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How to tell potential buyer you don't want her to buy your horse?

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  • How to tell potential buyer you don't want her to buy your horse?

    I have a nice, young (not quite 5) hunter prospect for sale, and I've read all the horror stories on COTH about kids emailing about horses for sale, etc. Well, I've had a 13 y.o. respond to my ad, saying that she'd love to look at him when she sells one of her other horses (she has a QH and Tenn Walker). She says it's been her dream to own a jumping horse. I've been trying to delicately feel her out about boarding, training, how much experience she has, etc. She plans to keep the horse at home, and I haven't heard back on the trainer angle yet.

    While I realize there are many competent 13 y.o. riders, that's just not the vibe I'm getting from her. She has not asked any questions I would expect from a savvy young horse person: soundness, temperament, etc. What I'm getting is, "Oooh, pretty! He jumps, I want to learn to jump: perfect!" This horse has a lot of potential, and I want him to go to a home where he'll have a job, and I don't think this is the right home for him. Plus, he's still very young, and while he has done a lot of showing and going out and about, he's not the horse to teach anyone to jump or ride.

    Well, I get an email that she has sold her horse, her folks will chip in, and she wants to come see my horse. Is there any way Ican break it to her gently that I don't think it will be a good match? Or should I let her come out and try him?

    I've never sold a horse before, and this boy is the darling of my heart. I've gotten some other inquiries that seem like a better fit (have trainers, in college, more experienced). Should I nip this in the bud and save her the trip or see what unfolds?
    Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck; some nights I call it a draw. -- fun.

    My favorite podcasts: Overdue, The Black Tapes, Tanis, Rabbits, How Did This Get Made?, Up and Vanished.

  • #2
    Nicely respond to her emails saying "unfortuantely I don't believe you are a good fit for an inexperianced horse but thank you for inquiring. Regards xxxxxx". Leave it short & simple & if she keeps harassing you, you can always block her email.
    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

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    • #3
      When she asks to come try him: "I'm sorry. Im' afraid that's simply not possible"

      Pushed for details, respond with "It's not a good fit. Thank you for your time".

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Yeah, I wonder if I've been encouraging her by responding to her emails, but it's not in me to NOT respond to requests for information. And it's taken about 4-5 emails to find out her age, situation, etc. So now I think she feels like we have a bond.
        Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck; some nights I call it a draw. -- fun.

        My favorite podcasts: Overdue, The Black Tapes, Tanis, Rabbits, How Did This Get Made?, Up and Vanished.

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        • #5
          Actually, I'd be more diplomatic. 13 year olds are not good communicators; she *could* be a backyard yahooligan, or she could be a charming young 4-H'er with a competent trainer.

          Tell her that since she is a minor, you will require her to bring her trainer with her to try the horse and would like to see the trainer ride the horse first to appraise if it will be a good match for her. If you luck out, she will show up with a trainer. If you like what you see, then maybe you've found an unexpectedly great buyer. If you don't like what you see, you can simply say that you don't think it's a match.

          If she responds by saying that she does not have a trainer, then you can gently and diplomatically blame it on the horse: "I'm sorry, but Dobbin is still early on in his jumping training, and I would only feel comfortable selling him to someone who is being closely supervised by a trainer. Best of luck in your search."
          Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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          • #6
            Your best angle may be polite honesty. I've had young and green sales and on those replies I was honest in saying that this is young and green and I believe the horse needed an experienced rider or trainer to finsh out its training. Tell her you appreciate her positive comments on your horse and wish her luck in finding the right horse. If you have the gift of writing maybe you could politely suggest she look to an older, more experienced horse to learn how to jump safely.
            Epona Farm
            Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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            • #7
              Tell her you can't really do business with a minor and will need to speak with her parents and/or her trainer. I'm betting that's the last you hear of her.

              If you do hear from her parents, tell them that the horse is really unsuitable for her experience level and you couldn't in good conscience sell it to a home without a trainer, plus you're still hoping for a show home. Let them do the dirty work, since they are the ones turning their 13 year old loose on horse sellers (am I the only one who still totally doesn't get this?)

              Comment


              • #8
                You don't owe an explanation at all. "I'm sorry, Dobbin is no longer available. Good luck in your search." End.
                I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

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                • #9
                  I had a nice young teenager respond to my sales ad last year, and after vetting HER out a bit on-line and discovering a few key facts, I asked her mother to call me. Within 1/2 hour the mom called and confirmed that her daughter was indeed looking for a horse, and her trainer had asked that they start the search. Not knowing much about horses, the parents let the teen take the lead.

                  To make a long story short, they came, tried the horse, liked him, I liked them, came back with the trainer and made an offer. Unfortunately, when someone in her barn found out they had made an offer, THEY made an offer to the teen on a horse the kid liked too, and my deal fell through.

                  All this to say that not all teenage inquiries are questionable! A few key questions should give you the thumbs up or down fairly quickly. Sounds like you've done your homework on this one, but I just wanted to share an (almost) success story!!
                  Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by allpurpose View Post
                    All this to say that not all teenage inquiries are questionable! A few key questions should give you the thumbs up or down fairly quickly. Sounds like you've done your homework on this one, but I just wanted to share an (almost) success story!!
                    I disagree. All teen inquiries... ok, we'll say under 16, as 13 is only barely even a teen... are questionable. Some of them might hold up under questioning, but the questioning is still necessary

                    As the parent of a kid not far off from 13, I would honestly hope that if she broke every computer rule she has and contacted someone about a horse they'd demand to speak to me sooner rather than later.

