The biggest thing that bothers me is a seller that never sends a video after I've spoken with them and determined the horse is a reasonable match for what I'm looking for. I don't expect a seller to send me a video out of an e-mail, but after we've spoken several times I expect to get a video if they said they have one!
I HATE the word "potential". HATE it! I don't want to hear what you have in your head that the horse can do. Tell me what the horse has done. Period. Even if that is nothing- fine. Don't tell me that a yearling has potential to be a Grand Prix Jumper. If it isn't currently doing Grand Prixs, then I don't want to hear about it. Plus, if it had that much potential, wouldn't the owner be doing more with it to reach that goal? "10 year old Unbroke Arabian Broodmare. Championship lines. Moves real nice in the pasture. Potential Olympic Dressage Horse."WHAT??!?!
Ooh, I can't believe I've forgotten some of those points!! One more I've just thought of is dirty tack in sale pics. I can remember looking at one horse, for a decent trainer, and in the pics I was sent, the tack was filthy... you want me to buy the horse, make sure your tack is clean!
Oh, and photoshopped pics! 11.2 ponies do not jump badminton fences!
If you can choose what the horse does from a list, and prospect is a chose for things or in general- do NOT put your horse under critera he doesn't fit. If he's nine months, he's an event prospect, not an event horse.
And not from the ad itself, but if you call a buyer and she seems exasperated that you are alive- even before you've said anything. I understand stress, frustration, calling at a bad time, or whatever, but if I talk to you three times, two of which were you calling me, you don't need to be short and irritated if there's a real chance I'm buying your horse.
The Number One and Two turnoffs for me are when it is apparent that the the owner a) is clearly a moron or b) is or is associated with some breeder, dealer, BNT or wannabe BNT who is going to try and rip me off. You people know who you are and btw, asking $12-15K for an unbroken, nothing special, 5 year old WB cross gelding by some stallion I've never heard of and out of a mare you picked up cheap at the track? is laughable.
Eliminating both those types of ads narrows my search down by about 85%.
OMG ,I just wrote up 2 ads and sent them to the farm owner to post.You guys are gonna hate me.I had to say prospect because to my knowledge the horses haven't actually competed at what I think they might be good at,so prospect indicates what I believe they might be successful at ,although there is no proof.yet. I did mention the mare is hot and needs experienced rider,and that the gelding is a roarer that also cribs(I know,charming).Hopefully the owner will get some good pics to go with the ads.
My biggest gripe ,besides no price,is no pic ,or really bad pic.I never cease to be amazed at pics of horses jumping with legs hanging and uneven knees.Any of those things is enough to make me pass on the ad without a second thought.
You guys are gonna hate me.I had to say prospect because to my knowledge the horses haven't actually competed at what I think they might be good at,so prospect indicates what I believe they might be successful at ,although there is no proof.yet.
There's nothing wrong with referring to a horse as a prospect. The beef is when ads claim some outrageous potential.
Some of the best buying advice I ever received was, "Don't buy potential!" Second to that was, "What you see is what you get." You can watch a young horse and get a good idea whether or not it's prospect for whatever discipline. That doesn't guarantee it will be successful in that discipline, but you have to make that judgement and take the risk. "Potential" implies hope without justification. "Prospect" implies untested talent and ability.
Absurdly overpriced, especially when ad says "must sell" or "first $X takes him". When I saw absurd, I mean grade horses with no show wins being priced at $5k, $10k, or more.
People who try to sell their horse as some expensive/popular breed, even when he is clearly not papered or even resembling that breed. Right now there seems to be an awful lot of unpapered "Friesians" and "Gypsys" for sale which look nothing like the breed.
No pics. Pics of blurry four legged animals that are supposed to resemble the horse for sale. Pics which seem to have been taken at night with no flash. Pics of the horse standing in tall grass on really uneven ground with so much tack on him you can barely see what color is (i.e. lousy for telling conformation)
Ads that don't say much. Tell me more than 2 sentences, please. It's ok to say the bad with the good... but just say something to make me want to call.
People with ungelded grade (or general poor quality) stallions. They either brag up what a great breeding prospect he is... or list him as a riding horse "all he needs is to be gelded".
I agree that there's nothing wrong with listing a horse as a prospect. What annoys me is when people list their prospects so that when I'm looking for an eventer, someone has taken the list of whatever options on the site she posted on, and listed the prospect under 'eventer' or 'hunter-jumper' instead of something that implies prospect. I understand that it may occassionaly be the site, but one's horse is NOT an eventer if it 'might' become an eventer. I understand the reasoning behind commiting this terrible act of annoyance but disagree all the same!
Something that was bought with the hope that the SO would have the same passion for 4-legged equines that you do. It is typically big, safe and quiet enough for a rank beginner to trail ride it with the bridle on backwards and the saddle set back 12 inches too far. After the horse came home, the husband realized that he wasn't the Lone Ranger and that the horse wasn't Silver, it has sat in a pasture getting fat. The wife has finally given up and has put the horse up for sale. Husband has decided to get a motorcycle instead. (And that my friends, is how I got the Plow Beast!)
LOL...like the "my loss is your gain" I can't stand the puffed up, "buy him now or be beaten by him later!" Blech...who falls for that line? As if I'm going to run and buy the horse in case I ever show against it and as if I can't win against it no matter if a spider monkey buys it and shows it.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
Ignorant owners. People who post things like, "Awesome Country English Pleasure horse. Real good Western Pleasure horse two. Never been showed but would be real nice show horse." All right ... Country English Pleasure is saddle seat, people, not a stroll through a weedy pasture in a forward seat saddle that's held together by baling twine. Western Pleasure is a specific class, not a generalization that you like that saddle with the horn because it makes you feel like Roy Rogers. A horse that has never been shown is not a show horse. And for god's sake, please check your spelling. I equate bad spelling and incorrect terminology with low intellect.
"Real" is used far too often in ads, usually followed by "flashy."
Another turn-off: "This horse would be worth $10,000 more if you bought him at a trainer's so get him now before I change my mind." Hmmmmm.
People who market unshown, in-training four-year-olds as children's horses should be shot at sunrise.
Then there are the photos of the horse grazing. Truly, I expect that the horse knows how to graze. I don't need to see proof of it. I also expect that the horse has hindquarters, so please don't take butt shots. Why did any breed registry ever start that trend?? It looks terrible.
And a horse is not any breed unless he has the papers to prove it. Don't tell me he's an Arabian unless you have papers in hand. Don't say he's a Quarter Pony just because people see "Quarter" and want to buy it. An unregistered, unpapered horse is a grade horse. There is no proof of his breeding. You might hazard a guess as to his breeding, but there is no way he should be listed online as any one breed, unless you have the papers to prove it.
The one ad I DID end up buying a horse from was simple, factual and accurate. The owner was courteous and answered my questions -- and followed up with her own questions for me (what is your facility like? how long have you been riding? what do you plan to do with her?). She refused to send a video because she didn't have video footage that showed the horse to its advantage. She did email a photo but also said that she is not a professional photographer. I understand and respect all those things!
The pony we just bought for our daughters came from an excellent home, had a long show career, and the owner was so accommodating that she offered to locate the person they'd bought the pony from, four years earlier, to get answers to my questions.
The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlive it -- William James
How interesting that so many people mentioned that no price listed was an no-no. I recently sold a very nice TB through a professional. Prior to going to the professional, he was was also advertised on an equine sales website. While the sale was pending, I removed the price from the ad. When I did that, the inquiries easily tripled. He ended up sellling for quite a bit more than he had originally been advertised.