Sport Horse Spotlight

Real Estate Spotlight


Sale Spotlight

  • Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You�re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it�details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums� policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it�s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users� profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses � Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it�s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who�s selling it, it doesn�t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions � Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services � Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products � While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements � Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be �bumped� excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues � Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators� discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the �alert� button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your �Ignore� list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you�d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user�s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

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

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 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) ~
    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


    • #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.


      • #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!


        • #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


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

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


            • #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.


              • #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.


                • #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.

                  ride it like you stole it! "ralph hill"


                  • #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


                    • #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.


                      • #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.


                        • #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



                          • #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.


                            • #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!


                              • #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


                                • #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?


                                  • #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...


                                    • #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.


                                      • #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!