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Someone explain this to me...Why is buying a horse so difficult?

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  • Someone explain this to me...Why is buying a horse so difficult?

    Okay, it's not actually a serious question. But when did buying a horse become so difficult? Was it always this bad? Ads have bad photos, or no photos at all. Whay happened to conformation shots? The descriptions tell you nothing about the horse, except that apparently every horse in the world loads/clips/ties/stands for farrier and vet. And the videos are even worse (assuming the seller has one.) Why would I want to see a video of a horse out in a field trotting away from me? And that is the only video! Or the 8 second video of someone mounting it. Guess they don't want me to know what happens after they mount.

    Then there are the sellers themselves. Never respond to inquiries, or give a phone number that no one answers and has a full inbox. Or want you to drive 10 hours each way, rent a hotel room overnight, without making any sort of video and want to call me when I am halfway there to let me know if the horse is still available. Seriously?

    So was it really always this bad? Sorry, vent over... Sigh
    Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~ http://flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses/2387275281
    Proud owner of "The Intoxicated Moose!"
    "Hope is not an executable plan" ~ My Mom
    I love my Dublin-ator

  • #2
    No, it wasn't always this bad because there didn't use to be easy access to a media channel like the internet. It used to be that you went by word of mouth or flyers or classified ads because there wasn't anything else. It used to be the case that you didn't get to see three hundred pictures of every prospect and the first time you saw the horse was the first time you got to decide whether it would work or not. It used to be that you had to rely on a network of good trainers/horsepeople to describe prospects reliably. It used to be that the pictures you did have access to were hit or miss depending on how many rolls of film the seller used to get that conformation shot (if they got it at all).

    I think what you're describing is the case that a little bit of useless information is worse than no information at all.

    I would personally rather see a video of the horse trotting away from the camera than not see anything at all. But you're correct, seeing the person mount with the video cut off after mounting begs the question, "what happened after she got up?" Poor marketing is poor marketing, no matter the industry.

    The truth is that we have a vast amount of information available to us on thousands more horses in a much broader geographical area than we used to. It means you get to filter through more crap, but it also means you can find more prospects. Can't comment whether it's a good or bad trade-off, especially since every good horse I've had in the last 10 years has been a result of word-of-mouth selling. But it is the reality of buying a horse in the 21st century!

    (oh, and good luck to you!)
    __________________________________
    Flying F Sport Horses
    Horses in the NW

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Showjumper28 View Post
      Why would I want to see a video of a horse out in a field trotting away from me? And that is the only video! Or the 8 second video of someone mounting it.

      Hehe... I feel ya!
      Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
      Breeding Horses Today, for the Equestrian Sport of Tomorrow.
      Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.

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      • #4
        I think, as PNW mentioned, is that people have a lot more access to the internet and there is no quality assurance. There are tire-kickers on both sides (buyers and sellers).

        I was speaking to my BO the other day, and, as most trainers, she buys and sells horses throughout the year. Unfortunately, she'll get an email or a voicemail from some kid 12 hours away. Is it likely this kid will ever show up to see a horse? Likely not.

        Good luck with your horse search. Hopefully your trainer can network and find what you're looking for.
        Last edited by veritas; May. 30, 2010, 06:31 AM. Reason: change wording
        Ride on!

        Comment


        • #5
          you think buying is hard, try selling one!

          This market is tough! If you can get someone to come look they know they can ask for a lot b/c hey, people are giving horses away! And then the vetting... I could rant on too!
          There are great horses out there! And sellers try to market well! It's hard to run a barn and keep websites and videos up to date. My biggest trouble, silly as it sounds, its finding a live human to video me! One who can actually get the horse into the picture. A friend recently took a nice long movie of my mare's hooves and the sand in the arena. Argh!
          Riot Farm

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          • #6
            [QUOTE=bbbkmc;4896058]! And then the vetting... I could rant on too!
            QUOTE]

            This. Last one I sold the buyer wanted me to hold the horse for 11 days until their own vet could come.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hmmmm. I've never had any trouble buying horses... (coming up with the $$$ to pay for them, yes... but not finding ones I like well enough to buy!!)

              Selling horses is harder, I think. The last one I sold had a four hour vetting that included 57 xrays. On a six year old! (He passed with flying colors, though... the only thing the vet could find was "well, ideally he'd have a bit more heel." Mmmkay.)

              I think with the growth of internet shopping, buying has actually gotten a bit more complicated. I love looking at horses online but when I buy, i usually go to one of my trusted sources - people I've bought from before. They know me, they know what I like, and I know they have the sort of animal I am interested in, at pricing I consider fair.
              **********
              We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
              -PaulaEdwina

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              • #8
                Ok, maybe it was worse in the good old days (I was around then). But this is now, and there is no acceptable excuse for the poor way expensive sale horses are represented.

                Maybe sellers wouldn't have to deal with all the emails, phone calls, and tire kickers if the basic information was put in the ad.

