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Showing a hunter (to a buyer)

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  • #21
    I always ASK THE BUYER what they want to see when they get there.

    I ask if it is ok for the horse to be tacked and waiting (better for me so that I can get on with my day while we wait) or if they would like to see it get tacked up. If they tell me they want to go catch it in the paddock themselves, fine. If they are short on time and want it ready to rumble, also fine.

    Personally I think braids is a little overkill. Somebody trying a new horse in a strange place may like a little mane available.
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    • #22
      BNT barns are not the same as average barns. For most of us, seeing the horse handled for grooming, leading and tacking up is important. This represents the time we will be spending with our horse. The BNT buyer will probably have the horse groomed and tacked for her but I won't. I want to enjoy that part of my relationship with my horse. Since the OP seems to be a horse owner, selling her own animal, my guess is that he's not in a BNT barn and as such is probably not getting BNT buyers. Thus I would guess that allowing the buyers to watch at least a cursory grooming and tacking session might be of help.
      OP mentioned horse is clipped so I presume horse is in a cold climate where he'll probably be blanketed until the buyers arrive. Have the horse spotless, then blanet him. When buyers show up, remove clothes and run a brush over him to show how well he behaves, the tack up.
      Last edited by Linny; Dec. 10, 2012, 03:03 PM.
      F O.B
      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
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      • #23
        Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post

        (Also, what horse can't stand quietly in the cross-ties for a little while?)
        HAHAHAHAHA! You haven't met my horse when he was a three-year old. He's much better now that he's rounding 5, but still has occasional lapses. There are plenty of horses out there with ants in their pants.


        • #24
          I would not braid. I ride at a sale barn with a variety of nice horses coming through and we never braid. The horses are clean with manes pulled, hooves with clear polish, etc. Since you're just selling one horse, you could probably tack it up when the client gets there so they can see how the horse is on the ground. If you were showing a variety of horses, I'd say have the horse ready to go before the client arrives so you can get the trying process going smoothly and quickly.

          As far as riding the horse, do a light w/t/c both directions, showing lead changes if applicable, and pop over some smaller jumps. Then, I would ask the client if they would like to see anything else before getting on. For example, if you're selling a 3'6 hunter, some people are fine with seeing the horse jump around a lower course, then getting on and working with trainer to move up in jumping height, while others want to see the horse over some bigger jumps before getting on.

          Since you are showing just your one horse, I think a lot of aspects of showing horses to buyers are more flexible since you have more time.


          • #25
            I'm curious. Who red thumbed me?

            Just to be clear- I wasn't accusing anyone of trying to hide something by having the horse already tacked up. That's just how it makes me feel.
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            • #26
              Horse should be cleaned up and ready to tack when the prospective buyer gets there. You know your horse the best and know how long it can or cant stand on the cross ties. I would not wrap the legs as they need to know if there are any splints or other leg deformities there might be. As others have said they need to know what the horse is like on the ground so they are prepared if they do get the horse. I would not braid as you do not know what type of jump the person is used too. A seasoned rider friend came over to ride my horse and jumped her, she was nearly jumped out of the tack even after I told her the mare jumps hard. Hope that helps and good luck!


              • #27
                Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
                I would not braid, nor have I ever seen/tried a horse that's been braided (unless they were showing).

                The horse should be out of the stall, groomed, bridled, wrapped, and waiting in the crossties. Just put the customer's saddle on when they arrive. That's how every show/sale barn I've ever been in has done things.

                Why would you ever put a saddle belonging to someone else on your horse? They should always be ridden in tack you are certain fits well.
                I always like to see how a horse behaves when he is getting ready to be ridden. This includes grooming, foot cleaning and most importantly saddling and being bridled.

                I realize professionals do things differently. as a prospective buyer I prefer to see as much as possible.


                • #28
                  Originally posted by candyappy View Post
                  Why would you ever put a saddle belonging to someone else on your horse? They should always be ridden in tack you are certain fits well.
                  I always like to see how a horse behaves when he is getting ready to be ridden. This includes grooming, foot cleaning and most importantly saddling and being bridled.
                  Pretty sure putting another person's saddle on the average horse isn't going to be a big deal - I've been in many situations in which I had to ride a horse in my saddle rather than the owner of the horse's saddle. Do you think horses that get leased out for finals/indoors/etc. etc. come with a saddle? Not often.

