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Unrealistic expectations? Consigned horse

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  • Unrealistic expectations? Consigned horse

    I sent a horse out to a trainer to be sold, because I lacked the time needed to keep the horse going and do the marketing.

    It has been a month, and the trainer has yet to take any pictures, video, or put up advertising on my horse. It was not a training arrangement, purely keeping the horse conditioned, showing to buyers, and doing the marketing.

    Am I being unrealistic to expect something to have been produced by now? I didn't send off a raggedy nag, she was in good weight and relatively good shape, slicked out and clean, so at most all that should've been needed would be maybe a smart clip and a bath.

  • #2
    I assume you have a written agreement spelling out how the trainer is expected to "market" the horse?
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


    • #3
      you are not being unrealistic to want advertising by now, with video and pictures...

      i'd give the person a time limit - very short - and be thinking about your plan B.
      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


      • Original Poster

        Our arrangement is documented, yes. That documentation does not include any deadline for getting advertising up, though.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Alter My Luck View Post
          Our arrangement is documented, yes. That documentation does not include any deadline for getting advertising up, though.
          Why not?
          I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


          • #6
            Most people offering the service you wanted have it in their contract that within a week they will have the horse cleaned up and advertised in their website, with pictures and videos, locally and in the appropriate internet sites.

            Maybe that trainer didn't understood what you wanted?

            What does your contract stipulate?


            • #7
              Have you asked her why she hasn't done any marketing of your horse? That would be MY first step. Perhaps she wants to freshen your mare up before she advertises her. The horse reflects upon the trainer who sells her: if the trainer thinks that the mare needs some work, and sells her with holes in her education, the trainer faces the possibility that buyers might think that the mare's performance was the trainer's work.

              I'd ask the trainer what's going on.

              "The horse you get off is not the same horse that you got on. It's our task as riders to make sure that the difference is for the better."


              • #8
                Originally posted by threemagicalmares View Post
                Have you asked her why she hasn't done any marketing of your horse? That would be MY first step. Perhaps she wants to freshen your mare up before she advertises her. The horse reflects upon the trainer who sells her: if the trainer thinks that the mare needs some work, and sells her with holes in her education, the trainer faces the possibility that buyers might think that the mare's performance was the trainer's work.

                I'd ask the trainer what's going on.
                Good point, but should the trainer not have run that by the owner after the first few days, when she knew the horse more and what was best for all in that situation?


                • #9
                  How we do marketing is this: I evaluate the horse to make sure that I can accurtately represent the horse when it comes in, usually this is a two week process. I want to make sure that I know the good and the bad, as I have a reputation to uphold. During this time I begin doing photos and videos, as it is important to already have those available for advertising. It takes some "uptime" to be able to EFFECTIVELY advertise a horse. During this evaluation period, I send emails out to other trainers and people that might be interested, letting them know I have the horse and what I know currently about the horse. Photos and videos, if of poor quality hurt rather than help the sales process. That doesn't mean they need to be "fancy" but just show the horse in the best possible way. Properly marketing a horse is really an "art", throwing an ad up doesn't mean you will get any prospective buyers!! And inreality, I sell just as many horses from other means than ads, as I do from ads.


                  • Original Poster

                    My mistake, apparently that should've been included. I've never consigned a horse before and thought it was a bit of a 'duh' that the trainer would be getting ads and pictures out ASAP - especially since I'm not paying training rates, only commission (and board, which goes to BO, not trainer). The longer the horse sits in the barn the more (unpaid) time you spend keeping it conditioned.

                    I'll reiterate, I sent off a sale-ready horse. No crazy monster, no raggedy nag. Literally all that needs to be done is for the horse to be kept fit and marketed.


                    • #11
                      No offense, but I think I'd have been asking the trainer why there was nothing on the internet after the first week. Plenty of time for him/her to have done what your contract specified and get the horse advertised.

                      Just me, but I think I'd be telling trainer that I'm deducting one weeks' expenses on the horse because there's no advertising up; that'll probably be sufficient to light a fire under trainer's @$$.
                      In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                      A life lived by example, done too soon.