                What is the reluctance to have a conformation photo? That is a 'must have' or me, and not one standing uphill or in a funky position.

                Also, I am not interested in looking a a year-old video or baby photos of a 4 year old.

                Not putting a price on the ad is a real turn off. I says to me that the price will vary depending on who the buyer/agent is. There is no good reason not to put up the price.

                With young unbacked horses, please cut out of the 10 minutes of galloping up and down the fence line before you get 1 minute of trot. Try to get a trot that is true, not one where the tail looks like a helicopter.

                Showing walk work at the beginning of a video is a turn off to me. Yes, the walk is important for dressage, but put it at the end. If I don't get a good impression immediately the first few seconds of a video, I pass.

                Try to get the video out doors if you can.

                I have many more gripes. I've already drive a long distance to see three horses that were not what I expected.

                Comment


                • #9
                  i also feel selling is much harder. i try to give as much detail about my sale horses as possible. i have been told i tell too much but that is just how i do things. and i also agree that keeping up with videos and pictures and working fulltime and doing the barn is hard, but i try my best.i also find people seem to think they can buy a nice,fancy hunter/jumper or event horse for little or no money because of the economy.they say well people are giving away horses, well yes they are, but go ahead and take one of those for your timid beg. kid and see how far that gets you. there is a reason those horses are being given away. a horse with a great brain, a good show record and does it's job no matter what, is not going to be cheap. good horses are not going to be given away people. good luck to the op, i hope you find what you are looking for.
                  www.camaloufarms.com

                  ride it like you stole it! "ralph hill"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Agree that selling is worse. We also work full time and have 24 horses to care for, so doing videos and pictures does take effort and planning (which is fine, and necessary of course). But, so many tire kickers that ask you to jump through hoops, making videos of this, that and the other, and when you send it to them, they never even reply. This takes up hours of our time and is angering to say the least. I wish people would please say, no thank you and perhaps why, so we know if there is something we can improve, etc. We've now found that the people who ask the ridiculous stuff are also never going to buy. We've also had folks that I guess forget they've already called you and call again about the same horse a week or two later! I think some people just like to shop and are eternal shoppers but not buyers. That's fine to look through the ads and watch videos, but don't email or call unless you are truly serious.

                    Shopping should be much easier now thanks to videos and pics over the internet - I remember in the early 90's looking for my Children's Hunter and simply calling ads out of the Chronicle classifieds (which were 4-6 pages long) and driving hours to see one horse at a time blindly, in most cases knowing instantly upon one trot step it was a no. It took 8 months for me to find her that way... I guess with some etiquette improvement on both ends the process could be made better.
                    Signature Sporthorses
                    www.signaturesporthorses.com

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                    • #11
                      We try to err on the side of providing as much information as possible! Up-to-date videos on our website are the norm except, perhaps, with the foals as we try to video them no more than once a month. We also take the young ones off the market when they reach an awkward stage.

                      Our descriptions are on the mark. We have a set of radiographs on our own horses taken at around 3 or 4 which are kept on file at our vet's for our own purposes and make that information available to legitimate clients. This, of course, is not intended to replace a buyer's own PPE, but merely to reassure both us and our potential buyers before incurring the expense of a PPE. We post the percentage of xx and ox, registries, pedigrees, competition records of sire, dam, siblings, competition records of the sales horse, if any--in other words, we would prefer to have the potential buyer's visit to our farm and ride a confirmation of information already in their possession. We seek return business and a long term relationship with our buyers. Because we want to see our horses with happy owners, we will bend over backwards to smooth the way to ownership as best we can. Those coming from a distance can stay with us if they wish.

                      However, after a certain point, if a decision to buy has not been reached, we are done and move on! Dwelling on an uncommitted client is uncomfortable, for the client as much as for us. To date, every horse that we have offered for sale has been sold, if not to the first client, then to the next.
                      Last edited by Sakura Hill Farm; May. 30, 2010, 10:12 AM.
                      Sakura Hill Farm
                      Now on Facebook

                      Young and developing horses for A-circuit jumper and hunter rings.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Alot of those ads are simply backyard owners that don't buy and sell and they just don't know any better. Most are not planning to do much of it either and won't put any more effort into it then running an add for a bass boat in Trade a Boat.

                        Others are the equivelent of those ratty looking used car lots that spring up next to pawn shop and payday loan places.

                        Not really any indication of the state of the business as a whole, just reflect more "junk mail".

                        Have not bought or sold in a few years but never did have much problem...once I started depending on an agent and word of mouth for buying and selling. Still get a little of the tire kickers and what not but a whole lot easier.

                        I dunno...whoever thinks the internet has replaced those long drives to look at a single horse that is hilariously misrepresented?? Has not been my experience when drafted by friends to go look at something. Or when dilusional buyers waste half a day riding everything trainer has for sale and then low ball, as in way, way way below-like 2 zeros off the price.

