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So, when selling a horse, is it TOO much to ask...

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  • #61
    It always amazes me that the video issue is such a controversial issue. If the seller is comfortable providing one, they will. If the buyer requires one, and none is provided, they should just move on to the next horse for sale. People will do what they need to do.

    Even the top professionals disagree about the value of a video in the sales process. The bottom line is that videos are always a double edged sword for both buyers and sellers. Every single video creates an image that reflects much more than the horse itself. Just look at this thread for examples. The videos that are provided are critiqued for everything from the length, the layout, the sound, etc. I do it myself. I look at the background, what the rider is wearing, the resolution and quality of the footage itself - and I form opinions that have nothing to do with the horse.

    I find that looking at horses by video is akin to looking at dating service videos. I just don't think they are reasonable representations of a living, breathing animal with which the whole point is to form a successful partnership. Call me crazy, but I personally think that videos are counter-productive. I get that some people have very specific criteria when horse shopping and can see why they would want one. But honestly, I think they would do better to go to events and shows to shop if that was their goal for the horse in the first place.

    JMHO

    SCFarm
    The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

    www.southern-cross-farm.com

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    • #62
      That's easy to say when you are in show country. The nearest even for me is 3 hrs away, most are 5+. That's a lot of driving on the off chance that there will be someone there with a horse that you like that is for sale.

      Personally a bunch of good still photos, a very brief video, and a history of what the horse has done/is doing is the best for me to decide whether or not to follow up with a visit. Actually, if there are enough good still pictures showing a variety of things (not just grazing or posing), can be enough, but people crab about those too, so... *shrug*

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      • #63
        Originally posted by LLDM View Post
        Just look at this thread for examples. The videos that are provided are critiqued for everything from the length, the layout, the sound, etc. I do it myself. I look at the background, what the rider is wearing, the resolution and quality of the footage itself - and I form opinions that have nothing to do with the horse.
        See, that's actually a lot of what I'm looking for in a video. I KNOW it's not going to be a thorough representation of the horse. However, I do find it very useful to see how someone else handles and rides the horse, how the horse reacts to them and its surroundings, what equipment they're using, the horse's general way of going, evidence of its temperament, etc. Sure it's not like seeing the horse handled and ridden in person, but it's still enough information to get a feel for whether it's a prospect for the job I have in mind. I find that most people have different definitions of, well, everything, when it comes to horses and training, so a short video is the quickest way to establish where they're coming from.
        ---------------------------

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        • #64
          I should clarify my earlier post....Like the OP, I have very little time. Because of that...I don't want to waste my time looking at videos. That is why I said I don't need videos.

          I typically buy green. There are a few people who I go through...who I have bought from in the past. When I decide I want a horse, I almost always can find one with them that meets what I'm looking for. A fun project. I'm typically NOT looking for my dream horse.

          If I did decide I wanted to buy something a bit further in its training, I would hire an agent. Someone who knows me and who knows a lot of people...like Courtney Cooper. I'd let her wade through whatever videos etc. and make the arrangements so that I only have to travel to one or two places and see a bunch horses. So I wouldn't need any video provided by a seller. I would take video of ME trying the horses so I could compare how I looked on them with how it felt and help me narrow my choices.

          Of course nothing helps if the ones you do find don't pass the PPE. My point was just that I personally do not care if the seller prepares video...as I'm not going to waste my time. I'll let someone else. But that is just me.
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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          • #65
            Having bought and sold horses, and having helped others do the same, I like a good video. Really, a good one. I have a short attention span and don't need to see the horse trot for 20 min. Is something gonna change? Really, one or 2 circles in each direction at each gait, some jumping at the relevant height (not a foot lower) and maybe a few xc jumps. Whole thing should be 3-4 min or you're not doing it right. Don't ever want to see another long video with useless footage, trust me, no one's watching that.

            I did, however, stare open mouthed at the video of the kids jumping in front of the burning barn or whatever that was. I've gotta say, it did get my attention!
            Last edited by teddygirl; Nov. 11, 2012, 05:53 PM. Reason: Spelling

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            • #66
              Originally posted by lmlacross View Post
              For some time, I've wanted to start a business creating 3-5 minute HD sales videos for local sellers, perhaps with an internet/mail-in service as well. It wouldn't be particularly expensive as it doesn't take me all that long to put something of that length together that shows the horse well through various clips of flatting and schooling over jumps, provides relevant information in opening/concluding title slides, and is absent the obnoxious music so many include. I could burn to disk and publish online.
              Except you will run into people who won't bother to clean/clip the horse for the video, so you arrive to a mess. And then they will want you to put the information in the video that horse can do ABC, and the video they want you to take shows XYZ instead, for whatever reason. Then what? It's a good idea though.
              COTH's official mini-donk enabler

              "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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              • #67
                Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                Except you will run into people who won't bother to clean/clip the horse for the video, so you arrive to a mess. And then they will want you to put the information in the video that horse can do ABC, and the video they want you to take shows XYZ instead, for whatever reason. Then what? It's a good idea though.
                Fair point, though I guess I was thinking that as long as they're paying me, it doesn't really matter to me how much effort they invest in the presentation of the horse. If I provide guidelines to the seller going in (suggesting grooming and trimming, suggesting that the activity to be recorded match the written description of the horse's ability, etc.), it's entirely up to them whether they choose to follow them.
                "With mirth and laughter, let old wrinkles come" (Shakespeare).

