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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2000
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    3,166

    Default Mini-Rant & Unsolicited Marketing Advice

    As a parent I am frequently looking at advertising related to horse stuff & kids; as a horse person, I am frequently looking at advertising related to horses/horse stuff. In the past few weeks I have come to wonder if people who advertise their horse businesses actually look at their ads through the lens of reality. Gotta love the wonders of the Internet...

    So here's my unsolicited marketing advice to those pitching their biz on the web (or maybe anywhere for that matter):

    In viewing your website, I sort of expect your farm/horses/ponies/riders/trainers to look similar to what they look like on the website. We all know winter is not green, but that doesn't explain the rest of the mismatched images/info. When you start making excuses right off the bat for why your website and reality don't match, something's wrong.

    If you are pitching your farm as a safe place for kids to ride, show photos of kids safely interacting with horses on the ground and in the saddle. Helmets, closed toed shoes - it's a good idea to have those in the photos instead of barefoot/flip flops, no helmet while mounted, etc....duh.

    If you are telling the consumer how wonderful your horses are - safe, fancy, great jumpers, etc. - please choose a different photo than the one of the large pony jumping 2'6 with its knees pointing TO THE GROUND. I'm delighted that the rider is turned out in the latest and greatest cha-ching clothing, but to say that the pony is an A show pony and your barn regularly competes successfully at that level - well, a pony that jumps like that is not only unsafe, it doesn't get used by judges in even the poorest of company (clarify - poor jumping, not poor economically speaking). Maybe that photo is of the one time ever that things train wrecked...if that's the case, you are better off without any photo!

    OK - thanks for the soap box opp. I'm just tired of the smoke & mirrors marketing. Some folks are out to dupe consumers who don't know better; others just don't seem to know any better themselves....


    2 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
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    10,926

    Default

    Gotcha!

    You just want to spoil our giggles and snorts!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
    Location
    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
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    2,936

    Default

    The frustrating part is you recognize this stuff because you are an experienced horse person. Think of all the parents out there who aren't experienced horse people. I started riding at a not so great barn. It was not exactly unsafe, but not exactly safe either. My parents are not idiots, but they are not horsey enough to recognize the signs that a clued in horsey parent would have. Luckily we met people who became close family friends (also British ex pats) who rode at one of the better stables in the area. In talking with them, my parents did start to see that things weren't adding up, and made sure I had a new place to ride before I purchased my first horse.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2013
    Posts
    342

    Default

    I often wonder about the crappy pictures used in equine advertising. The top page not so bad, but look at the bottom two pictures on here http://www.ushja.org/programs/resour...ents_guide.pdf
    and this is the USHJA. It's like two picture of what not to do.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2009
    Location
    Garden Prairie, Illinois
    Posts
    238

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowfox View Post
    I often wonder about the crappy pictures used in equine advertising. The top page not so bad, but look at the bottom two pictures on here http://www.ushja.org/programs/resour...ents_guide.pdf
    and this is the USHJA. It's like two picture of what not to do.
    Snowfox -

    Please do not take this as a snarky question - I am seeking clarification.

    What specifically do you find wrong with two pictures on page 2?

    The lower left shows students passing left shoulder to left shoulder, one is trotting the other is cantering. this happens in my lesson barn all the time when one student is jumping a course in the indoor arena

    the lower rignt hand picture on page 2 shows a beatifully turned out horse and rider. I am not crazy about the girls hands and crest release, but I am an Eventer.

    so again, this is not a snarky comment, but a request for more information from someone who is coming from a different discipline....
    Inese


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2010
    Posts
    569

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    Event 4 Life- I know where you are coming from.

