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horse shopping ? re: traveling (sigh)

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  • horse shopping ? re: traveling (sigh)

    I feel as though I should be able to answer this myself, having just sold a horse who
    a) had more than one person fly in or drive many hours to see him and
    b) was sold to the perfect home who was one of the people in (a)
    I know how I managed this, and I think it worked out fine...

    but now that I am on the other side I am waffling.

    I am planning a trip to see a horse. Seller has had another more local person contact her since we started communicating. I can't go until next week. Can I/should I ask her to hold him for me?

    She has not yet said she would not -- this just came up today and I think mainly she wanted confirmation that I was indeed coming and that we have covered bases in terms of seeing if he'd be a match (I am interested in that, too!)...
    I should say that I have to fly, and that the tickets would not be refundable. If this were just a question of driving I'd take my chances...
    The big man -- my lost prince

    The little brother, now my main man

  • #2
    That is a tough one! As a seller, if I think somebody is really serious (and a great home) than I will hold a horse for them if they are flying in. I personally just feel as though it is the right thing to do even if it ruffles the feathers of local buyers who are trying to beat them to the horse. It's stressful enough trying to buy a horse let alone doing it long distance. If they set up the appointment quickly than I give them first shot.

    It has worked well for me and the people who have flown in to see horses have bought them and found them accurately represented. Most of them have come for a weekend to ride the horse and then had the vetting done after they had already flown back home.

    Something else that I have done for those buyers is to have a list of people within 2hrs that also have similiar horses for sale (in my case green ottb's) to make it worth their time to fly out. Knock on wood they have bought the horse they came to see (mine) but I think people are more apt to come if they can see a few horses. Easier to do with greenies though than made event horses.
    Good luck!


    • #3
      Just ask her (ASAP) if she would honor the fact that you were first in line in seriously interested and at least allow you to check out the horse first before the local person. Seems simple and I'd think she would agree.
      "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


      • #4
        If the horse sounds like it has a good chance of being what you want, I would ask her to at least not commit to sell to other person until you can get there and try it. (IE tell the other person the situation).

        If I were a buyer and was told re a fairly local horse that I had to wait to maybe buy until one other person came, I'd be ok w/ that provided it was fairly soon.

        If I were the seller, I'd want to have two people looking rather than just one....

        Re the airlines tickets, though they say non-refundable, they can be changed to another flight w/ same airlines for something around $100, depending on airlines.
        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


        • Original Poster

          Thanks, guys. I think I will just ask that she not sell him before I arrive. It's fine by me if someone wants to try him, of course. I contacted her a week ago, got the videos I wanted Tuesday, and can be there next Wednesday. I think this local person just called today/yesterday.

          I've seen multiple videos (including several I asked them to make -- they were accommodating), shared with one of my coaches. Also seen his first (and only) dressage test scores/comments.

          I feel pretty comfortable that he can do/be what I want athletically. I am less certain whether he is a perfect match in terms of his feel - he looks more forward than I am used to, but then again I have a horse who is invariably described by coaches as "a big diesel" so could stand a little more natural oomph as long as I am comfortable with it. I am not sure I will know unless I sit on him but he is a very good price for what I want...
          The big man -- my lost prince

          The little brother, now my main man


          • #6
            Oy vey. Tough on both ends. I know I kinda kicked myself up one side and down the other when I told a very good potential buyer who would have provided a very good home not to come because Vernon was being vetted when she was supposed to come. I really wish I could have made it work, but at the vetting stage it gets even tougher! Oh well...wasn't meant to be.

            On the other hand, as a buyer, it is really tough when you need to travel to see a horse and you know others are interested. I would think, however, that until the other potential buyer says they won't to move to a vetting and/or write a check, you are fine.

            Horse shopping sucks (for yourself. I LOVE shopping for others! ).