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by lmlacross View Post
                  I disagree. A five minute video, shot in an hour, edited together in an hour with a piece of software that comes preloaded on most home computers or smartphones =/= an unrealistic expectation of Ritz Carlton service on a "flea market" budget.
                  That's fine. But it is a free country folks. There is no law that says because someone offers a horse for sale that they are legally obligated to provide video. And you are skipping over the fact that there are plenty of horses available with videos, just not cheap ones.......
                  "Friend" me !

                  http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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                  • #69
                    [QUOTE=asterix;6662888

                    Sadly, this reinforces my gloomy view of horse shopping. Gotta go, have an appointment with a professional who does everything right. They do exist, just outnumbered on the ground....[/QUOTE]

                    Exactly!! Lots of people who are selling are NOT 1) professionals 2) interested in doing more than they are interested in doing.

                    And, for what it's worth, it's darned hard to have a profit making business in the horse industry. There are more than a few large operations out there supported by money coming from elsewhere. But if the business has to support itself, then it has to make BIG $ from somewhere. And that means doubling, tripling, quadrupling the money spent on any sales horse.

                    If you think it is "Gloomy" when you have a wad of cash and you still can't find the horse you want, then imagine how it is when you have a wad of horses and can't find the $ you 'want' to feed them, yourself, and pay the farm mortgage!! That's gloomy.
                    "Friend" me !

                    http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                      And, for what it's worth, it's darned hard to have a profit making business in the horse industry. There are more than a few large operations out there supported by money coming from elsewhere. But if the business has to support itself, then it has to make BIG $ from somewhere. And that means doubling, tripling, quadrupling the money spent on any sales horse.

                      If you think it is "Gloomy" when you have a wad of cash and you still can't find the horse you want, then imagine how it is when you have a wad of horses and can't find the $ you 'want' to feed them, yourself, and pay the farm mortgage!! That's gloomy.
                      How is this even related to the topic?

                      It's nearly 2013. Half of the country carries around a cell phone with a camera. Most of the other half knows someone who does. Or, you can buy a really good, inexpensive video camera for about $100.

                      If you are selling a horse, it seems to be in your best interest to actually try to put together a good video, since it seems that many sellers want to see one. Obviously it's a "free country" and no one can force a seller to make a good video, but that doesn't mean we can't complain about them.

                      If you can't afford to pay your mortgage or feed your horses....that's another totally unrelated issue.
                      Last edited by S1969; Nov. 12, 2012, 08:18 AM.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                        That's fine. But it is a free country folks. There is no law that says because someone offers a horse for sale that they are legally obligated to provide video. And you are skipping over the fact that there are plenty of horses available with videos, just not cheap ones.......
                        Sorry, Isabeau. Let me be more clear. I recognize there's "no law" that requires sellers to produce a five-minute amateur video when they're trying to sell their horse. However, I think it's not only stupid not to produce one but also lazy. Given the negligible amount of time and money involved and based on the feedback here, a seller is significantly narrowing his or her market by failing to offer one. If a seller is okay with limiting his or her market to only those individuals in a narrow geographic area who also don't mind the gamble that a lack of visual evidence from an unknown seller presents, that's fine. However, that same seller can't then complain about how many horses they can't seem to unload and have to feed. Video is no longer a privilege of the rich and tech-savvy, and sellers would be wise to recognize that.

                        To your second, tangetally-related point, those horse owners and so-called equine professionals who lament that they "can't find the $ [they] 'want' to feed [their horses, themselves], and pay the farm mortgage" perhaps should reevaluate the kind of business decisions they're making. Perhaps they ought not be holding "a wad of horses" for a start.
                        "With mirth and laughter, let old wrinkles come" (Shakespeare).

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by lmlacross View Post
                          Given the negligible amount of time and money involved and based on the feedback here, a seller is significantly narrowing his or her market by failing to offer one.