    I was dumbfounded when a well turned out child, in breeches and boots, arrived for a lesson with a parent in tow. She had been taking lessons elsewhere. Both child and parent were blank-faced, when I asked where her helmet was. Never used one.
    Taking it day by day!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2010
    Posts
    569

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowfox View Post
    I often wonder about the crappy pictures used in equine advertising. The top page not so bad, but look at the bottom two pictures on here http://www.ushja.org/programs/resour...ents_guide.pdf
    and this is the USHJA. It's like two picture of what not to do.
    I suspect only two pictures would get by GM.
    Taking it day by day!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Location
    Western South Dakota
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    2,520

    Default

    Well, we have had people visit our farm and make the comment, "It looks exactly like your web page". I know I had a dumbfounded look on my face . After all, it should, shouldn't it?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA
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    1,272

    Default

    Another thing is don't use picture with water marks on your webpage. It is very unprofessional to show that you didn't even pay for the picture you are using. Facebook is just as bad. Another thing is saying you show on a "A" circuit or where there is no record of you or any of your horse showing there. In today's internet world it is super easy to do research. Make sure all sale videos are of high quality and actually show the horse doing what you say he can do.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
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    2,196

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    I'm in agreement that advertising photographs, advertising text, and reality should all correlate. I think some trainers/barn owners simply don't understand the importance of good photographs and just use whatever photos they have laying around even if they aren't current or reflective of good horsemanship/riding. Honestly, getting good advertising photos can take some effort or some $, which is probably the reason why some trainers cut corners. Personally I think a bad photo is worse than no photo at all.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2013
    Posts
    342

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Inese View Post
    Snowfox -

    Please do not take this as a snarky question - I am seeking clarification.

    What specifically do you find wrong with two pictures on page 2?

    The lower left shows students passing left shoulder to left shoulder, one is trotting the other is cantering. this happens in my lesson barn all the time when one student is jumping a course in the indoor arena

    the lower rignt hand picture on page 2 shows a beatifully turned out horse and rider. I am not crazy about the girls hands and crest release, but I am an Eventer.

    so again, this is not a snarky comment, but a request for more information from someone who is coming from a different discipline....
    The first rider, the one on flat, has a horrible position, starting with her foot she is standing on her toe, gripping with the back of her calf at same time as she pinching with her knee, this base has pitched her forward and her whole center of gravity is off. Her seat is causing her to lock her shoulder, elbow and wrist and balancing on her horses mouth. It's really a disaster! The 2nd rider has a horrible release, calling it a crest release isn't even right, there is a time and place for a proper crest release, but this release is floating above the crest again balancing on her horses mouth. Her seat is better so her sins are not quite as bad as the first rider. This is a flyer for the USHJA! I mean really?!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2013
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    342

    Default

    True



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2011
    Location
    Westchester, NY
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    2,532

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowfox View Post
    The 2nd rider has a horrible release, calling it a crest release isn't even right, there is a time and place for a proper crest release, but this release is floating above the crest again balancing on her horses mouth. Her seat is better so her sins are not quite as bad as the first rider. This is a flyer for the USHJA! I mean really?!
    I wouldn't mind having the equitation of the rider on the bottom right...sure I'd release a little more and bring my elbows in, but I thought the rest of her looked very very good. I'm jealous!

    But on topic, I completely agree about misrepresentation. It doesn't only go for pictures. Please don't advertise your trails if you don't allow them to be used. Please don't advertise you go to Florida if you don't. Its a waste of time for both parties if someone meets with you because they require these things and think you have them and then you don't.



  14. #14
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    Jan. 10, 2002
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    Area VIII, Region 2, Zone 5.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rel6 View Post
    I wouldn't mind having the equitation of the rider on the bottom right...sure I'd release a little more and bring my elbows in, but I thought the rest of her looked very very good. I'm jealous!
    A litle more release? She has such a death grip that the shank of the bit is parallel to the ground. Not my cup of tea, and certainly not a picture I'd use for any kind of marketing.
    Quote Originally Posted by SuzieQNutter
    The whip is held across your thigh so as you can still hold the reins without spilling your coffee!!
    SillyHorse adds: Or your wine.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2011
    Location
    Westchester, NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SillyHorse View Post
    A litle more release? She has such a death grip that the shank of the bit is parallel to the ground. Not my cup of tea, and certainly not a picture I'd use for any kind of marketing.
    USHJA also used a picture of a rider on the ground with the reins looped around their arm on their "horseman ship quiz" brochure so I'm not too confident in their ability to pic promotional material. Not disagreeing about her release...but I'm still jealous of her leg!



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