            • Original Poster

              I know, I know -- I told 2 people not to come when I had a vetting scheduled, only to have the buyer back out BEFORE the vetting for a completely whacko reason...meanwhile one of the others had found another horse and the other had gone back across the country home.
              BUT my perfect home did come along (as did yours for Vernon, right?) so...

              Tickets are bought, crossing fingers. It seemed like a whacky idea until mr. asterix suddenly said he had to go on a business trip within an hour of this place next week...so...good karma?
              The big man -- my lost prince

              The little brother, now my main man


              • #8
                Originally posted by asterix View Post
                It seemed like a whacky idea until mr. asterix suddenly said he had to go on a business trip within an hour of this place next week...so...good karma?
                mr. asterix is a keeper.


                • #9
                  I've bought and sold long distance. When buying and before purchasing plane tickets, I've asked sellers if they'd agree not to sell to anyone else before I get there. They've always agreed. If they hadn't, I wouldn't have risked it. When selling, I've been asked the same and have obliged. When other people called and wanted to fly in, I told them that someone else had right of first refusal and I would let them know the status after those people had tried him. After telling this to one trainer last year, he offered to be on a plane the next morning if I would allow his client first crack instead. I told him that I wouldn't go back on my word to the other people because I've been in that situation, but assured him I would call as soon as I knew their decision. Even though he didn't get in first, I think he respected the fact that I was staying true to my word and not being sneaky. The first people bought him, so that was that. We had bought him long distance as well, and I absolutely appreciated the seller staying true to her word and holding him for us since we were flying in.


                  • #10
                    One of my very first flips, I made the mistake of not comminucating properly. Some people that lived 3 hours away told me that they were driving up in a week to look at several horses, one being my horse. In the meantime I had a local person try her out. I ended up selling her to the local people and the out of towners were upset that I didn't hold her for them. I had assumed that because they were looking at several horses that they were only moderately interested in mine. Apparently not the case, they were coming up to primarily look at my horse and secondarily look at some others. They weren't happy with me and I felt very bad.

                    I think if you communicate your thoughts and concerns they will be receptive and will be willing to work with you.

                    (I don't regret selling her to the people that I did, the horse is still with them and they love her to pieces).


                    • Original Poster

                      Originally posted by Neigh-Neigh View Post
                      mr. asterix is a keeper.
                      Oh, yes, he is
                      He did come up with not one but two vendors to visit within driving distance...so mitigates the cost for me and I get company ...plus horse is near a very cool city so we are sneaking in a night there.

                      Bonus points if I am not nuts and horse is a match, but what are the odds?
                      The big man -- my lost prince

                      The little brother, now my main man


                      • #12
                        I'm flying to see a horse in two weeks. I wouldn't have bought plane tickets without assurance she'd be held for me. I was willing to put a deposit down on her if necessary, but the owner is holding her for me because I'm obviously serious if I'm flying there to see her.

                        I would assume a horse is *not* being held unless explicitly stated otherwise. I have a friend trying to sell a horse who is priced well below market in other areas, but reasonably for this area - on the low end of market. She has had several people fly in and none were the right fit so far. Hopefully she will find the perfect fit for him, but none of the people flying in were willing to put a deposit or anything, and in my mind she would have been right to sell him to the perfect fit if someone local had come along, as he is apparently a hard horse to match with rider. (Funny - I got along with him quite well when she was out of the country for a couple weeks shortly before a big show so I rode him for her. It's hard for me to understand why people have trouble with him!)
                        If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


                        • #13
                          I recently ran into a similar situation on the selling end, so I've been very interested to read this thread and see if I handled it well!

                          I would hold a horse if asked to do so, but I would probably want a deposit- I've had way too many people make the appointment and then not show up, and in many cases not even bother to call, to hold a horse based solely on a scheduled trial. I do however think it's just common courtesy to let your out-of-town buyer know if you are going to have someone else looking at the horse, and give them the chance to ask you to hold the horse for them. Letting someone else try the horse does not necessarily equate to the horse being sold anyway!


