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Does something smell fishy?

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  • Does something smell fishy?

    So, I have a really nice little pony for sale. On his online ad, I put may trade, because i would certainly trade for a nice young event prospect. I received an email from a woman who wants to trade her 7yo imported Rhinelander gelding for the pony. They have their horse advertised in the low 5-figure range, and my pony is now listed in the 4-figure range. She has sent me video and photos of the horse, and he looks nice.

    My first thought is he's crazy or unsound or both. According to her he's not, and I am welcome to try him out. I would never trade sight unseen, and would definitely do a PPE. They have a large barn and do lessons, hence why they would want a pony. Maybe because of the economy he isn't selling and they want something for their lesson program so they want to trade? I really don't know.

    What are your thoughts? Do you think this sounds unreasonable or sketchy? DO I even bother going to see the horse?

  • #2
    Is she talking an even trade or is it pony + cash? Clarify that point.

    If the deal is to your liking, I would take the next step and look at the gelding.

    I don't think it's a scam. The worst you are going to be out is the time and expense of seeing the horse.
    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com

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    • #3
      I'd at least look at the horse (and maybe to a PPE) before making up my mind.

      Could you book a lesson or something so you can take a look at the horse without them knowing that you'll be there? (Or ask a friend to go for you.)
      Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kookicat View Post

        Could you book a lesson or something so you can take a look at the horse without them knowing that you'll be there? (Or ask a friend to go for you.)

        Hmm. You are afraid of being deceived so you practice deception?

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        • #5
          I would just get to the point. Given that their horse is listed for sale at a price point that exceeds the price being asked for your pony you could just bring that up. When you call to schedule the appointment to try him express your interest and then say "Given the differences in listed prices, why are you interested in a trade?" They may give you a dishonest answer, but it's worth asking IMO. I would go look at him, though. They may just need to get another cost out the door before a new one comes in.
          "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant

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          • #6
            Actually, I think the fact that they have a listing for the horse already to be NOT fishy.

            Whether I check "may trade" or not on the online ads, I always get offers of trades that are in no way comparable (would you like to trade your made jumper for my unbroke morgan stallion, 1974 station wagon, etc.).

            So I don't think it is a scam by intent. I do think the odds of 2 people having each others' dream horse, at comparable prices, that both vet, is so low that I usually just accept selling old horse and buying new horse as separate transactions, but if you're interested in their prospect, you should try it out and see if the trade is interesting to both of you.

            Good luck.

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            • #7
              At 7 years old, and staying in a large lesson barn, I'd assume the horse has been out and about. Ask around. Someone has probably seen him at a show, or ridden him in a lesson, or even PPEd him already. I've dodged more than a few bullets just by asking around about a horse.
              "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
              http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by groom View Post
                Hmm. You are afraid of being deceived so you practice deception?
                No, it just chance to get an honest look at the horse.
                Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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                • #9
                  Treat the gelding as a horse that you might be interested in buying. If he doesn't suit, don't trade just for the sake of thinking you got a "good deal" because of the price difference. Good ponies are worth a lot to the right home.

                  I also would be cheerfully blunt about it--"why would you want to trade a $15,000 horse for my $8,000 pony?"
                  Click here before you buy.

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                  • #10
                    I seem to notice people listing horses at prices they really don't expect to get, so wondering what she really wants for her horse, perhaps she has realized she had it way overpriced? We have two horses at our barn purchased in the last few years who were originally advertised in the 5 figure range and both were purchased in a mid 4 figure range.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kookicat View Post
                      No, it just chance to get an honest look at the horse.

                      Ah. I understand.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bizbachfan View Post
                        I seem to notice people listing horses at prices they really don't expect to get, so wondering what she really wants for her horse, perhaps she has realized she had it way overpriced? We have two horses at our barn purchased in the last few years who were originally advertised in the 5 figure range and both were purchased in a mid 4 figure range.
                        Exactly.

                        It is one thing to advertise a horse for 5 figures, it is another thing to actually sell it for that. And of course the same goes for getting the price you would like for your pony.

                        I agree with a forthcoming discussion of why they are suggesting what seems to be an uneven trade. I would not speculate on the gelding until you have a chance to thoroughly evaluate him as you would any horse you are thinking of buying.

                        Also, whatever values are used for advertising are not as important as your satisfaction with the outcome of any deal you do. IMO focus on the horses more than the numbers.

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                        • #13
                          I would check out the horse and ask some questions. Who knows what the entire story is?

                          At our barn there is a gelding for sale that has been "in training" with the barn dressage trainer for a couple years. He is fairly attractive, and has gone around a few events, and is a WB cross--so he should be fairly marketable. But he isn't a fancy mover, has an unconventional jumping style, and can be a tough ride. They have him priced at 20K and frankly, I think he's worth about $7500. Not too shockingly, few people have come to look at him and no one has come back after they saw him once. The owner of the horse is starting to get fed up with paying board and training fees. Supposedly (not sure if this is true), the owner said that she was going to give the horse to the trainer if he didn't sell by spring (essentially leaving the trainer with another board bill to pay). In that scenario, I could totally see said trainer wanting to "trade" the horse for a more marketable horse.

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                          • #14
                            The gelding's seller may have priced the gelding with room to negotiate the price down and room for multiple trainer commissions.
                            Having to pay commissions to both the buyer's trainer and her trainer can get expensive in a hurry.

                            Gelding may not be suitable for a lesson horse but do well as a privately owned horse. Some horses prefer one rider to multiple riders each day/week. Or maybe they have lots of beginner kids and gelding is really only suitable for intermediate or better rider.
                            It certainly simplifies things for them if they can trade the gelding for pony. They may be willing to take a slight hit on the price to free up the stall for a horse that they will make money on rather than break even or lose money on.

                            Certainly worth looking at gelding to see if you click. If you do, get a PPE and ask around to see if anybody knows anything about him. You might even get an opportunity to talk to other boarders at the barn about him.
                            Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thank you everyone for your input. I think I will go check him out. I was just nervous about him being crazy/unsound, but a PPE should find any problems. I also will ask about the price difference-- hadn't yet because I wanted to feel the woman's personality out, and she seems nice.

                              Thanks again!

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                              • #16
                                Good point and winter IS coming!

                                Good point and winter IS coming!
                                They may just need to get another cost out the door before a new one comes in. __________________
                                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

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                                • #17
                                  There is nothing more frustrating to an owner whoMUST sell a horse then having someone call and ask why the horse is priced "so low"
                                  Last edited by Carol Ames; Dec. 9, 2011, 12:13 PM. Reason: typos
                                  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

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                                  • #18
                                    your instructor?

                                    Would your instructor look at the horse for you?
                                    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

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                                    • #19
                                      I would be worried about crazy/unsound, too, OP, since it probably cost as much as your pony is worth to just import the Rhinelander. Not to mention buy it. Rarely see imports go in that range unless they have issues. I'd be careful.

                                      Of course there are plenty of reasons why someone may have to price low to move one quick, but still...I would proceed, just with caution.

                                      Definitely go look!

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                        Treat the gelding as a horse that you might be interested in buying. If he doesn't suit, don't trade just for the sake of thinking you got a "good deal" because of the price difference. Good ponies are worth a lot to the right home.

                                        I also would be cheerfully blunt about it--"why would you want to trade a $15,000 horse for my $8,000 pony?"
                                        Exactly. And if he does turn out to be something you would have picked independent of a trade than get a thorough PPE (with bloodwork to rule out pain meds and calmers)
                                        Last edited by ACMEeventing; Dec. 10, 2011, 08:58 AM.
                                        Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                                        The Grove at Five Points

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