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Saying No to potential buyers....

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  • Saying No to potential buyers....

    I think people must think I've lost my mind.

    I have a lovely 4yo dutch gelding for sale. We're getting him going u/s now. I'm being a bit particular about who I'm going to show him to, and here's why.

    1) he's expensive. I don't have the time to show him to lookey-loos who can't afford him, and no, I won't sell him for 50% off his price, even if you did score 66% at First level Test 1. 2) He's no AA horse. And 90% of the calls/emails I get on him are Training/First level riders.

    So I tell callers, I will not show the horse to a Tr/First level rider. He's too much horse for someone who's not at least got their silver. He's more forward or "hot" than most people can ride.

    So when trainers call, wanting to bring their clients, this is what I tell them. LOL. I know they think I'm crazy, but I don't want to sell a horse that may hurt someone because they're scared of his huge movement, and I frankly don't want him ruined.

    So, trainers, would this shock the h*ll out of you, hearing this on from a seller?
    Hopeful Farm Sport Horses
    Midwest Breeders Group
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  • #2
    I think it is refreshingly honest, good for you.


    • #3
      I think you could save yourself and callers a lot of time if you were more up front in your ad and stated that the horse is for a professional only and the price is firm. And, regarding the silver medal prerequisite...I have seen a number of silver medalists that got their medals on schoolmasters and have absolutely no business riding a pro's horse, so I think that is an invalid criterion to use.


      • #4
        It is fine, but realize that most people with money to buy such horses are the working amateurs, not the pros -- even if many of them pay pros to ride the horses once they are bought. So you are probably going to make it hard to sell him if you will only sell him to a pro type.


        • #5
          I agree, I think you're going to have a relatively difficult time selling him if you keep the silver medal prerequisite. I think riding can be a very individual thing - just because I earn a silver medal on my horse doesn't mean I can ride yours. Just because someone has ridden to an advanced level doesn't necessarily make them a well-rounded rider, depending upon their experience. There is nothing wrong with being firm about the price and picky about the rider, so long as you are in no rush to sell. And also, so long as you realize that once he's out of your hands, that control is gone.
          Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

          A Voice Halted


          • #6
            Originally posted by GreyStreet View Post
            I agree, I think you're going to have a relatively difficult time selling him if you keep the silver medal prerequisite. I think riding can be a very individual thing - just because I earn a silver medal on my horse doesn't mean I can ride yours. Just because someone has ridden to an advanced level doesn't necessarily make them a well-rounded rider, depending upon their experience. There is nothing wrong with being firm about the price and picky about the rider, so long as you are in no rush to sell. And also, so long as you realize that once he's out of your hands, that control is gone.
            I agree with this. I know several people with their silver medal (or some scores towards it) that CANNOT ride a horse other than theirs. One certain person I know who almost has her silver cant even get other horses to canter.

            Then you have people who are showing say, 3rd level who has catch ridden everything under the sun who might be just fine handling your horse.

            I totally understand you wanting the right match for your horse and can see where you dont want a first level rider. But, I wouldnt say that only someone who has their silver can buy him. Someone who has their silver, is going to buy a horse who can get them their gold soon.


            • #7
              I'm just going to put this out there.

              I was student rider for a GP trainer for many years. I mostly rode young Hanoverian horses recently imported from Germany. I had a boatload of experience riding big moving WB's (and lord knows you have to be able to ride at least decently to work with youngsters all the time) but because of their age the highest I ever got to show was first level (scores in the 70's BTW ) and it was mostly bronze level shows, just to get some experience under their belts. We did not want to get passports for all the sales horses, as it was a revolving door in terms of horses coming in and selling usually within months.

              Now at home with some of the older guys, we were schooling canter pirouettes, passage, changes, half pass etc., but they were my trainer's show horses or a more advanced horse who wasn't quite ready to go into the ring because of behavioural issues. Technically I don't have anything on record that says I can ride more advanced horses.

              Would you have sold him to me?

              Also, how do you know how much money a person has when they call? Do they have to send over a bank statement? Obviously if someone is asking for 50% off the price, they are not worth your time. But I think a certain amount of negotiating is to be expected.

              Is a talented horse happier knowing your goal is GP? Or could they be happy with a kind loving owner even if they are only showing at lower levels? I'd much rather see a talented horse with a less talented rider than the other way around (as long as it's not creating a dangerous situation). I've seen many horses get pushed beyond their capabilities, and it's heartbreaking. I bet pros ruin more horses than ammy's.

              I'm just saying...

              But I do respect you for trying to find a suitable rider for your horse. Obviously if the rider is totally out-horsed it would not be a suitable match and chances are neither would be happy in the long run. So that would really be my criteria, if a horse is a difficult ride, I'd make sure they brought a trainer and that the trainer was aware of the horse's issues. Just keep an open mind, you're really going to limit your market if you're being *too* choosey.

              Now having said that, if I were ever to sell my horse, I'd probably ask for a background check. LOL.

              ETA: There are also some really talented riders who don't like to show. Obviously if you want a show home for him, that would be a deal breaker, but they might still be a wonderful home if that's the priority.

              I think most pro's want something that's proven, so if you're limiting yourself to a professional, you might think about hanging onto him for now and putting some more miles on him.

              PS. checked your site, and he's a really lovely boy
              Last edited by CZF; May. 18, 2011, 05:23 PM.


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by suzy View Post
                I have seen a number of silver medalists that got their medals on schoolmasters and have absolutely no business riding a pro's horse, so I think that is an invalid criterion to use.
                I know, oooh trust me, I know, but it's a starting point.

