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Reading between the lines seller's make about their horses

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  • #41
    I would take it to mean that the horse is still in a place in his training that he requires the support of a rider with the skill to reassure him. (What self-help book was that? I'm OK, you're ok? "Lol) There's a horse that I don't ride but sometimes handle on the ground that I joke that if he spoke English, the entire conversation would consist of him asking if I'm OK, if he's OK, and if everyone else at the barn is OK. Because it sure looks like their coukd be sharks in that puddle next to the mounting block and he feels responsible for warning us, thank you very much!

    By contrast, there was an UL event horse around here that stepped down into a new career as the mount of a tentative adult amateur in her 50's. This had been like a CCI*** or CCI**** horse. And he was happily tooling around the puddlejumpers at local horse trials - he knew his audience well and took great care of her. This horse had reached a level of confidence and competence that he could not only execute his job with minimal rider input, he could also hand-hold a rider.

    It's certainly a training thing. But also a mental/native personality thing, IMO. Some horses will never get there.

    Comment


    • #42
      Originally posted by chebeau View Post
      Well, I can't stress enough to vet the seller. The seller gave me the name of the girl recently working with the horse who needs more self-confidence. I spoke with her and learned he has bad buddy sour issues including taking off/bolting with the rider to get back to the herd/barn. To me, that is more than a self-confidence issue....

      Horse shopping continues!
      So glad you found that out *before* you took the horse home, got injured, struggled for 6 months, and then wrote to COTH for help "fixing his confidence" !!

      As far as unicorns, does anyone really want a horse with a giant sharp horn on it's forehead? Really? if my horse was a unicorn she would stab me in the back.

      Maybe all the unicorn fluffy toys have people confused!

      Comment


      • #43
        Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post
        My biggest issue is that your photos and videos need to match up with what you state in the ad. Horse can jump nice 1.30 rounds? Horse has mastered Grand Prix movements? Horse can whatever... Show me! I don't want to read that the horse has done and can do x, y, and z but you have a headshot in the ad and a random picture of the horse standing still. I mean, maybe if I am extremely local I'd still take a look, but you're really not doing yourself or the horse any favors with crap advertising.
        i agree. Someone shared a sales video that they made with me. Horse was labeled as Eq horse. The woman was jumping at home over mybe 2'9 wearing a tank top. NOTHING about that screams eq. horse to me. I gave honest feedback, but I'm not sure if it was appreciated. I was trying to help a friend.

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        • #44
          A friend shared this with me: anytime you see a horse advertised as "would make a great eventer!" it means that it's absolutely insane

          But yeah the standing on the horse's back is just tacky imo. Like could you please just show a confo shot or something actually useful.

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by Rallycairn View Post
            ^ I just don't want to EVER see any more pictures of anyone standing on a horse's back, or videos of same.
            Yes! I'm not buying it to vault on. I don't care if I can stand on it. That's a parlour trick. And can we talk about the people not wearing a helmet?

            I just saw an ad that said the horse "isn't buddy sour, he just doesn't like riding off alone." Uhh, i thought that was the working definition of buddy sour?

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            • #46
              I have a horse that I would describe that way, (although he's not for sale ) He's a bit prone to spooking, but the biggest thing about him is that he simply looks to his rider or lead horse for almost everything. Fortunately, I'm a confident rider, and we are doing ok together, but I took a HUGE step down from competition to just start introducing him to things slowly and repeatedly to help him gain confidence on his own.

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              • #47
                Buyer Beware always. Sellers tell the good things and leave out or color the bad. Period.

                Comment


                • #48
                  I personally find it annoying when sellers say things like "Amazing mover!" or "Three terrific gaits!" Most of the time when they say that, I find myself underwhelmed by the video because the horse is average at best. I'd rather judge for myself anyway. I'm okay with something more along the lines of, "Horse typically gets 7s on gaits"--assuming it's true of course--because it's more objective and verifiable, if they have copies of tests to show you. "Balanced, uphill mover" etc is fine too, again assuming it's true. But just the generic "amazing gaits" is meaningless and usually BS. If they're just average and the ad has video, I won't say anything about gaits at all in an ad. Buyers have eyes.

                  ETA: Should have also said, bonus points if the horse has "Beautiful gates!"

                  "Serious upper-level potential" is another pet peeve when unsupported by any evidence.
                  Last edited by Libby2563; Jul. 1, 2019, 02:32 PM.
                  Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

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                  • #49
                    Lately I've been seeing a bunch of ads with lots of pictures of the horse from many {strange} angles, but the horse is standing in knee high grass in every one...

                    Does this mean:
                    1. Horse is so unbroke that it cannot be lead to a driveway in order to snap a picture that includes feet?
                    2. Property in which horse currently lives does not in fact have a driveway or other flat surface on which to drive a trailer, so if you want to take horsey home, you must ride it there?

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      It means that I need to write the book I am planning on how to take a picture of a horse.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        I do not sell many horses, but I have helped friends market their own now and then, and it's tough from both sides of the coin. The reality is, most horses are not perfect (I daresay no horse is completely "perfect"). They all have their own quirks and challenges and it's a fine balancing act to be honest, present the horse in the best light, and not unduly scare anyone off.

                        A nicely trained, flashy, good mover who can do 2nd level - but who can also be spooky and needs to be ridden confidently forward in a spooky moment may not be a good horse for everybody, but could be a great horse for a relatively brave rider who can take it in stride.

                        But do you put "spooky" in an ad? Will that turn off a perfectly competent rider who could be a good match because they envision "spooky" as a buck n' spin when what the horse really does is a snorty sideways jump? Or do you spend 50% of your little ad explaining the exact nature of the spook? Or do you put "Will do best with a confident rider" and save the details for actual conversations with prospective buyers? Obviously, if you are an ethical person, you will not describe the horse as a bombproof babysitter, but it really is challenging to find accurate, fair language for an ad that doesn't turn people off - particularly because so often people DO "undersell" real issues (not to mention those who flat out lie). And, to me at least, it seems as though there is an aversion to seeing horses as individuals complete with foibles and not the "unicorns" that seem to be everywhere in ads (though less present in the real world...)

                        Anyway, yes, a conundrum. One must be a skeptic and simply ride the horse for oneself!

                        Personally, it's the assertion that the horse is "ready to be taken in any direction!" when the horse in question is 12+ y/o and could be described, generously, as green broke that makes me scratch my head.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by kashmere View Post
                          Personally, it's the assertion that the horse is "ready to be taken in any direction!" when the horse in question is 12+ y/o and could be described, generously, as green broke that makes me scratch my head.
                          You've just described about 50% of the ads in my area. Clearly there's a market for this kind of horse around here, because they do sell, but I can't tell what's driving it. Maybe the WAHSET kids looking for cheap prospects. Maybe it's the trail riders who don't necessarily need a young animal to be fulfilled. Maybe the local market is full of horse hoarders who just want to give Poopsie a fair chance at life (I mean, I used to know one of those, so...)

                          Still, I feel like horses like that just materialize out of thin air fully grown at the age of 10. Clearly there is no other reason for why a horse could get to be middle aged with so little experience without ending up on a truck to Canada earlier in their lives. Even if the cost of keeping horses here is a bit cheaper, that's still a lot of money to be burning on something that's basically a pasture puff.

                          My pet peeve recently has been how many people taking pictures of their horse at weird angles that don't show either the hind end or the side on profile. I mean I get it. It makes the horse's rump look bigger and that must confer an edge in the market for gaming horses. I mean, the people selling the WP/HUS horses always take helpful photos, as do the sellers in the tiny English market here.

                          I also gaze in wonder upon the advertisement of the 15 year old barrel racer being advertised as a "Great dressage prospect! Just needs a little maintenance!" Caveat emptor, but only if you're that naive.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post
                            I have a horse that I could say lacks confidence or needs confidence from the rider. He's a good horse with good training but sometimes he will come across something and ask a question. The rider needs to be there to encourage him to move along. He thinks really fast, so a rider that stays calm, cool, collected and confident helps him from fretting.

                            If he has a rider with no confidence he will take advantage and suddenly things are scary or he doesn't do his best work. He's smart so he knows if you're in it or not, and I'd you're not into it, he isn't either.

                            The rider doesn't even need real confidence 100% of the time, but just enough. There are some riders that this horse would never be an issue for, but for others that are too timid, there'd definitely be some bumps in the road. So in that case I'd say he needs confidence from his rider and is not best suited to a timid rider. He doesn't do a thing terrible, but may get rushy, stop, turn around, or balk. If the rider is clear and confident it's short lived, he moves on, and doesn't make it an issue.

                            But I do know or some ads where there has been something said about a horse lacking confidence and the horse is just a rattled mess and will take many months of retraining and borderline needs a pro ride. There are just some horses that ask "are you sure?" and you have to be there to say yes. Some others are ho hum yeah whatever types. So while a horse that gets confidence from the rider wouldn't scare me away, I'd have to closely evaluate.
                            My horse is exactly like this. She is brilliant to the point it can make her over-think simple tasks. If she doesn't have a rider who is sure on the task that is being asked of her, she may have a melt down. You don't need a be an amazingly confident rider, just confident in what you are asking. My horse having self-confidence issues is just an over-thinker who needs to be reminded what the goal is.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Selling horses is really really hard. I do over 100+ sales here a year of Tb's right off the track. Our business is very successful and hopefully that is because we do try to be honest sellers. I try to let my pictures and videos do the talking for me. Nothing worse for me than to see all this text about how good of a mover a horse is and then see the video and think eh it's not very special. I like to think I know a good mover when I see one so I am not calling an average mover a good mover.

                              Anyway a lot of times in my ad's I will write that this horse is sensitive because it does x..y...z... generally what this means is that if you haven't restarted a TB before this horse isn't for you and here is why. I spell it out clearly. While we all think sellers lie, let me tell you buyers can lie about their abilities badly and they can and will get hurt riding horses they are trying because they aren't being truthful with themselves. If I say it is quiet and can take a joke then I mean it really can but honestly I turn away a lot of buyers because even though the horse will tolerate them it doesn't mean I want the horse to have to do that.

                              To me a horse that isn't confident would mean that a rider needs to give the horse direction and be a strong rider that provides confidence for the horse. That is a fairly normal thing but I think it could mean lot of different things to different people. I will happily explain myself and my comments in an ad to anybody who calls and there are tons of times when I simply tell someone straight out a horse is not suited for them. You can tell by what they list as their goals, their riding style, turnout situation or whatever else that it isn't a match. Why waste each others time?

                              Businesses and reputations are built by making good sales repeatedly. I don't believe in selling a horse just to sell a horse. There is always the right horse for the right person so if you market them accurately they always sell. Take good pictures, good videos, etc. Keep videos on point. Don't put music or words in the videos (well I find that annoying but I don't know if other people do). We video all our rides here for the most part so people can see the horse progress and know there is not "magic" sales video. There are just a bunch of videos showing the horse from arrival until the time it is sold exactly as the horse is going in their training. I find that gives buyers confidence to know they are getting exactly what they see in the videos.

                              I prefer to buy horses right off the track because I really hate buying horses that other people have started. It is often so incorrect that I just feel like starting fresh is better than fixing stuff.
                              http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

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                              • Original Poster

                                #55
                                OverandOnward Please write your book on how to take pictures of horses. It is SO NEEDED.

                                I just asked for conformation shots of an Arab Cross and got an odd head shot, standing in weeds half way up to his belly, and one at distance with him overlooking their bluff side.

                                The ad versus what the seller said on the phone and via email....SMH. The lady bought the horse sight unseen without video and was told he was a Missouri Fox Trotter. She gets him home and realizes he may be an Arab cross. The ad is written as if she know the horse and his abilities well. Nope. She had him 9 days and wants to sell him. I do think the email was honest, but he is far more an unknown project horse than she advertises him to be.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Based on an ad I saw the other day...

