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Why are you selling this horse?

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  • Why are you selling this horse?

    Browsing through Facebook today, looking at sale ads, as you do, when I saw a nice ranch horse listed, seems to be awesome at its job, nothing red flagging as being an issue.


    The seller may, or may not be a ‘dealer’ haven’t researched their page to see if this is their business or not. One of the first questions asked, “why are you selling this horse”

    the answer
    I am curious to know what makes you ask this? Would there be certain answers that would be pertinent to you determining your interest in the horse or ?
    I am asking you this in a sincere way, I am not trying to sound like a dink. I have seen people ask this question before and I have always wondered why this would be on a buyers “first questions list”.

    What type of answers are you expecting to hear and how would the answer be relevant to your interest in a horse?

    Thank you and my answer to your question would be that the reason for selling does not effect the horse or the new buyer in any way.


    To me it a good question to ask a private seller, I always have a good reason for selling, and I am always honest about it....as a buyer I am interested as well, maybe horse is too fast, too slow, likes arenas rather than trails...whatever. Now if I know the seller is a business, then obviously they are selling to make money, so I don’t ask the question..
    "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

    "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

  • #2
    Many private individuals aren't listed as businesses but still buy and sell horses, maybe put some training on them, etc. It's not so clear cut as either a dealer, or a one horse ammie with their private pet that they will never sell until he bucks them off or goes lame.

    People with land accumulate horses, and there can be lots of reasons to both acquire a horse, and move another one along.

    I don't think that every seller needs to answer this question. It could quite simply be a pragmatic decisions, we would be better off with 3 horses instead of 5, we aren't riding Dobbin, or it could be financial, health, someone lost interest, got a better horse to start. I don't think anyone is required to have reasons to sell.

    Also I don't trust the reasons people do give.

    "Wonderful prospect but sadly I lack the time she deserves" = horse is a wonderful prospect for a pro rodeo string and I have been to the ER twice and am wisely giving up

    Comment


    • #3
      Whatever I'm buying, car, house, used bridle, or (especially!) horse, I like to know the "sale story", and I like to have it make sense We're evaluating risks and rewards based on a stranger's word, after all. The larger and more risky the buy, the more I'm trying to get a feel for the situation.

      Frankly, unless I was just MADLY in love with the horse, a seller's response like above would be an instant turn-off for me. How hard is it to say, "I prefer more go than whoa, and he's a kick ride," or, "wish I could keep him, but my financial situation changed a lot recentky, and can't afford the horse anymore," or, "I finally decided to follow my dream of raising ostriches in Nicaragua, so I'm liquidating my estate here," or whatever it is?

      Comment


      • #4
        I once tried to sell my wedding ring set on FB and was asked this. Like... wtaf?

        Lots of people want to know because of the above. But who is going to put that??? I read a lot of "outgrown/going to college." I toy with selling my boy because he is being wasted (but he doesn't care, neither do I most time), and wonder how I could phrase it because it's true ??? I work more than fulltime and run a farm and don't have an arena right now. Selling because he is sitting and going to waste? So at this point I don't care why people are selling.
        COTH's official mini-donk enabler

        "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

        Comment


        • #5
          It would be my first question. Just as it would be for any purchase I would expect to work for me or with me. IMO an answer such as the one given by the FB seller would raise my suspicions that the seller is not a horse person.
          Rack on!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KBC View Post
            Browsing through Facebook today, looking at sale ads, as you do, when I saw a nice ranch horse listed, seems to be awesome at its job, nothing red flagging as being an issue.

            The seller may, or may not be a ‘dealer’ haven’t researched their page to see if this is their business or not.

            Now if I know the seller is a business, then obviously they are selling to make money, so I don’t ask the question..
            A bit confused - you are seriously shopping for a ranch horse? I never contact a seller unless I am seriously buying. And I always research before contacting the seller, so I know whether or not the seller's representation of the horse and response has any credibility. And yes, I agree the reply was vague, but it's possible the seller is selling for personal reasons that are not any of the buyer's business, such as divorce, health issues, financial problems, etc.

            It's never my first question, although I will ask it at some point if the reason for selling is not obvious. I know what I am looking at, and am capable of fixing behavior problems, so that stuff is not much of an issue for me.
            "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

            Comment


            • #7
              I wonder a lot more about the increasing number of ads that say “must go by X date, need the stall!” Did you lose the ability to count? Client is dumping the horsebecause you’re too expensive? I can’t imaging this entices buyers since usually urgency is a red flag but I see it all the time??
              Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
              you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                A bit confused - you are seriously shopping for a ranch horse? I never contact a seller unless I am seriously buying. And I always research before contacting the seller, so I know whether or not the seller's representation of the horse and response has any credibility. And yes, I agree the reply was vague, but it's possible the seller is selling for personal reasons that are not any of the buyer's business, such as divorce, health issues, financial problems, etc.