                And CZF, I do ask questions a lot, I don't really just cut people off. I explain, he's a hot horse, he's very forward, he has BIG gaits.

                I have a whole ton of pros wanting to come see him, and shame on me for being so damn slow to start him. But--I wont' get on him. I haven't been riding all winter, so I'm not fit to be starting a horse, so i have an event rider friend helping me.

                Oh, and my ad does say he's suitable for a Pro or a "top amateur." Should I remove that last part??
                Hopeful Farm Sport Horses
                Midwest Breeders Group
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                • #9
                  Are you sure the people offering 50% less can't afford it and it's not that they have a better grasp of the horse's real value?

                  I'm just asking...
                  "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                  • #10
                    I think "pro or talented amateur training with pro" is perfectly acceptable. There are amateur riders out there who are better than some of the pros, so you shouldn't rule them out. In fact, most of the (ahem) older pros I know have top, young amateurs riding their young horses. Not because they don't have the skill but because they no longer have rubber bones.


                    • #11
                      So be diplomatic to each caller and tell them about his age, big gaits and hot personality. Ask them if they can afford the asking price, it is firm. You can say whatever you like, it's how it's conveyed that makes the difference. You never know if the training level caller has a friend at the barn looking for your described horse. Good luck.
                      "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach


                      • #12
                        I think it's great you are being honest about what the horse is, and being choosy about finding the right match. However, I think the silver medal thing is not quite the right criteria for judging the "right" rider, instead it is severely limiting the number of prospective buyers. Unless, of course, what you are trying to do is select a rider that will get the horse all the way to GP, in which case you probably need to hand pick the rider and offer them the horse, or better yet, put the horse in training with that rider. As a breeder (I'm assuming here), there would be some very good reasons to pursue that path.

                        Otherwise, on the open market to get top dollar, you might find a better match by looking for the type of buyer that can ride a young, green, forward, big moving horse than by looking for the type of buyer that can ride an older, well-schooled, may or may not move big type of horse. And, IMHO, your ideal buyer may or may not have a silver medal, or any upper level experience at all, since riding a greenie, and especially a big moving greenie, requires a very different skill set and mentality. There's also the potential for someone not-quite-qualified to buy the horse and then put him in training with a very qualified rider, which doesn't seem like it would be such a bad situation?

                        Have you tried networking with trainers that specialize is young horses of your horse's caliber?
                        Gallant Gesture "Liam" 1995 chestnut ottb gelding
                        Mr. Painter "Remy" 2006 chestnut ottb gelding
                        My Training Blog: www.dressagefundamentals.com


                        • #13
                          Here's my thoughts: sounds like owner is being honest in what she thinks is right for the horse. IF my trainer thought I could ride said horse based on the ad and if she called, she would have the discussion as to why she thought that. More likely she would say thanks, might be too much horse, and would appreciate the honesty.
                          I have a friend who bought a hot upper level horse, without trainer input and its entirely possible that the temperment, though not the lovely gaits, will be problematic for her.

                          I think its perfectly reasonable for an owner to put their own criteria on the sale process...
                          We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                          • #14
                            Your ad is misleading. Your add says that "Artie's been started under saddle, walk-trot, very quiet, easy, very uncomplicated. " But then you tell people he is hot and forward and not for a low level rider. Which is it? If you advertise him as uncomplicated but hot, you will probably get less training/1st level rider inquiries.


                            • Original Poster

                              Excellent point. I'll fix that.
                              Hopeful Farm Sport Horses
                              Midwest Breeders Group
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                              • #16
                                Good for you. I was very honest about my qualifications when I was looking to buy and on more than one occasion had sellers tell me their horses were AA friendly and even though I had been only riding at the walk for 1 year that it was a match. I can't tell you how many horses I went to see that after watching the selling ride I didn't even get on.


                                • #17
                                  I just checked out your site - It looks like a lovely horse and the price seems very fair.

                                  I would look at him if I were in the market (and I have my silver lol)


                                  • #18
                                    I am very picky about where my youngsters go as well. A good match is my criteria and I've turned down offers and people who wanted to come back. However, I ride mostly youngsters and thus lower level stuff. However, since Thoroughbreds are what I love and youngsters are my niche, a big moving wb and hot or sensitive/complicated would work fine for me because I love those. I've seen some upper level riders who tend to push a youngster and expect them to be able to work as long and hard as any other horse. They don't always have the interest, tact or know-how to put a good foundation on any baby. So, don't slam all the doors too quickly. It might be in the horse's best interest to spend some time talking to those who call about their skill level with youngsters and bringing them along than to worry about their show record. JMHO -- good luck!


                                    • #19
                                      Ummm obvious question. You say your 'event rider' friend is riding him. Does that person have dressage silver ? Also, since you are not riding him, I would question how well you could describe the ride to someone else. What does your event rider friend have to say ? They are the one sitting on him.
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                                      • #20
                                        might it work?

                                        Be careful you don't shut out a potential right person, sight unseen; I’ve nearly done that at least twice “on paper” it would never SUIT; YET IT WORKED! In both cases the instructor/ trainer/ coach was convinced it would work; talked them and me through last minute nerves; and they both worked beautifully; of course , there was also a lot of prayer , even a wish on a “falling star we both saw one night, walking back to the barn; Actually it was a display ad in the eventing issue of COTH; a crackerjack photo; well written ad, if I do say so myself; yet I got no calls until the right one came, 8 months after the issue came out
                                        breeder of Mercury!

                                        remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans