I am a senior in highschool and unfortunately have to start thinking about selling my heart horse that I have had for 4 years since I will be leaving for college in the fall. I would love to keep him with me in college, but I am most likely going to be attending school on the other side of the country and it is simply not practical to take him along.
I am wondering when the best time to start marketing him is? I realize that it depends on the horse and the market at my specific location, but any estimates would be great. I figure sooner rather than later is best. However, riding is absolutely my passion and I have been prolonging the inevitable, not wanting to have to say goodbye to him and not wanting to have nothing to ride for thr entire spring/summer.
I am also looking for some approximate price ranges of where to start marketing him at. I will keep the description as vague as possible to avoid advertising. He is not for sale at the moment, so hopefully it won't count. Most of his limitations (ie limited show experience) are because of my lack of time/$ and my timidness when it comes to riding. I am definitely far from brave.
16'1+, bay, WB, 8-10 yrs old, huge stride- walks down the lines indoors and outside, sound, no maintinance, in your pocket personality, loads/clips/ties/stands for vet and farrier, has schooled 3'6, generally courses around 2'6-3'3 at home with room to spare, easy lead changes, ribbons in the local hunter and eq rings (although limited show mileage), cute and correct jump, not a hack winner against fancy show hunters but you won't get laughed out of the ring, ammy friendly although I would recommend at least an intermediate rider on him because he needs a slightly more technical ride to the scary fences, takes a joke, no buck/rear/kick, will jump from anywhere, will pack a kid over crossrails all day, trail rides alone or in a group.
I would say advertising wise, get him out there ASAP. Selling a horse takes time and you want to make sure you fit the best for him. Do you work with a trainer? If so they should be able to price him for you. If he is sane and a decent mover, the lack of show experience wouldn't be a turn off for me if the quality is there. It does however affect his price a little, depending on who your target market is. Are you looking for a home with a big show barn or with a kid who wants to do local and lower level rated stuff but will have him for the rest of their life? All that factors into a price. He sounds like a nice horse. Where are you? Hahaha.
I do have a trainer and will be sitting down with her soon to discuss a plan for moving forward. Just wanted to get some initial opinions first though. Thanks!
I'm honestly not too worried about the price. I want to find him a good home with someone that is going to give him the attention and care that he deserves- whether that be at a large show barn or with a kid to dote on him, it doesn't matter.
I just sat down with my DD and mapped out her show season. She's a senior and knows the love of her life needs a new girl (or boy) next year too So we are tentatively planning shows through early July at this point but who knows...
She knows that I sold my high school horse with perfect timing - I had a show the day before I left for college and the new girl picked her up AT that show. It couldn't have worked out better. I've tried to tell her that it RARELY works out that way.
Are you in any financial position to hold on to your horse past August and market with a trainer after you leave for college? That would give you some breathing room. If not, then you're better off advertising early (soon) and realizing it's in everyone's best interest to end up with part or all of the summer sadly empty. One thing you could try to do, and this is how I managed to keep my horse up to the last possible day, is offer the horse at a decent price if the buyer is willing to negotiate a later possession date (mine was only by 3 or 4 weeks). You run the risk of losing the sale if something happens in that time (horse goes lame, buyer finds something else, changes mind) and that can put you in a bad situation right before you go to school if you don't have a good Plan B.
Oh, to answer your original quesion, since we do have a plan B (we have the horses at home so financially no biggie to keep him here, trainer could help market, etc) we're probably going to start advertising late May so that DD doesn't have to worry about showing to buyers until she is out of school.
Good luck! I know it seems awful right now, but believe it or not there will be other heart horses in your life!
He sounds wonderful and no red flags on his sale -- right age, right skills, right size, etc. Your trainer will be able to give you the best sense of price because that depends so much on the movement/jump.
As to timing -- it sounds like he should sell quickly but you just never know. I would start no later than May, and see if there's something else around you can ride for the summer if he sells fast.