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is anyone having any luck selling horses?

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  • is anyone having any luck selling horses?

    It Just seems that while there are people looking, they are not being entirely serious. I have had several people interested in my horse who are extremely interested one moment then not, then extremely interested again. My horse is perfectly well behaved under saddle, perfectly sound and a reasonable price for how fancy he is. I guess I'm just wondering if any of the COTH members selling horse have had better luck than I. If so...what's your secret?

  • #2
    Do you have your horse listed, tuned up and presented by a professional?

    That makes selling horses much easier, they do that all the time and know how to market and show the horse at it's best and to whom.

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    • #3
      My friend is a well-known trainer who a lot of horses on for sale. There are some horses that are marketed for a day before someone drives thousands of miles to buy them instantly, but other impressive, well-priced horses sit for what seems like an eternity. And it seems like no one is buying anything but 100% sound, no medical issues ever, fantasy horses. There have been more than a few times this spring that I have been absolutely baffled by what people have walked away from - having done my own horse shopping last year I have a good sense of what's out there and if people are passing up some of these horses I wonder if they are serious about buying any horse at all. Everyone seems to want to find a never-sick-a-day-in-his-life Totilas for $10,000. I imagine that expectation is even worse when people look at horses privately vs. through a trainer.

      The horrible economy has affected both people's ability to buy horses and people's need to sell them so there have been a lot of deals of a lifetime in the past few years and maybe that has set unrealistic expectations for some buyers?

      I agree that bringing your horse to a trainer to sell might be the way to go, but it's a hard market out there for sellers in general from what I can see.

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      • #4
        There is always a good portion of "hurry up and wait" in horse sales. You'll get a prospective buyer who wants photos, videos, and lots of questions answered. You provide all the information and then nothing. Some of them will respond eventually and others fall off the face of the earth. It comes with the territory. I don't worry too much as in most cases, someone who is not coming out in person to see the horse is probably not going to buy the horse. (There are exceptions, of course and I have sold a horse based on photos and videos this spring.) The OP did not provide information on age, size, breed or experience of the sale horse. I understand that this being COTH that would be advertising but it's worth considering. If the horse is priced comparably to similar horses then consider more advertising -- word of mouth, flyers, internet, taking sale horse to shows/clinics, etc. Just keep on promoting the horse.
        Last edited by IronwoodFarm; May. 9, 2013, 04:05 PM.
        Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
        http://www.ironwood-farm.com

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        • #5
          3 have sold out of our barn since January. All 5-figure horses, all good ones. However, 2 of those three have been on the market since last year. So, based on a very small sample, I would say yes, horses are selling, but it may take a while. I think each of the 3 got the right person for them, but sometimes it takes a while for that person to come along.

          And yes, I agree that a lot of people want unreasonably perfect. But even the horse that people were so nitpicky about did finally sell, and at a good price.

          Patience - and make sure you're doing your best job of promoting the horse and treating potential buyers well.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by inne View Post
            ... And it seems like no one is buying anything but 100% sound, no medical issues ever, fantasy horses.
            Look, there are people out there -- I am one of them -- who have been to h*ll and back over a horse that didn't stay sound. At this point, she may be my last horse because I am SO afraid of getting stuck with another on-again, off-again horse. Plus, thanks to all the vet bills, time off, etc. I have way less of a budget for purchasing and training another horse now.
            You have to have experiences to gain experience.

            1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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            • #7
              I just bought a horse that will be shipped 800+ miles to my home, so maybe I can give at least my own insight into why this went so well. By the way, my new horse had been listed on DreamHorse for ONE day. I have been looking for at least four months, and when this one came up, I did not hesitate.

              Here is what the seller did right:

              1. Been riding the horse every day since they decided to sell, getting him in sale-ready shape.
              2. Good photos of a well-groomed, fit horse.
              3. Enthusiastic, but not hyped, accurate and detailed description.
              4. Two decent (not professional, but decent) videos of the horse.
              5. Answered my phone call immediately (did not go to voice mail) and spoke honestly and openly about the horse.
              6. Worked with us on the logistics, accepted a deposit and took the horse off the market ... did not say, "whoever shows up with a check first is the one who gets him," even though she had others wanting to see the horse the same day.
              7. Has a nice horse at a good price.

              I was not looking for a "bargain," considering that I wanted kid-safe, and hopefully a little fancy. But the horse was not overpriced, and even with shipping comes in within my budget.

              What other sellers did wrong:

              1. Slow to answer my inquiries -- by slow, I mean more than 24 hours. When someone is seriously looking, I think you have to assume they are looking at more than just YOUR horse. All things being equal, I think the person who replies quickly -- strikes while the iron is hot, so to speak -- has the advantage to make the sale.

              2. Horses with serious problems, that the sellers tended to trivialize. Very aged, or at least aged to the point that the price should drop significantly, and it didn't. Cribs. Only a little off at the canter. Hasn't been ridden for a year. Bucks a little. Prone to founder. Blind in one eye. Butt-ugly. etc.

              3. Nice-enough horses at unrealistic prices. What I kept seeing was, if someone had a horse that was even close to decent, they thought he was carved of pure gold. This horse has no known vices, is not butt-ugly, and has never foundered. $10,000. Ah -- not in this economy!

              One more thing I might add, which is pure conjecture from observation -- I think there may be fewer truly competition-level skilled riders out there with $$ to spend on a challenging horse. Because $$ tends to accumulate over time, I suspect that a big portion of the market are women over the age of 35 or 40. While they might have been able to handle (or appreciate) that high-strung, hot performance horse a few years ago -- they couldn't afford him then, and can't (or don't want to ) handle him now. No facts to support this, just my own observation ...