                  Of course there are special situations, but as a rule, customers are going to want to ride in their own saddle.


                  • #29
                    PS - I wouldn't braid. Just a nice mane trim and make sure it lays flat on one side of the neck.


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by goodlife View Post
                      Pretty sure putting another person's saddle on the average horse isn't going to be a big deal - I've been in many situations in which I had to ride a horse in my saddle rather than the owner of the horse's saddle. Do you think horses that get leased out for finals/indoors/etc. etc. come with a saddle? Not often.

                      Of course there are special situations, but as a rule, customers are going to want to ride in their own saddle.
                      Absolutely. I don't get a new saddle every horse I lease/sit on, and I certainly would not try in a horse in anyone's saddle but my own.


                      • #31
                        99% of horses are fine with a "foreign" saddle 99% of the time. Most pros ride in their own saddle, most catch riders ride in their own saddles... Honestly, if I was looking at a horse and it was such a hot house flower that it couldn't handle a not-quite-perfect saddle for 30 minutes, I'd want to know that.

                        Of course, something RIDICULOUS would probably be mentioned, but if it's a bit too wide, I'd just pad it up a bit, and if it's a bit too narrow I'd assume that the horse could manage for the length of the ride.

                        I would assume that the person coming to try the horse wouldn't be bringing some completely insane configuration of a saddle, and a plain old vanilla saddle really will do just fine on a horse for the length of a trial ride.


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Event4Life View Post
                          Just thought of something else...always make sure the client has signed a release form if they have never ridden at the facility before. It makes me very wary if I'm not asked to do this.
                          I was horse-shopping this summer and was asked just ONCE to sign a release... And I was trying relatively green horses, some at relatively well-known breeders'/trainers' places.

                          Coincidentally - the horse I purchase was at the place where I signed the release.


                          • #33
                            The answer really depends on what 'level' of buyer is coming. Us normal folks want to find out as much as possible about the horse, on and off the ground. The' high-enders' don't need it. Although I think they are missing out on one of the best parts of owning a horse - one on one time on the ground with your pony!
                            Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.


                            • #34
                              Your call on the saddle thing but even though a horse could "manage" for the length of the trial with a saddle that doesn't fit...

                              a) why would I, as a seller, want to make my horse uncomfortable? I have had folks come out with narrow tree saddles to put on my WIDE horse. Nope.

                              b) why would I, as a buyer, want to sit on a horse who was uncomfortable? No way to know whether undesirable behavior (or even just substandard gaits) are due to the saddle or not.

                              Case in point -- my own horse, a congenial soul (but a bit of a wimp about comfort)...I once went cross country schooling and forgot my saddle, had to borrow one that was not a great fit. He bucked on landing from every fence. In 8 years that is the only time he ever bucked on landing at all.

                              If that had been a sale trial, the buyer would have had to decide whether to believe me when I said "Oh, must be the saddle! Dobbin never bucks!" or not...and walk away from a great match because she insisted on her comfort over the horse's comfort.
                              The big man -- my lost prince

                              The little brother, now my main man


                              • #35
                                Like I said, if there was something GLARINGLY wrong I would raise a stink.

                                BUT --

                                I really would want to know if a horse couldn't handle it. I don't WANT to own a horse who bucks after every fence if everything isn't perfect. I like my horses a little more stoic than that. I wouldn't intentionally buy one who was that picky about things.

                                (All disclaimers apply: of COURSE I don't intentionally make my horses uncomfortable blah blah blah etcetera etcetera etcetera...)


                                • #36
                                  Not "not perfect." Painful. Have owned that horse a LONG time and he is a saint, and an amateur's dream. Really prefers not to be in pain. I think I can give him that.

                                  When I test drive a horse I would like to see him at his best. I assume that the person selling him has tack that does a decent job of fitting him. I am perfectly capable of sitting in someone else's saddle and would prefer that to not knowing how to assess something I don't like because, not being psychic, I cannot tell how much a pinched back is bothering a horse I just met.

                                  Not trying to pick a fight, just saying that the saddle thing is certainly something buyers AND sellers might have a preference about. As a buyer I never bring my own tack. As a seller I was happy to try a buyer's saddle on my horse but if it was clear it was a bad fit or made my normally stoic horse pin his ears, I did not allow it to be used.