                                  ”Jumping 2’ courses” = “can steer and pick up its feet”
                                  Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by Libby2563 View Post
                                    I personally find it annoying when sellers say things like "Amazing mover!" or "Three terrific gaits!" Most of the time when they say that, I find myself underwhelmed by the video because the horse is average at best. I'd rather judge for myself anyway. I'm okay with something more along the lines of, "Horse typically gets 7s on gaits"--assuming it's true of course--because it's more objective and verifiable, if they have copies of tests to show you. "Balanced, uphill mover" etc is fine too, again assuming it's true. But just the generic "amazing gaits" is meaningless and usually BS. If they're just average and the ad has video, I won't say anything about gaits at all in an ad. Buyers have eyes.

                                    ETA: Should have also said, bonus points if the horse has "Beautiful gates!"

                                    "Serious upper-level potential" is another pet peeve when unsupported by any evidence.
                                    I saw an ad like that just recently that stated "upper level potential". It was an unbroke 3 year old but has upper level potential. Maybe it jumped out of its paddock a time or two clearing 4'

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Standard Bread View Post
                                      Still, I feel like horses like that just materialize out of thin air fully grown at the age of 10. Clearly there is no other reason for why a horse could get to be middle aged with so little experience without ending up on a truck to Canada earlier in their lives. Even if the cost of keeping horses here is a bit cheaper, that's still a lot of money to be burning on something that's basically a pasture puff..
                                      There are a lot of reasons for older green horses.

                                      Some people have the horse broke enough for them and call it green.
                                      Some people pay the board but don't have time left over to ride.
                                      Perhaps They are labeling it green to keep the ridden a horse at camp 'expert rider' away.
                                      It may be a lot of money for a pasture puff but it is not your money, not your horse not your place to judge.
                                      I would 100% take a green teen aged horse that someone just has not gotten around to breaking and schooling it to what the most novice buyer would consider 'broke' for their daughter or an unbroke broodmare that did not throw good looking foals over a 'broke' futurity horse that is started too young, trained too hard and the buyer has to roll the dice as to weather the horse will be sound at 20b (although accidents happen at any age).

                                      However, if the 'green' horse has 9 different brands on it from various ranches(Sold a lot) it is not because 'lots of people liked him.'

                                      I would look at how many different people owned the horse over how many years the longer the stay, even if the horse did not get past the 'green' the better probability the horse is a keeper for you too and probably not so green either.... Grteen for one person may be not proficient in one tempis and how often do you 'need' those?
                                      Last edited by Rosem; Jul. 7, 2019, 09:25 PM.
                                      Teach your child to love riding and they will never have money for drugs.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by chebeau View Post
                                        Well, I can't stress enough to vet the seller. The seller gave me the name of the girl recently working with the horse who needs more self-confidence. I spoke with her and learned he has bad buddy sour issues including taking off/bolting with the rider to get back to the herd/barn. To me, that is more than a self-confidence issue....

                                        Horse shopping continues!
                                        Yes, I came home once from trying a horse I really liked. Mentioned it to someone in my barn and she said, did the owner tell you about the mysterious lameness last year? Horse was off for more than a month? And a few other things. I passed.
                                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by chebeau View Post
                                          OverandOnward Please write your book on how to take pictures of horses. It is SO NEEDED.
                                          ....
                                          Thanks for the encouragement.

                                          It will be heavily (HEAVILY) illustrated, minimizing text. It will be aimed at people taking pictures of horses with cellphones. Nothing wrong with a good cellphone pic.

                                          A tip I'll include (mostly through images) ...

                                          No horse will ever help you take what we consider to be a good photo of it. Horses believe that what you want is a view of the end of their nose looking up the inside of their nostrils. So no matter how agile you are, no matter how much you wave and point to show the horse what you really want, he's going to stalk you relentlessly sticking his nose into your lens.

                                          No one is going to buy him based on that photo, so please don't send it out any more to the people who replied to your ad. And the inside of his dirty nose isn't that cute in your album, either.

                                          Etc.

                                          Also an intense crash training course to be administered to people who come out to "help" get the photo. Simple coaching such as "Have him just stand there. Don't let him fidget like that. Shorten the lead rope. Try shaking the lead rope. Make him stand still. ...... " never seems to work.

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