                          [SNIP]

                          Video is no longer a privilege of the rich and tech-savvy, and sellers would be wise to recognize that.
                          This post, along with several others on this thread, make me think that horse buyers underestimate the level and diversity of skills necessary to shoot a decent horse sales video. Granted, it is not rocket science and I fully believe that every horse pro in America can (and probably should) learn how to shoot a simple sales video. I teach and do research in digital media composition, and I've taught literally hundreds of people of all ages how to shoot and edit simple videos. Trust me, if those folks can do it, so can you. And most people can even teach themselves without help.

                          But having taught this process to the masses, I've seen it through other eyes that remind me how many literacy skills and hurdles you have to overcome to make a simple video. Those of us who can whip out the smartphone and have a good sales video posted to Youtube 20 minutes later would be wise to remember the hurdles we now hop over with such grace and ease:

                          1. Own the right kind of device to shoot this footage, and know how to work the basic video functions on that device. (Admittedly, this is becoming less of a hurdle every day as smartphones grow more popular and digital still cameras grow increasingly ubiquitous. But you still have to know how to work them. Even on a highly intuitive device like the iPhone, you have to learn how to get the video off the phone via iPhoto or other means, etc.)

                          2. Gain some extremely basic competencies in shooting video, like how to hold the camera steady, how to evaluate where to stand in the arena to get the best footage, how to pan and zoom (or if you don't have a zoom function, how to cope with that and still get great footage), etc. Or you just ignore this step and produce crappy sales videos that everyone complains about.

                          3. Have access to a shooting location that works for your device. Even if you're lucky enough to have access to a riding ring, many of these smartphones and Flip-type cameras don't perform well in very dim or dusty locations.

                          4. Find a buddy to shoot your footage, or wrangle with your tripod so you can shoot the footage yourself. (If you're in the latter category, a Gorillapod is your friend.)

                          5. Be able to review the footage in the field so that you can be sure you got what you needed. Try this sometime in a sunny field with bad eyesight on a tiny little camera preview screen.

                          6. Know how to get the footage off your camera and onto a computer/tablet/smartphone that's suitable for editing and uploading the video.

                          7. Possibly, know how to convert the video format used by your camera device to a video format that's usable by your editing program or online streaming service of choice.

                          8. I suppose we could say this is optional, but have access to--and learn to use--video editing software. Many of these programs are very straightforward and are getting easier to use every day, but if you've never edited video before, they can seem like foreign countries. Even tech-savvy users will take 15 to 30 minutes to acclimate to Windows Movie Maker and iMovie. Online tools like the Youtube Video Editor or VideoToolbox.com are great, but again you have to acclimate to them, and they are not great options if you're on a dialup Internet connection (as many horsepeople are).

                          9. Have a suitable device and Internet connection for uploading a sales video to a sharing site like Youtube or Photobucket. If you have high-speed Internet at home, then no problem. But God help you if you're uploading via a cellular data connection or on a low-speed connection.

                          10. If you don't already have a Youtube/Photobucket/whatever account and know how to upload videos to it, add some extra time here to figure that out. I had a student once who stared at Youtube.com for 90 seconds before realizing that "Upload" was the link that would allow him to upload a video. He's not stupid, he was just looking for something more straightforward like Facebook's "Add Video" link!

                          10. Have some idea of what makes for a good sales video, and that's something that you tend to learn by WATCHING sales videos rather than MAKING sales videos. Easy for those of us who've done some horse shopping and/or hang out at COTH to say, but I know plenty of horse pros who rarely--if ever--watch sale videos.

                          My point is simply that people who choose not to make sales videos, and people who make crappy sales videos, may be facing very real literacy or access challenges. They're not necessarily dumb or lazy people. If you are lucky enough to be tech-savvy and find this whole process very easy--as I do--then be a mensch and teach it to others. It would have taken me about 15 minutes to edit a sales video FOR my trainer, but instead, I invested about two hours in helping her learn to use Windows Movie Maker (which is what she already had on her home PC), set up a Youtube account, and upload a video to Youtube. It was time well spent because now she can make her own sales videos. But it's also two hours that many amateur horse owners don't have, a lot of people don't have a knowledgable friend to help them out so they're doing a lot of Googling/Youtube searches to find tutorials, etc.
                          Last edited by jn4jenny; Nov. 12, 2012, 07:13 PM.
                          Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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                          • #73
                            Right on, jn4jenny.

                            I've figured out all of the above. It still takes me hours and hours to get a decent video onto the net in usable format.

                            Also, I've found that what people say they want is not what they actually want. They say they "just want some footage, get WTC and a few jumps, doesn't have to be show quality." That is simply not true. When people are horse shopping, they are looking at many prospects and trying to find "the one." Their ideal horse is what they are matching every prospect against. In their minds, they will find the perfect horse, somewhere, they just have to look hard enough.

                            In reality, every horse has its flaws, and once you have it home and come to know it, you learn to like it despite its flaws (or sometimes, even like its particular flaws). But heaven forbid that horse displays anything on a sales video that isn't 100% perfect. The video will be watched 10 times by the prospective buyer. Then by the buyer's trainer. They will analyze in detail every flick of the ear or swish of the tail.