                                  Was also not interested in selling horse to buyer who did not seem to care whether saddle made horse uncomfortable.
                                  The big man -- my lost prince

                                  The little brother, now my main man


                                  • #37
                                    asterix, we're not so far apart. Although I will say that your stance really doesn't mesh well with you telling us that you rode your own horse in a saddle that was so uncomfortable to him that he bucked on the landing of every fence. I probably would have stopped riding him at that point ;-)

                                    If the horse is earpinning or acting otherwise unusual or uncomfortable, I would of course ask that we change tack. But if the saddle looks fine and the horse is acting fine I would let the person ride in their own saddle.

                                    I've always ridden in my own saddle when trying horses. It's nervous experience often, and there is a lot of security in riding in a saddle that you know and that fits you. If it wasn't a perfect fit for the horse I would address that AFTER I buy the horse and get used to it. I've always ridden in my saddle when trying horses. And no one has offered to send along a saddle when they send their horse to e for a trial.

                                    My horse is ridden by people other than myself. The pro rides her in her own saddle -- the one that fits hr best. The other pro that hacks her at shows when my pro has too many uses HER own saddle. When my girlfriend hacks her because I'm out of town or her own horse is lame she rides in HER own saddle.

                                    You're jumping to the assumption that it is UNlikely that the buyer's saddle will fit, and to the even further assumption that it will not fit to the extent that it is painful for the horse. I rather assume that it is pretty likely that the saddle WILL fit well enough.

                                    Not everyone has custom saddles for every horse. Most people get a saddle that fits "well enough" and they (and their horse) are perfectly happy.

                                    (And I really do believe that horses should be able to put up with a little bit of uncomfortable without pitching a fit. I'm not going to poke it with sticks, but I want it to keep its head about it when I'm dressing a wound, or the farrier is holing up its foot, or the vet is doing something that it doesn't like. Like I said, I like my horses to be a bit stoic.)


                                    • #38
                                      Guess it depends on how well the buyer's saddle fits (if its ok for 15 mins vs the saddle is tipping 30 degrees forwards/back and a pad aint gonna work) and who is trying the horse. A horse may have a tough-to-fit wither/shoulder and need a certain tree, panel shape, gullet width, even for 15-30 mins, etc. So, a potential buyer with a generic, medium tree saddle might not fit a shark-finned TB, or a big WB.

                                      Just my own experience. I think it's nice to accommodate within reason.
                                      And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by AmmyByNature View Post
                                        asterix, we're not so far apart. Although I will say that your stance really doesn't mesh well with you telling us that you rode your own horse in a saddle that was so uncomfortable to him that he bucked on the landing of every fence. I probably would have stopped riding him at that point ;-)
                                        It was a very short schooling session -- we figured it was worth a try since we'd hauled an hour to the venue, but when he made it clear it was a no go we stopped.

                                        I think this is a little bit of a difference in discipline, perhaps. I don't buy a custom saddle for each horse -- in fact have for a long time owned two horses that go both in the same two (dressage and jumping) saddles -- but I do have the saddles professionally fit twice a year. With two horses I need often to pad differently, and now that I am shopping I cringe when I meet a narrow horse, knowing I would have to factor in a new saddle to the purchase price.

                                        I was not trying to throw rocks at anyone else's approach to saddle fit, just saying that as a seller you should think about YOUR approach -- you will get buyers who want to use their own saddle, and some, like me, who expect to use yours.
                                        The big man -- my lost prince

                                        The little brother, now my main man


                                        • #40
                                          I too hate it when horses are tacked and waiting on crossties IMHO. He can be groomed, washed, etc but keep him in his stall to munch on some hay. I'dliketo see the horse taken from his stall, put on the cross ties, brushed down, and tacked. If the buyer wants to help groom the horse; by all means ask them if they'd like to so they can get a feel for the horse.

                                          I think it really depends on the situation your in and the clientel who is shopping. If I had the means to shop for a six figure show winning hunter; I'd still like to see it done as listed above. I want to see the horse how he/she/it is on a daily basis. I do appreciate if the horse is clean and presentable when I show up.