At a time when buying and selling horses is becoming more and more important in equestrian sports, both for professionals and amateurs, a random sale ad no longer always gives the right result. With these twelve tips you will ensure a smooth, good and fair sale…
1. Appearance matters
When most people are looking for a horse, they naturally have certain basic requirements in mind such as age, discipline, size, … that they like to see ticked off. Plus, people often want something pleasing to the eye too, so make sure your horse is ready to sell! A clean, pretty, attractive and, above all, properly trained horse sells more easily than one that looks unkempt.
2. Use eye-catching photos
Internet sales ads are often liked or disliked at a glance. Therefore, it is important to use clear photos that immediately attract attention. Make sure the horse is visible, groomed and that its good qualities are emphasized.
For stand photos it is advisable to position the horse in a square stand, show riding photos of different gaits, and for a sport horse you should also provide some relevant photos regarding the discipline. Take your photos in nice, sunny and clear weather and make sure the arena is neat and tidy. Cleaning dirt, horse and rider in a set with neutral colors, it all helps.
Make sure you take enough photos to be able to choose the best ones. Choose a photo that shows the horse alert and energetic, but also one that shows the rider sitting and riding correctly. All photos must be of good quality and clear, with the horse centered and aligned with the background.
3. Videos make the difference
In addition to a good photo that immediately determines the first impression, an additional video is usually decisive in arousing the interest of buyers. With the right video you can highlight your horse’s qualities, but make sure you don’t make the video too long.
The perfect video is no longer than two to three minutes. In these minutes, it shows all three gates of your horse, and for sport horses, be sure to add some clips of them practicing their discipline. Include some confirmed exercises for dressage horses, add (part of) a course for a jumping horse, etc. If possible, make sure you can shoot in HD, as this often provides sharper images.
4. Honesty is the best policy
As with everything, honesty is always the best policy. Describe the horse’s characteristics and performance clearly and honestly in your sale ad so potential buyers know what to expect. Keep your ad professional, short and concise. Specify the animal’s pedigree, character, (sport) level, sporting performance, faults and potential. In addition, you find out about age, height and of course the pedigree.
5. A fair price
A price can make or break a sale. If you ask too much, your horse will be for sale for an unnecessarily long time, so that people will start to think that “there must be something wrong with the horse”. For the same reason, it is often not good to ask for too little. A fair price is based on training level, potential, health, character, pedigree and gender.
In doubt about what a fair price is? Then do not immediately rely on other horses that are offered on the sale sites. In this case, if necessary, call a third party who can help you determine the price. Would you rather only specify a price range in your ad? Then make sure you communicate your desired price more clearly to the interested parties over the phone. If you’d rather not do that either, ask about the buyer’s budget.
6. Choose the right sales platform
Is your sales ad completely finished? Then make sure you use the right online platforms to advertise. This depends on what kind of horse you have and what discipline the horse will be used for. In addition to online sales platforms, you can also check which social media channels may be suitable for distributing your ad. Also inform trainers, farriers and possibly your veterinarian that your horse is for sale. These people often have many connections and therefore will be approached more quickly asking if they know a nice horse for sale.. Yes, yours!
7. Be prepared
Make sure all your horse’s papers are gathered in one place well in advance so you can grab them when a spectator comes along. If you have additional information about the horse, you also have it at hand when a potential buyer comes to test or look at your horse.
8. Quick responses
Getting a phone call or email about your horse? Then respond immediately and fully. Selling a horse takes energy, but people who get a quick answer to their questions are more interested than when they have to wait days for an answer. So take the time to respond to emails and phone calls and make sure you don’t leave potential buyers with other questions.
Also try to be proactive and occasionally call some interested buyers. Please remember not to put too much pressure and always read the situation carefully. If you don’t have the time or inclination to pay attention to this, hiring a tradesman is a good alternative.
9. Be clear about health and other issues
As a seller, you are obligated to report any defects your horse may have. Stable vices such as cribbing or fluttering, medical problems such as roaring or a history of laminitis should all be clearly stated. If you are aware of any medical problems and/or behavioral or training difficulties, you should inform the potential buyer of this.
If you don’t, you risk having to take your horse back and give the horse world a bad name. If necessary, indicate to the buyer that the veterinarian can and will provide information about your horse. If the buyer fails to respond to this then it is at its own risk as it has not properly fulfilled its duty to investigate.
This can make a big difference in the event of a dispute in the future. A buyer who has the horse thoroughly inspected should not encounter any surprises. If your horse is occasionally quite naughty, do not offer him as a beginner horse. This is where the biggest possible accidents can happen.
10. Beware of testing
If you offer a riding horse, potential buyers will in many cases want to try the horse themselves first. They can then verify that your sale ad was truthful and that the horse meets their wishes. So make sure this can be done in a safe way, and if possible get an indoor or outdoor arena in which to roam.
Make sure you arrange your liability insurance ahead of time so you don’t face any nasty surprises if something happens during the horse’s testing. After all, it is your horse and therefore your responsibility to keep everything running smoothly and safely.
11. Put everything on paper
If the interested parties decide that they want to buy the horse, it is advisable to include this in a contract of sale. With such a sales contract, both parties know exactly where they stand and post-sale issues are less likely to get out of hand.
Report the details of the horse, the agreed price, any defects the buyer is aware of, the date of sale and delivery and other important information. If you want more information on how to draw up a good contract of sale, you can get all the additional information HERE.
12. Buyer Background Check
Last but certainly not least, it is highly recommended that you do a background check on your buyer. A responsible seller wants their horse to end up well and not end up in trade or worse.
An honest ad often ensures that people who respond know what they’re getting into. Do you have a viewer? Be honest, open and talk about horses in general. Ask about their experience, the vet or farrier they have and where the horse will be stabled. Don’t be shy to Google the buyer or find them on Facebook. Sometimes you find nothing, and sometimes you find enough to know you better look a little further, though of course you’re hoping for a sense of “that’s okay.”