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                    • #11
                      I agree that if it has gone on for several emails, now it's time for the responsible adult (parent, trainer) to take up the discussion. No need to blow her off just because she sounds young and inexperienced - kids that age aren't always very good at explaining themselves or saying the right things. If she puts you in touch with her parent or trainer, then you can ask all the questions about her experience etc. again, to get the real answers, and then decide if it is a fit. When I was that age it was normal for us (girls at least) to say we weren't very good at things, even if we were. It can be hard to tell if she's being honest or just being very clumsy at trying to be polite.

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                      • #12
                        2fatponies gave the perfect answer.

                        I'm a pretty inexperienced buyer and was out horse shopping last summer. There was a horse I was very close to buying, until the seller told me the mare was only trained Western, and I wanted a horse that knew both E/W.

                        My BO bought that very same horse as a broodmare and I find she does know both English & Western. Obviously the seller knew exactly what to say, she didn't want me to buy her horse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I suggest using the polite but informative tactic. Something along the lines of the following:

                          "Congratulations on selling your horse. Because of my horse's age and the fact that you want to 'learn' jumping, I feel as though, it would be better to have your trainer come with you to see my horse that I have for sale. My horse is not a 100% trained jumper and is still green when it comes to jumping. Your trainer can better assess my horse to see if he is suitable to your jumping needs and will be able to tell if it's a good match or not. Please feel free to pass along my e-mail address or telephone number to your trainer, and we will work out a time for you both to come visit."

                          I had a 13 year old out looking to buy a horse about 7 years ago when I had mine for sale. She answered an ad online, and I immediately knew it was a teenager. "He's so pretty!" and all of that as well. I finally asked to have her mother call me, and same thing as another poster, they were, indeed, looking for a horse, her daughter was in 4-H and was already making herself out to be an accomplished rider. My horse was good for an intermediate rider - definitely not a beginner, but he didn't require an experienced rider either. Mom, trainer, and daughter drove 2 hours to come and see my horse, and it was love at first sight. They had a trailer down to pick him up that weekend
                          If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                          DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                          Originally posted by talkofthetown
                          As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ambrey View Post
                            Tell her you can't really do business with a minor and will need to speak with her parents and/or her trainer. I'm betting that's the last you hear of her.

                            If you do hear from her parents, tell them that the horse is really unsuitable for her experience level and you couldn't in good conscience sell it to a home without a trainer, plus you're still hoping for a show home. Let them do the dirty work, since they are the ones turning their 13 year old loose on horse sellers (am I the only one who still totally doesn't get this?)
                            Agree. Ask to talk to her parents. 13 is too young to be contacting horse sellers by herself.
                            Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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                            • #15
                              If you have answered 4 or 5 emails from a minor you've already gone too far. In the future, remember to immediately tell a minor that their parent needs to CALL YOU for you to go any further.

                              Then, you can explain to *parent* why the horse is inappropriate.
                              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                              ---
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                "Thank you for your interest, but I'm afraid this would not be a good match. Good luck in your search for the perfect horse."

                                Rinse, repeat as needed. No need to explain, just keep it short, sweet and unemotional.

                                For future reference, though, if you get interest from a minor, immediately ask to speak to a parent. Not a trainer. A parent. Minors cannot enter contracts; your sale agreement would be with the child's parent/legal guardian. The kid and his/her trainer can certainly be involved, and there are plenty of instances where the child of non-horsey parents (guided by a good instructor) led the horse-choosing process. But you will need to make sure you deal with the parent from the get-go, as that will be the person signing the sales contract.
                                Equinox Equine Massage

                                In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                                -Albert Camus

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                                • #17
                                  If you feel like she's not a match, then I'd just say he's not suitable for her, or he's not available or that he's on trial, etc.

                                  I've had emails where I can't get ANY info from the potential buyer... like this one chick in the SAME TOWN that must have sent me 30 emails about a CANTER horse I had in for sale. When I pressed for her to come SEE the horse (so I can quit answering the same 15 questions over & over)-- she disappears.

                                  That being said, I have known many kids who ride MUCH BETTER than most adults. I sold a (different) CANTER horse to a very good junior... I had no worries at all when she was on him. ...and I am NOT a kid person, so that's saying a lot!!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
                                    Actually, I'd be more diplomatic. 13 year olds are not good communicators; she *could* be a backyard yahooligan, or she could be a charming young 4-H'er with a competent trainer.

                                    Tell her that since she is a minor, you will require her to bring her trainer with her to try the horse and would like to see the trainer ride the horse first to appraise if it will be a good match for her. If you luck out, she will show up with a trainer. If you like what you see, then maybe you've found an unexpectedly great buyer. If you don't like what you see, you can simply say that you don't think it's a match.

                                    If she responds by saying that she does not have a trainer, then you can gently and diplomatically blame it on the horse: "I'm sorry, but Dobbin is still early on in his jumping training, and I would only feel comfortable selling him to someone who is being closely supervised by a trainer. Best of luck in your search."
                                    I agree with this. But I will add that a parent should be there too.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I was 13 when I got my horse, and I made all the calls and did all the legwork myself. When time came to try the horse I dragged my mother along and she took care of the paperwork. I didn't have a trainer, I was a backyard kid and we were dealing with a fella who was basically a horse dealer. BUT you are well within your rights to withdraw the horse for sale to her, how you choose to phrase it is up to you. Right now all this kid is doing is tire-kicking via e-mail.
                                      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
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                                      • #20
                                        I had a very competent email from a 13yo this morning regarding a horse for sale. Pleasantly surprised, we'll see how it goes and I'm crossing my fingers.
                                        It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati

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