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              • #8
                There seemed to a be a lot of horses for sale or lease at a big AA show I recently attended. Trainers seemed to be ready to wheel and deal, even though I am not in the market. Wish I was as I believe good deals are to be had out there right now. I am talking about a $60K horse that you could probably buy or lease right now for a whole lot less, like maybe $25-30K. This is simply my take.

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                • #9
                  As someone who purchased a horse recently (Fall 2012), I will say that knowing it is (at least in my area) a buyer's market at the moment made me very willing to take my time. Perhaps you are seeing some of that? I may very well have come across as a "tire kicker" to some whose horses I went to try, although I did at least communicate to say thank you, he/she's not quite what I'm looking for.

                  I was looking for a green "project" pony or small horse, so I looked at everything from OTTBs, sale horses from local lesson barns/universities, diamond in the rough types of craigslist, etc.

                  I ended up buying an nice young gelding from a local breeder and the horse and the whole buying experience are so wonderful I'm hoping to purchase from her again. My "right" and "wrong" list would be nearly identical to King's Ransom.

                  I think you can never have too much (good) video of a horse, especially if you are marketing him/her for amateurs.

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                  • #10
                    Not much luck selling (recent deal fell through due to stupid parents), but I am buying.

                    Getting one examined for a student on Monday, have another one bought pending being able to pick it up, and am still looking for two more.

                    funnily enough, the horse we are doing the ppe on Monday wasn't as advertised (shorter), and so the only reason I got on her was that I had just been driving for a while, so figured why not. Horse was FUN to ride and quite trained, so a student who wasn't even really looking decided she wanted her. horse was well price, her hooves were recently trimmed, and it was just an easy going try out on a nice day.

                    what has been a turn off about the other horses I have looked at: 1) one was a horder 2) the seller didn't think I was worth having the barn lights on. I know this seems petty, but it just set a bad tone for me and my client. 3) saddles that fit so bad I would feel guilty trying the horse. 4) way to complicated to arrange a try out.

                    keep in mind I am shopping at the low end (under $8000), but I am actively shopping!
                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by King's Ransom View Post

                      One more thing I might add, which is pure conjecture from observation -- I think there may be fewer truly competition-level skilled riders out there with $$ to spend on a challenging horse. Because $$ tends to accumulate over time, I suspect that a big portion of the market are women over the age of 35 or 40. While they might have been able to handle (or appreciate) that high-strung, hot performance horse a few years ago -- they couldn't afford him then, and can't (or don't want to ) handle him now. No facts to support this, just my own observation ...
                      This, this, a whole lot more of this. I bought my OTTB for under $1000, because that's what I could afford. I'm sure in 10 or 15 years, I'll be able to afford something more "done" (although I'm having so much fun with my girl I might just do the whole thing over again when it comes time).

                      I've noticed that some really nice - and in my opinion, underpriced - competition horses in my area are just not selling. I think most people just don't have $10- $15k sitting around to spend on a horse, even if it's worth it.

                      Same goes for saddles, a lot of people can't sell their high end saddle around here unless it's priced under $1000, which is a serious steal for an Antares or Delgrange.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by quietann View Post
                        Look, there are people out there -- I am one of them -- who have been to h*ll and back over a horse that didn't stay sound. At this point, she may be my last horse because I am SO afraid of getting stuck with another on-again, off-again horse. Plus, thanks to all the vet bills, time off, etc. I have way less of a budget for purchasing and training another horse now.
                        I totally understand. My friend has just noted that she's never seen people be picky to such an extreme before. Like multiple vettings, second opinions, third opinions, $3000 PPEs, etc.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I will also agree that there just doesn't appear to be as much of a market for the "midpriced" competition horse at the moment. At least among the people I know, the $$$$ ones are moving and so are the $ ones, but it is the nice, but mid-range horses who seem to sit a while.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RiderInTheRain View Post
                            As someone who purchased a horse recently (Fall 2012), I will say that knowing it is (at least in my area) a buyer's market at the moment made me very willing to take my time.
                            I second this for sure. I spent 2 years looking because I knew I would eventually find a good deal. And I certainly did.

                            Originally posted by inne View Post
                            And it seems like no one is buying anything but 100% sound, no medical issues ever, fantasy horses.
                            And why shouldn't we hold out for that? I did. I invested a lot into a 4 year old mare who would've been the ideal horse for me, only to discover in the PPE that she had early radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis, but never was unsound. But I'll be damned if I'm going to invest in that! While it hurt to walk away from her, I looked for another year and found an even better horse who didn't have a thing wrong on his PPE, and was several thousand dollars cheaper.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well I sold one back in February who I had been advertised for about 15 months for sale. She was priced in the $10-$12K range. I just recently sent out on lease with option to buy at the end of the 90 day period. His price will be $8500 for sound and competing at FEI. I have a $2000 horse for sale right now and she's been advertised for about 1 month. To no surprise I've had many more calls and emails about her; but, even so I've just had (today) the second "interested party" arrange to see her and no show. Selling is just a blast isn't it?
                              Ranch of Last Resort

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by morganpony86 View Post
                                And why shouldn't we hold out for that? .
                                The first horse we bought we looked at between 200 and 300 head... and bought one that wasn't any where closed to our list but when we saw this horse we knew we could not walk away from her because to us she was going to be great...and she was and we still have her twenty-five years later

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