                            I have seen this... experienced this... even been this buyer. It is frustrating as a seller!!
                            Blugal

                            You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

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                            • #74
                              I haven't ready the entire thread, so pardon me if someone has said this already.

                              I like videos, but I don't need them to go buy a horse. I bought mine from only a still photo on Dream Horse. I did go look at him, ride him, and video him during my two rides on him. But it's not necessary.

                              Having said that, I think a good video is great, but a bad video is worse than no video. The Goresbridge Go for Gold website has some absolutely fantastic videos of their auction horses right now. The horses under saddle and jumping have videos that start with a view from the front as the horse is led in hand towards and away from you at the walk, then the trot, then a view from the side as the horse is jogged in hand. The video cuts away to a short dressage test, starting with the horse coming down centerline, trot and canter circles in both directions, and a walk across the diagonal. Then there's a short show jumping course, followed by a short XC course including banks, jumps into water, and ditches. The XC course concludes with a short ten second gallop after the final fence. The whole thing is 3.5 to four minutes long.

                              The three year olds are shown in hand the same way as the older horses, but instead of being shown under saddle, they are shown being free jumped. I do wish they had included a trot and canter each way at liberty or on the lunge, but it's still a nice presentation and only about 2 minutes each.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                This subject is near and dear to my heart, as I am currently horse shopping. To sellers: If you do not provide a video, I WILL NOT look at your horse unless you live within an hour of my house. It is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE and TIME CONSUMING to run around the country trying to see horses which are often misrepresented and many times won't vet. I don't appreciate those who think it is OK to ask me to do that. If you are truly interested in selling your horse, have a decent video made! I've found that a good video made by someone who knows what they are doing is very representative of the horse and have not been disappointed when traveling to look at any horse that I liked on the video. I really think that people who won't provide video simply are not that interested in selling.

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                                • #76
                                  The reality is you can't hide certain things from a video. I don't expect a perfect video, but if you are advertising a made hunter that looks beautiful in his still photos, and then the video shows a horse being ridden in a strong bit/draw reins and rushing all the jumps/missing changes, then that horse is not being represented properly. THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. I can't tell you how many ads I think look awesome, and then the horse on the video just makes me say yuck.

                                  Or, as I said before - lameness! It's amazing how many subtle lamenesses I see on these videos. I don't want to drive hours and hours to go see those horses! The video saves me a huge amount of time, stress and money.

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                                  • #77
                                    I think even a reasonable quality video can tell the buyer if their thought on a what great hunter/jumper/dressage/western horse is equals what the sellers thought on what a great horse is.

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #78
                                      I don't disagree that it can take an investment of time to figure out how to take a basic video (I for one am NOT asking for a Goresbridge production, just something short I can make out). I went through this when I was selling my horse.

                                      But as buyers, we often drive hours to see horses. This is typically a pretty big investment of time as well. I am not particularly convinced that it is "too much to ask" that someone who wants me to spend thousands of dollars buying from them figure out a way to get a 5 minute cell phone video onto YouTube.
                                      The big man -- my lost prince

                                      The little brother, now my main man

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                                      • #79
                                        I have a sort of funny story as to why video is a good thing from the buyer's perspective.

                                        I have a friend with a cute little QH stallion (would be a better gelding of course) that she got as a weanling. He's now 8 and I haven't seen him in a good 4 years. We were talking on the phone one day and she asked me if I thought he could do dressage. I answered "totally," not really thinking about it, but he was a cute mover. When she listed him for sale she had him down as a dressage prospect. I watched the video: uggg. She had taught him that short little western way of going and there was no "forward" in him at all. There was no way he'd even be able to do Intro level dressage. So, that video saved many a potential buyer time and effort.
                                        Pam's Pony Place

                                        Pam's Pony Ponderings

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                                        • #80
                                          I'm going to disagree with jn4jenny without rancor .

                                          I'm not tech savvy at all and have put together some videos. It took my friend and I maybe 40 minutes, including unvideoed warmup, to get useful w/t/c clips of the pony I posted earlier. I then went home and Googled how to use the Movie Maker program on my computer that I had never even opened before, upload and edit out and cut down the clips, put them together, save the whole shebang and upload it to Youtube. I even did a neat little grainy interlude between the clips, and it was maybe an hour?? Total time is still less than two hours, unless you count grooming the horse... Which some people don't bother doing...

                                          And even if you don't want to have it all edited and stuff, throwing a straight video up with a minute or less of something, say jumping a course or just trotting and cantering around, is still way more useful than no video at all. And smart phones have this capability straight to Youtube or Facebook.
                                          COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                          "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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