                      • #12
                        Have you been out there and seen the trainer ride your horse? I entered into a similar arrangement last summer, was paying full board and the trainer was to get commission for selling a very marketable WB horse that was reasonable priced to sell. This trainer is young but seemed qualified. I offered to shoot the video so I made the 3 hr drive after he was there 10 days to videotape and visit my horse. After only 10 days he had deteriorated quite a bit in his training and was NOT the same horse I dropped off. Needless to say, I took him home the next day. Maybe this person is not a good match for your horse?
                        "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"


                        • #13
                          A month?! Even if it was a craigslist ad. It only takes two seconds to put an ad up online. Also less time to take a picture, print it out, then paste it on paper with a number and a "horse for sale" heading.
                          Pro Slaughter
                          Anti Parelli


                          • #14
                            I do a lot of consignment sales. You want to make sure your ad is of good quality before you post it....great pictures, good video, and have had a chance to try the horse out in all situations (ie if you advertising that its good to hack, you had better have had it out yourself on the trails) I have many times been a little disappointed in horses that people have brought me supposedly 'sale ready' (not implying that the OP's horse is not, but it happens.) The higher the horse is to be priced, the longer I take to make sure everything is as advertised.
                            That being said, I normally like to have an ad posted by week 3, and if not, I have contacted the owner to explain why ( things like working on a sticky canter transition, waiting for weather to clear to get really excellent outdoor shots etc.)
                            Not a good idea to come out of the gate without all your ducks in a row....that first impression is very important.


                            • #15
                              I think it is time to discuss the situation with the trainer. Reread your contract and then think about what your goals are.

                              I think it is reasonable for a trainer to take a certain (short) amount of time to get to know the horse so they can accurately and fairly represent it. Remember, their reputation is at stake with every sale. Also, depending on the training and quality of the animal, it may well be worth while to put a month of "polish" on it and take a little bit of time to get some flattering and informative photographs and video. If the horse in question is green, a couple extra weeks of training can be very helpful when prospective buyers want to come out and test ride the horse.

                              If buy a young, green horse to quickly resell, I'd say it typically takes me at least a month to get it on the market. Getting to know it, figuring out what tack it goes best in, getting it cleaned up, trimmed, in a program, and then also waiting for a good day to get some video footage (no howling winds, pouring rain or freezing temps, horse having a good day).

                              OTOH, if I send a horse to someone to sell, I want to see some serious effort in making that happen. I've seen it happen way too often where a trainer enjoys the steady paycheck of a horse in training (especially if it is a nice horse to ride) and only makes minimal, ineffective efforts to sell. I know that some trainers really do only sell horses through word of mouth, but unless it was someone who had gotten horses sold for me efficiently in the past I'd be very suspicious of that.


                              • Original Poster


                                According to the trainer, there are people coming to look at my horse this week and next week. Supposedly. Trainer seemed a bit offended that I was questioning whether or not there were actually any buyers interested.

                                Frankly, I did not send this horse out for training, and *IF* I were going to do that, this would not be a trainer I'd use. I selected the trainer based on the ability to market and sell horses of a similar quality, with the understanding that she would do a passable job of keeping the horse in riding shape until sold. All of the consignment horses that have come to her in the last year or so have had AT LEAST photos up within a week. Video within a month, and ads plastered all over the place as soon as the photos are done.

                                I'm keeping a close eye. The lack of video makes me wonder if trainer is actually RIDING the horse.


                                • #17
                                  Well, she may be trying to save you a little $$$ if she can sell the horse via her connections without having to advertise (the nice advertising sites are not free). I have done this, if someone is set to try horse, wait until I know the outcome of that before I start plastering ads everywhere.
                                  It does usually take about 3 wks for horses to really settle in and for me to know what they're all about before we start shooting video....


                                  • #18
                                    Any contract I signed would include a schedule for ads being published.

                                    And I am NOT buying that it takes 3 weeks to get a horse settled down enough to video, particularly as the seller states that the horse is ready to be shown and sold, in his/ her opinion. You aren't shooting Dr. Zhivago, you are shooting video of a horse being ridden. Sheesh. Now, weather this time of the year could stick you in the indoor, and it's a bear to shoot decent video in the typically crap lighting of an arena. But a month, no ads? Right.

                                    I would also stipulate a schedule of work to keep your horse fit and ready to show in a contract. Not training, just kept in sufficient work for whatever horsey does to make it ready to show when a buyer shows up.
                                    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                                      You aren't shooting Dr. Zhivago, you are shooting video of a horse being ridden.

                                      I know, you're right, but I video a lot of greenies and I can tell you it usually takes me a couple of sessions to get the video and photos I want. But, ya know, I think the last horse I sold my "Dr. Zhivago" video hurt me because the horse looked better in his videos than in person and so buyers weren't as impressed when they came to see him!

                                      Anyway, OP, glad your agent is making progress.