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Horse on Consignment???

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  • Horse on Consignment???

    So the time has come for me to sell my horse, and aside from calling everyone I have done business with before I am not getting any bites on him everyone wants schoolmasters around here. I'll keep this vague because this isn't a sale ad but he is pretty schooled for a 6yr old (plenty of schooling dressage shows and hunter show miles at 3') and a very simple ride w/ no vices. Needs some A show experience but is definitely worth the "big bucks" has a lot of presence and is a great mover/jumper for the hunter ring has that slow rocking horse canter with a big step.

    Since I live in the middle of nowhere (rural central fl) and don't have the time to show him at "A" shows myself I am considering sending him to a "broker" to be sold. The broker is a few hours away with a very good record of selling horses quick (for example that day on the show grounds of WEF & HITS).

    What type of arrangements are common practices, since this is my first time doing this I would like to know what to expect. Everything will be in writing, and there is a bottom line price that if he isn't sold within 3 months he will come back to me.

    Is board and farrier/vet paid upfront or taken out of the sales price when he sells?
    Do I have control over what he sells him for? W/ more miles is worth several thousand more than I am asking for?
    (as long as my bottom line is met)
    Will the broker be offended if I ask to watch him go with him after the first few weeks? (or a video to make sure he is being ridden well not just being used as a lesson horse)
    And the scary question, he has a little spook at the jumps, just backs off a little and as long as your there with leg he jumps perfect (better w/ his knees even) has never stopped just likes to be supported so is not for a dead beginner over fences but is a packer on the flat and over smaller jumps 2'3 and below.
    I am a little nervous that the broker will either lunge him to death or even give him a calming supp. and/or use practices I don't agree with to get him super quiet. I know I can't really do anything but sell him myself to make sure that doesn't happen. But I just wanted to gauge other peoples experiences.

    Sorry its long thanks for your responses.

  • #2
    Unfortunately there is no standard in the industry; you get what you negotiate with respect to how expenses are paid, the terms that control how the pricing is handled, etc. If you tell the broker you just want $X, typically they are free to sell the horse for much more, pocketing the difference. The way to avoid this, if that is not the agreement you make, is to contractually require that the buyer write YOU the check directly, out of which you pay the broker their commission, expenses or whatever you've agreed to. Be aware that many (most?) brokers don't like that approach and insist on having the buyer pay them, so that they can ensure that they DO get paid.

    I certainly understand the concern about wanting to watch the horse go/not have it used as a lesson horse... but those are very difficult to enforce. What happens if you don't like how the horse is going after a month? That could be a simple difference of opinion, and usually the only recourse would be to pay the board and training rate for the month and take the horse home.

    If you want control over the sales process, just go the normal commission route. You and your chosen sales professional will agree on a marketing plan, who pays for what, and whether/how the horse is shown. You then pay the agreed upon percentage of the sales price when the horse is sold.
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


    • #3
      These days everything is paid upfront-back when, it would have been taken out of the sales price. Reason being many don't sell quickly or at all and the upkeep has skyrocketed. Most require the horse go into training at what they call "training board" which includes all services and training-but vet and farrier are extra.

      May not want to hear this but without any A show mileage he is not "definately worth the big bucks". He is just another Green horse. And a "packer" at 2'3" is not a top dollar commodity, just one of thousands on the market.

      Plus that, the big part of the FL Winter Circuit is basically wrapping up. too late to market to a huge number of buyers, most are going home within the next few weeks to wait for Devon.

      Your best bet is to invest in training and showing with a trusted trainer. Allow them to market the horse as you go with price increases as he improves.

      Sorry. But nobody is knocking the barn door down for an expensive Greenie with no A mileage that needs a competent ride. Fix that and they may come.
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


      • #4
        So true. And everyone here in Wellington with horses to sell will be trying to avoid shipping them back home so prices will be lots more negotiable soon.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks for the suggestions. I know the market is tough right now and the horse is very reasonably priced with that in consideration (were talking low five figures) Horse will win at the "AA" level and has a modest show record (with very nice ribbons) in baby greens w/ a pro at HITS. Was hacked by an ammy in large open division (20+ people) at WEF for 2 shows just for exposure and pinned very nicely (2nd & 4th). Horse has clean x-rays and is very sound.

          My concerns are

          Honesty of the broker (will not mis-represent the horse)
          Will not double the asking price and either sell it or say it wouldn't sell after 3 months training board
          Will not use unethical means to get the horse sold
          Will use a contract that I can approve all prices listed (obviously if there was a vet emergency that would be different)
          Will not be angry/upset if I call the day before and want to come watch the horse being ridden so if my trainer and I decide he is going different/worse we can get him out before too much damage has been done

          I hear so many horror stories about people getting screwed and I don't want that Karma to come to me if I chose the wrong broker/agent.

          Because of his easygoing nature whoever I send him may school him (which I will be paying them to do) Or will not have him ridden regularly and use unethical methods to get him super quiet. If he is ridden 5 times a week and or turned out a lot he is great but if 3 days off are given he needs 10 mins on the lunge to get re focused he knows the lunge is work so he doesn't buck or play but he looks around wide eyed for a min and then settles right down.


          • #6
            I would NO WAY put this one with a broker instead of a trusted trainer who would also try to sell him.

            The broker will not appreciate any input from you, you may npt even be welcome in the barn and their income is based on selling the thing, not training it properly.

            There is a saying "Anything to get it sold". Beware going to an unknown individual for the sole purpose of getting it sold.

            He sounds nice but can name 10 just like him with non rated baby division ribbons at AA shows and the now dropped to low 5 figure prices...a few coming back from Ocala and WEF where they did not sell.

            Put 6 months training in it, get some at least Pre Green mileage-Adult or Kid 3' is even better-just has to get around well. Those sell.

            And don't put it with a broker with a time limit to sell expecting good and lasting training.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


            • #7
              I have sold horses on consignment before, and the deal I have had is the owner pays expenses, but I make my profit when the horse sells. This motivates me to actually work to sell the horse.

              That said, I only take horses that I can use 1-3 times a week in lessons to give one of my horses a break, that way the horse is learning to get used to different rider's and it isn't as much work for me.

              What I am finding in horse shopping, if I am contacting the owner I seem to get quicker replies and the owner is quicker to get me video or photos I request. The horses I am inquiring about that are at Brokers or being sold through a trainer do not have current video, or take FOREVER to get a video to me.

              So...if you hire someone to sell your horse make sure the contract motivates them to sell the horse. Have a good contract that protects you from liability IF they give the horse something to sell it. Check how the horse is being advertised to make sure good, current videos and photos are being used!
              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


              • #8
                Originally posted by altercation11 View Post

                Since I live in the middle of nowhere (rural central fl) and don't have the time to show him at "A" shows myself I am considering sending him to a "broker" to be sold. The broker is a few hours away with a very good record of selling horses quick (for example that day on the show grounds of WEF & HITS).
                As the broker is only a few hours away, plan on visiting weekly & riding your horse - this will prevent alot of the concerns you've voiced.


                • Original Poster

                  Well due to everyones great advice.. I have decided that the "anything to get him sold" method isn't going to work for me since he is green and I am too worried about getting him back ruined or not where he was when he left.

                  I know the market is pretty flooded with greenies at the moment but if there are sound, nice moving/jumping branded warmbloods going for less than 20k I guess I am pretty stuck with him .

                  I have called a friends trainer who is up at HITS and she seemed very interested in looking at him for one of her clients who rides once a week and he would be on full training board with constant pro schooling. So hopefully that pans out!