                It's never my first question, although I will ask it at some point if the reason for selling is not obvious. I know what I am looking at, and am capable of fixing behavior problems, so that stuff is not much of an issue for me.

                Sorry, under the weather, not making much sense...

                No I’m not shopping, I was just reading the ads.....and I’m not alone in window shopping.

                The first reply to the ad was a person asking why the horse was for sale, and that was the response she was given....just kind of made me think....certainly off putting..
                "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                Comment


                • #9
                  I totally agree with you. To me “why are you selling” is a perfectly reasonable question to ask a private seller or even a professional if they are selling for a client.

                  The bigger question is whether they will give you an honest answer! Physical problems can hopefully be caught with a good PPE but what about any behavioral issues? In order to get a sale they may keep quiet about such things. But asking “the question” directly, especially with a private seller, might give you some pertinent information about the horse so that you could make an informed decision about the horse.

                  Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was just honest? Maybe what is a problem for them wouldn’t be a deal breaker for someone else but at least the buyer would know what they are buying.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is a question I get very tired of answering. I am a dealer. I buy and sell horses. I also am a trainer and instructor, and sometimes I just keep the horses. The main reason a horse here is for sale is because I need to sell to make money to stay in business. While I have horses that are not officially for sale,because they are in my lesson program or my own personal horse, they will still have a price and will be sold if that price is met. I understand why people ask it. But I don't understand why people don't understand that it is my business to sell and that is why it is for sale--many people just seem confused when I tell them that. Many want to know why the person I got it from sold it--I don't always have that information. If I do, I pass it along. I agree that everyone wants a believable story with there horse--but at times I get very nice horses with no back story at all--we have to figure them out, and we sell them based on what we know about said horse. Some of these horses have gone on to be nice show horses. But the horses that I don't know as much about the past history of are harder to sell. Truthfully, I actually prefer a horse without a history, because then my evaluation of the horse is not colored by someone else's perception, and I can find out the true merits of the horse easier. (Oftentimes, the owner is getting rid of the horse because of a perceived flaw that actually is just a case of the owner not knowing how to get along with the horse)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think a potential buyer has every right to ask the question. When the question is answered, sometimes it can give the buyer insight into how interested the seller might be in a quick sale and things along those lines.

                      A potential seller has every right to answer the question with something along the lines of "I am selling for personal reasons" and nothing more.

                      I tend to be suspicious when everything else in the ad makes the horse sound great but then the seller adds "we just don't click". I realize this is the true reason for selling sometimes, but my mind goes straight to this meaning that the horse has some kind of issues that the seller is just not able to deal with.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Lol, writing this has made me think about the last few horses I bought.

                        Chuck, bought from my coach, no longer needed in her program, but selling him to me kept him in the barn.

                        Fergie, has been out in pasture 2 years, owner went to college, then was moving away.

                        Gibbs, too slow for the ranch!

                        Ben, had stood for ages, hadn’t really been started...so many red flags on this one, I deserved what I got, a month in hospital.

                        Mr G, too much horse for owner, had stood for 18 months...


                        "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                        "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It is a reasonable question, but not the first one I would ask. Very strange long winded answer you got though...almost strikes me as if English is not their first language. The answer alone would make me lose interest in any further contact with the seller.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KBC View Post


                            Sorry, under the weather, not making much sense...

                            No I’m not shopping, I was just reading the ads.....and I’m not alone in window shopping.

                            The first reply to the ad was a person asking why the horse was for sale, and that was the response she was given....just kind of made me think....certainly off putting..
                            OK, what this means is that the seller does not want to put the reason for selling up on FB or wherever in public to satisfy the passing curiosity of the tire kickers. Plus perhaps the seller does not want all the people who say "you should never sell your beloved Pookie" to come out of the woodwork. Plus if the seller has personal reasons, they may not want to air them in a public forum where lots of people who actually know them will read them and go "OOOOH, Susie is getting divorced! Lost her job! has a chronic illness!" or whatever. And who knows, maybe the person asking actually *knows* the seller, or knows of her.

                            I think that refusing to put up a reason on a public forum is very different from refusing to answer that question in private once the prospective buyer has shown some interest.

                            I am very careful about not establishing any communication on *anything* that I don't seriously want to buy, whether that is a truck or a saddle pad or a horse. But I have a friend who is a major tire kicker, she will go so far as to go trial ride horses, and she certainly gets chatting on line with sellers. I think she really does bounce around whether she wants to own again, so there is some genuine indecision there. But I think she also likes the spark of thinking about buying horses and being in that discussion and seeing what's out there.

                            I do not want to be that person, and if I was selling, I would do my best to see them coming and not engage.



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Knowing why the seller is selling is valuable information and it's a question I have always asked, if it wasn't volunteered up front, which it has been on every equine I've purchased in recent history. However, the comments here make me think that perhaps asking the direct question isn't the best way to go about getting this information.

                              I agree with KBC that the seller's specific response was weird. But, I also agree with Scribbler in that it's not weird for a seller to decline to post that kind of info on Facebook. Replying with a simple "Call (or email) me if you're interested" would be more appropriate.
                              "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                              that's even remotely true."

                              Homer Simpson

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Seems like a stand-in for straight-up asking “what’s the catch”, right? I assume that a theoretical sales ad that exclusively gushes about how perfect the horse is, versus a theoretical sales ad that seems more balanced or objective in describing the horse’s capabilities or personality, would invite this question more. (Maybe I’m wrong about that.)

                                In any case, I think that a seller could absolutely deflect the question with a quick “personal reasons” or a “I’m a dealer, literally my job”, but it’s also hard to blame an individual buyer for asking the question if the reason is not volunteered. Most ads are not going to highlight the catch, after all. We do always say “buyer beware” in these forums. . .

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Redlei44 View Post
                                  Seems like a stand-in for straight-up asking “what’s the catch”, right? I assume that a theoretical sales ad that exclusively gushes about how perfect the horse is, versus a theoretical sales ad that seems more balanced or objective in describing the horse’s capabilities or personality, would invite this question more. (Maybe I’m wrong about that.)

                                  In any case, I think that a seller could absolutely deflect the question with a quick “personal reasons” or a “I’m a dealer, literally my job”, but it’s also hard to blame an individual buyer for asking the question if the reason is not volunteered. Most ads are not going to highlight the catch, after all. We do always say “buyer beware” in these forums. . .
                                  my thoughts exactly. It would not be the 1st question I ask, nor would I ask it from a dealer / sales barn, but if an ad from a private seller was vague I would ask it, along with plenty of other questions to get the best possible picture of the horse. Its just another piece of info that gets handled with a grain of salt along with all other records (show history etc) and I can find on said horse. It would certainly come up if there were other flags - like gap in show record, or priced lower than market value - but Its better done via phone or in person rather than social media as others have pointed out.

                                  I'm an AA who has only purchased from other AAs in a low budget range, and both times the owners were happy to go on and on when I just said tell me about your horse and your history together. I realize I'm prob. in the minority in this, but neither seller thought it odd or intrusive that I wanted to know their horse's history or why they were selling.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by BatCoach View Post

                                    my thoughts exactly. It would not be the 1st question I ask, nor would I ask it from a dealer / sales barn, but if an ad from a private seller was vague I would ask it, along with plenty of other questions to get the best possible picture of the horse. Its just another piece of info that gets handled with a grain of salt along with all other records (show history etc) and I can find on said horse. It would certainly come up if there were other flags - like gap in show record, or priced lower than market value - but Its better done via phone or in person rather than social media as others have pointed out.

                                    I'm an AA who has only purchased from other AAs in a low budget range, and both times the owners were happy to go on and on when I just said tell me about your horse and your history together. I realize I'm prob. in the minority in this, but neither seller thought it odd or intrusive that I wanted to know their horse's history or why they were selling.
                                    These are reasonable things to want to know, I just think perhaps the seller here didn't want to broadcast them in a public forum. If the seller was cagey or said contradictory things when I went to see the horse, that would certainly be a red flag. But "why are you selling the horse?" is not a question that necessarily needs to be asked before you go to see the horse.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                                      These are reasonable things to want to know, I just think perhaps the seller here didn't want to broadcast them in a public forum. If the seller was cagey or said contradictory things when I went to see the horse, that would certainly be a red flag. But "why are you selling the horse?" is not a question that necessarily needs to be asked before you go to see the horse.
                                      True enough, whih is why I qualified my answer with " Its better done via phone or in person rather than social media as others have pointed out."

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        It is certainly a question that I ask, maybe not first, but somewhere in my inquiries. And I have asked it of a "dealer" as well as it can still be relevant (somebody has sent the horse to be sold for some reason). I'm kind of flummoxed by those here that seem annoyed by the question.

                                        Trying to think back on what answers I've had in the past. Sometimes it was due to financial issues, or not suited to the purpose they intended (failed eventer might be better at dressage, stuff like that), or simply a breeder who breeds to sell. My last purchase was from someone who was aging and in poor health and unable to ride (good reason to sell to me), and the one prior was a girl who could only afford one horse, wanted to event, and the horse had some disclosed soundness issues that prevented it from jumping. Usually if someone kind of evades answering or flounders, it is because there is some issue with the horse they don't want to disclose, or that is at least how I interpret it.

                                        Comment

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