                        Always has been. Always will be. Part of the process.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The descriptions tell you nothing about the horse, except that apparently every horse in the world loads/clips/ties/stands for farrier and vet.


                          And if you are looking at jumpers they all do 4' easily and are prospects to go higher!! And then you click on the video and they are in a backyard doing fences that look 3' at most. Gah!
                          The ultimate horse mom

                          http://www.youtube.com/user/LeeB110

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                          • #14
                            OK, I'll play...

                            My favorites are the "Grand Prix prospect" jumping the 2x4 on hay bales with the goat wandering around behind it. Followed by the "Dr Phulofhteshitz pronounced him the finest example of Badenuff breeding ever at just 18 months" with 6 brown horses standing in a muddy field next to a rusty tractor with harrow and 3 junk cars. And, of course, the dog barking at the cameraperson and assorted chickens clucking over the profanity directed at barking dog.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In the 70's & early 80's it seemed as if you only got a good lead on a horse...from trainers recommendations. Times were tough!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                The interview goes both ways

                                It IS hard on both sides...

                                When a client responds to an ad....... which is usually well
                                defined...and asks the questions again (sigh), theres a quick insight to they type of client I have at hand. I then probe what they (think) are looking for...... and start connecting the dots.

                                I have refused to even make an appt with clients I feel unsuitable...and have even escorted some politely to their cars asking if they remember their way home as they proved to have misrepresented themselves.

                                I start every appt with the client ridng one of the school horses -- and have the sale horse ridden by me or one of the students next.... we might mount the client or not....... <g> and go from there.

                                Its not easy, but having a list of questions asked and answered first narrows down the field long before appts are made..... although time consuming.

                                Cell phones offer 30second vids that can get 3 jog passes, 3 or 4 fences with lead changes, and dressage transitions if you are good......... and great for instant conformation shots....! They can be zoomed in ... and sent to emails for albums of pics.

                                Marketing is marketing no matter what the product.
                                Last edited by SwtVixen; Jun. 22, 2010, 05:15 PM.
                                Its not in someone elses backyard anymore....... your Pres brought it home.
                                Racing>Business As Usual @PN

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                                • #17
                                  SwtVixen, I love how you market your horses! As someone who has only bought a few horses but has looked at more than I care to think about, your way would work well for me. In my younger days, before I was bold (and smart)enough to say thanks but no thanks, I got on horses I had no business sitting on, riding around lawn furniture in muddy back yards Now, older, wiser and no longer able to bounce, I have said on more than one occassion, "That horse scares me" and walked away. I ride for enjoyment and have no intention of being scared or hurt while trying out a prospect.

                                  You don't happen to sell cheval canadiens do you?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Funny this topic should come up. I'll drive 2 hours to see anything remotely close. Looked at 5 horses in past 4 weeks.

                                    #1 - very close, just a few minor things that kept me from making an offer

                                    #2 - horse was giving rider a hard time mounting, and when she finally was able to get on, horse reared about 4 inches, rider burst into tears and got off and took horse back to the barn and untacked it

                                    #3 - pretty much what i want but 2 semi-important things missing, made an offer, seller refused to budge on price so i asked for a call should seller reconsider

                                    #4 - adequately represented but not what i am looking for and a little pricey

                                    #5 - horse refused to jump (seller must have forgotten to tell me over the phone even though I stated I am looking for a kid safe h/j horse)

                                    Oh, and I'm only getting about a 60% response rate on emails/calls...
                                    Man plans. God laughs.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Don't be too hard on sellers with regard to video...Doing a good sales video is really hard! First, you have to have the horse spanking clean, have a day with perfect weather, and have someone to video you who has a steady hand and experience videoing horses, and who can keep from making commentary during the video session (why is this always the hardest part?). Then, you need to have a great ride.

                                      Then--the hardest part--you have to edit the video, because a good sales video is a quick "blurb" of what the horse can do. So I've got to compress about 15-20 minutes of video into about 4-5 minutes, maybe less. I might try to put in mounting, 10-20 seconds of walk, a +/-minute of trot, a minute of canter, try to include some lead changes, then some jumping. Editing video is tedious and time consuming. Oh, and I've got to crop out the segment (or erase the audio) where my DH saunters by and briefly mentions some graphic details about a problem one of the dogs is having that involves a very personal body location. Then, there's all that technical stuff that has to happen to get the video into the right format and loaded on the internet. And there is always a glitch somewhere!

                                      If I have a show video, that's the best, but a young horse might not have that. Or they might not be at their best at a show. The real kicker? Young horses get better so fast that a video might be out of date in a month.

                                      Anyway, sorry for your frustration and good luck in your search.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I buy horses occasionally. Maybe this will make you feel better. I usually go directly to breeders because I shop for young horses. I've had pretty good success with this method, or perhaps I've just been lucky. Maybe I'm an oddball.

                                        Have done the same thing buying dogs...that works, too!
                                        Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

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