                          • #14
                            If I agree to an out-of-town seller coming to see my horse, the horse will be there to be seen. This is particularly important if they are traveling a far distance or flying in. You have to respect that level of interest.

                            At the same time, just because I will have the horse available for the out-of-town appointment, doesn't mean I won't show it and take back-up offers on the horse. When I have these situations, I try to be open with everyone about what is happening. Most people appreciate the honesty.

                            Basically the out-of-town buyer is going have to make a decision fairly fast AND make an offer better than or equal to the local person. That would be if all things are equal. If I really like one buyer and thought the fit would be good, then I would probably go with that buyer.

                            I try to prescreen as a much as I can to avoid having an inapproriate buyer from out-of-town look at horses. But it happens.
                            Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Marla 100 View Post
                              Just ask her (ASAP) if she would honor the fact that you were first in line in seriously interested and at least allow you to check out the horse first before the local person. Seems simple and I'd think she would agree.
                              I think it is very nice when sellers do this sort of thing for out of town buyers. The worse is making plans, reserving plane tickets, making arrangements to take time off work (if necessary) only to have things backfire when the horse is sold at the last minute.


                              • #16
                                But, the first one with the cash wins. This has always been the motto I've stuck by. With horses, it is too risky to put off a good buyer with an offer (or not to accept a reasonable offer, which is another discussion). By telling someone who's ready to buy that you're waiting for someone else to come, you may chase that buyer off and the person you were waiting for turns the horse down. Or, worse, the horse colics or goes out in the field and breaks a leg. I'm always very wary of snubbing an interested party, even when there's others who want to come but can't get there sooner than later. I ALWAYS try to be upfront, though.

                                This is why it's nice if you can make a trip to look at SEVERAL horses if you're traveling a long distance. Not always possible, though.


                                • #17
                                  I had a person want to fly in and buy a horse...wanted me to hold the horse a MONTH because they wanted to get the best rates on the tickets....they could have driven to see him in about a day, I think. I told them no, we could not hold the horse a month, is there any way to get here sooner, or send someone you trust to look at him for you? No, couldn't do that. It was not that I had another buyer locally, but it's just that I didn't want to wait a month for a really dumb reason like that. The horse ended up stepping on a nail while being shod when something going on in the barn spooked him, and going lame the next day! How's that for karma?
                                  Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                                  Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                                  • #18
                                    "But, the first one with the cash wins. This has always been the motto I've stuck by. With horses, it is too risky to put off a good buyer with an offer (or not to accept a reasonable offer, which is another discussion)."

                                    Yes, I completely agree with you on the first one with the cash wins. However, what really bothers me though are sellers who will lead you on knowing that you've already bought the ticket, made arrangements etc. and then at the last minute say "oops, sorry I sold the horse"...


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by SnicklefritzG View Post
                                      "But, the first one with the cash wins. This has always been the motto I've stuck by. With horses, it is too risky to put off a good buyer with an offer (or not to accept a reasonable offer, which is another discussion)."

                                      Yes, I completely agree with you on the first one with the cash wins. However, what really bothers me though are sellers who will lead you on knowing that you've already bought the ticket, made arrangements etc. and then at the last minute say "oops, sorry I sold the horse"...
                                      Yeah. That would suck. I've always tried to keep a very interested buyer up to date on what was happening, so that if things were moving quickly and they could/wanted to get to me quicker, they could.


                                      • #20
                                        I don't hold a horse for an out-of-town buyer for a month. Maybe up to a week, tops. I always do it with the caveat that the horse is on the market and may get offers. If I had someone local offer the full asking price in cash (something that rarely happens), then I would be willing to let the horse go. I also would offer to reimburse for the ticket cancellation price for the out of town buyer. At most it is $150, but is it would be the right thing to do if the only horse she was coming to see was mine.
                                        Last edited by IronwoodFarm; Jul. 29, 2012, 07:54 AM.
                                        Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule