of horses for sale (because I assume this is a result of their training program, not because I am looking for a horse)
    -Services offered/prices
    Southern Cross Guest Ranch
    An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia
    www.southcross.com
    RIP Bocephus March 2008 - April 2013



  16. #16
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    Also, if you're going to include pictures of horses, riders, etc make sure they actually are good photos. No photos of riders who look like they're about to fall off over a crossrail but are jumping 4'. No pictures of terrible, dangerous jumping horses. It just makes me think that you don't know what a good jumping horse looks like or what equitation is.


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  17. #17
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    Oct. 8, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlterHalter123 View Post
    For the love of everything beautiful, please make sure the riders on your page are actually your riders...
    What? But that would deprive us of spectacular trainwrecks like the lady claiming the picture of Leslie Howard was her! And then where would be?
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.


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  18. #18
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    Oct. 6, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmwines01 View Post
    Nothing worse than lots of spelling errors and grammar mistakes. Those things just make it seem like you have put no effort into making your website legitimate.
    Yes, I agree! For example, if I saw someone capitalizing "Equestrian Professionals" as though it was a proper noun-- that would drive me verifiably nuts....

    http://www.equestrianedge.net/

    Not very professional!

    Or using "amount" when "number" was actually the correct word. Excessive use of exclamation points!!!! Inconsistent caPitalizatiOn.

    Makes me think the website is made by a kid... not an "Equestrian Professional" or (gasp) marketing guru.

    These kinds of errors would especially turn me off if I got the sense that the someone making those errors was in the business of creating websites and was fishing for sales by asking innocous-seeming questions about web marketing in general.
    Last edited by vxf111; Dec. 12, 2012 at 02:30 PM.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/


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  19. #19
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    Not to hijack - but I would love to see some examples of some great facility sites out there!



  20. #20
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    Love this site. Simple easy and gives all the info I need including all prices even on horses for sale and lease. Prices for board and lessons, direction and address. Easy to navigate.
    http://www.hillmarfarm.com/index.html
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



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