What is the best place to market a training level/level 1 dressage horse (pony)?
tack shops? dream horse?
I really need some coaching! This is my first time [ever] selling a horse (my first horse, too! ) and I really do not know what I'm doing! Please help me! All tips welcome!
Other info: There is some dressage interest in our area but not a whole ton because it's more of rodeo country. My mare might also be able to do some lower level endurance racing [she is an arab that loves to trot forever!] or be a brood mare because she has pretty good conformation and excellent mothering instincts. She is not registered though.
Do you have a local organization/GMO? Ours has a classified section. FWIW, I found my horse on dreamhorse, and he was only 30 minutes down the road from me. A bonus! I decided that I would travel up to an hour/hour and half away from me, if I needed to. But my wonderful dressage instructor helped me look as well, kept her ears open in the community.
Cute, I would post her on Dream Horse, as well as do what someone else mentioned, try and get her into someone's training barn. Hanging an ad at the local tack shop and feed store helps, too.
As for the mechanics of selling a horse all by yourself...be careful. Some folks will come to lookylou, get a free ride on the pretty horsey with no intentions whatsoever of buying her. Insist on a contract/bill of sale. Go to Equine Legal Solutions, a web site that (has been having connectivity problems) it appears, but has tons of good advice for you. Free. The contracts cost but not painfully so and are very, very good.
In your ads, state whether she's good for beginners, or needs an advanced rider. I cannot state this loudly enough.
Know your horse. If she's spooky, so say. That's not always a fault...I've had Arabs for years and can't remember when they didn't need a spook a day. Not bad ones, but still..spooks. Also, if she's sound, say so. The best thing a horse can be is the three S's...safe, sane and sound. In the ad state whether she bathes, clips, trailers, etc. If she's wary of men, or strangers, that needs to be said, as well. If she's afraid of dogs or needs a companion, say so.
When someone comes to look at her, be honest about her faults, but don't over emphasize them. A real horseman will understand. Make sure she's clean, when they schedule an appt to come see her and ride her, make sure it's not around her dinner time, and that she is ready for the person looking at her. Have tack ready for the person, and ask them if they want to tack her up or have you do so. That, really, is an excellent indication of what level of horseman they are. If they can't or decline to tack up a strange (to them) horse, this should tell you if she's a good horse for them.
One time I was selling a horse and a woman came by to 'buy him' and she didn't even know how to halter him. He'd come trotting up when I called him, stuck his head out at us, waiting to be haltered, and she thought he wanted his nose petted. After handing her his halter, she asked, oh is this his collar? I told her, you know, maybe you should take some lessons before you spend a lot of money. She didn't buy him.
Have her records of everything nearby: shots, floating, shoeing or trimming, etc.
Let's say someone says, well I want to have my vet check her, that's fine. The vet can come to your place. Find out the name of their vet and call him or her to verify that's he's going to examine the horse. In fact you WANT them to spend the money on their vet. If they want to take the horse on trial, insist they leave you with a check for her with the understanding that they have a week (no more) to have her checked out, and if they don't like her, bring her back IN THE SAME CONDITION they took her. Unbred. Wearing the shoes she left in. Even the same halter. They must leave money, for the full amount, cash would be nice but is probably unreasonable, with the understanding that you won't cash it until they either say they're keeping the horse or they are bringing her back. Then get the check checked immediately, to see if it's a good one. Make sure you know where they're taking her, and get a license plate number. Tell them you'll come by their place in a day or two 'to see how she's doing'. Sad to say, these precautions were unnecessary until a few years ago. Make sure you know what they look like and where the horse is, you can always insist on looking at their place before hand. Ask to see their driver's license: if they don't have one or 'it's in my wallet in the truck" that is your signal that they're not on the up and up. How do they propose to get the horse to their place without a driver's license?
Contract it, get a signature, and don't take "I think contracts are unnecessary" for an answer. Contracts will save your butt, I am here to tell you. Contract. Bill of Sale.
Trust your gut. If something tells you something's not right about the buyer, believe it. Then again, if your gut is merely saying, it's lunch time, then you probably don't have too much to worry about.
There's a lot more. Be careful. Dream horse will help you, they're a reputable website.
The best thing to do on a golf course is a GALLOP!
hrsmstr, thank you for your reply. that gave me a lot to think about and will hopefully help me to have a more smooth transition. Although, I will admit that you made me jump when you said make sure she comes back un-bred. Never thought of that one. Your advice is greatly appreciated because I have never sold a horse before and want things to go smoothly. Thanks!
I mentioned unbred because the woman I'm leasing my current horse from bought an Arab/Hungarian mare with a filly at foot. The sellers had no stallion but had had the mare bred and foaled her out and then sold her.
About eight months later, my friend noticed that the mare was 'getting fat' and put her on a diet, and kept her working, and the mare kept getting fatter...until one morning, my friend had not one, not two, but THREE equines...the newest one, still wet, was a MULE.
"Oh, that little devil!" was all the seller would say about her miniature jack donkey. The seller thought it was funny...my friend didn't think it funny at all.
The best thing to do on a golf course is a GALLOP!