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Horse shopping red flag?

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  • #61
    I would not expect to catch, tack, groom etc a horse on first meeting, but have set that up as a 2nd appointment/ or contingent on vetting, and I like to bring the horse in for the vet type meetings. Yes, manners can be learned and unlearned, but if I were in the market anytime soon, I want to be sure I'm not starting out with a complete looney tunes on the ground.


    • #62
      Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
      If you're taking the time to bath a horse before a client arrives for a sales appointment, you aren't the person who presents a soaking wet horse out hand grazing.

      Yes, I would assume the horse was worked worked shortly before your appointment.

      Bad presentation regardless.
      And I'd wager that if you are over-prepping for a buyer you aren't standing there with it freshly bathed when the buyer shows up, even 20 minutes early. That was all done hours ago.

      Regardless, this whole thread is an enlightening tale of buyer inconsistency across markets/budgets, and anyone making any statements about "how it should be done" has to admit that. I'm coming from the crowd where you have the horse spic & span (and dry) & standing in the crossties when buyer walks in. Buyer is *far more often* late than early, because they've covered 400 miles and sat on 5 horses in 3 locations since dawn and of course have 2-3 more to see that day, because that is horse shopping in America if you want to get any feel for the market before you purchase. In this scenario, to find the damn horse is still out in the field when you (the buyer) arrive is just not good customer service on the seller's behalf.

      Compare & contrast with Europe where all 12 of your options in that singular location are ready & waiting, spic & span, quite frequently braided, and probably most definitely had some form of re-education that morning (which I don't automatically hate when done in appropriate moderation, as I want the horse to have a chance to show me his/her best self). Say what you want about what comes out of Europe (and there are major caveats), but they have rocked the customer service game & their cornering of the sport-horse market seems to suggest they might be on to something.

      But if American buyers won't have it, and want to show up when you're in the middle of another client's time, get pretty much free rein access to the property, all the tack rooms, grooming boxes, etc, all of which requires supervision which = Time that they may or may not get $$$ for x 10 buyers catered-to before someone did finally write a gosh darn check, well then they won't have it. What's even more remarkable is that going to certain lengths to present the best possible image of your product could actually backfire.

      It's like the department store experience vs. shopping at a boutique. The department store lets you wander around, put your hands all over the product, come at your convenience, etc. and that is perfect for many, but its success is dependent on scale and we do not have that. People want horse pros to run their businesses like businesses but when you do that the smart man tends to fold. You're getting department store wages to service two boutique-minded clients: The owner (current or potential) & the horse.
      EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta


      • #63
        For what its worth, I bath every horse before showing them to buyers regardless of colour. I also bath them again before the PPE so they are clean for the vet. I'm an adult amateur with a few sales horses trying to balance a full time job, farm, riding and sales horses. If you showed up 20min early it is likely I would be drying, clipping whiskers/ears, cleaning its tack or some other form of last minute preparation. There just aren't enough hours in the day, but that also means there aren't enough hours to have ridden it hard first. As a seller I never ride my horses before showing them.

        If it was being ridden before you got there there also could be a less sinister reason like it had two trials that day. Although I would hope they would declare that.