When you have horses for sale you will inevitably have clients
out to see your horse in person. If you have not had much
experience in buying and selling horses, it is hard to know
how best to present your horse to bring out his best characteristics
for the clients.
The first thing to keep in mind is that first impressions
can may or break a sale. Take a look at your barn. Is it clean
and presentable? Are the stalls cleaned out, the aisle raked
or swept, and the paddocks well fenced and clear of dangerous
obstacles? If not you may need to upgrade your barn. From
some facilities this can be a simple clean-up job. Other places
are a lost cause and need lots of time and money to make them
presentable. If this is the case you might want to look into
boarding your sales horse at a local stable that has a good
standard of care.
Assuming that your facility is in good shape you next need
to consider your horse. While you can't help it if your horse
is shaggy in the winter, but whether sleek coated or extra
hairy your horse should be groomed to a shine. If he is especially
dusty but it is too cold for a bath you can hot towel the
coat rubbing out the worst of the dirt. Excess hairs should
be trimmed so that they are tidy. If your horse has white
markings they should be scrubbed so that any stains are taken
out. If the weather is nice the best idea is to give your
horse a thorough bath to show him off the best.
Depending on your horse's breed and discipline, you should
ensure that your horse looks well suited to his job. If your
horse is a show prospect he should look as though he could
go to a show tomorrow. If he is a pleasure horse he should
be clean and well trimmed, but he should not look as though
he is ring-ready. Know your horse's discipline and groom accordingly.
If your horse is a baby or cannot be ridden, make sure there
is a free arena or paddock that the buyers can watch your
horse move freely in. If your horse is started under saddle
be sure to have a safe, fenced area in which the buyer can
try the horse. Any tack, equipment, halters and brushes should
be clean and in good repair. Make sure that there is someone
who can ride your horse for the client before they try him
as they will want to see him go under saddle.
For horses who are experienced in the ring or who have accomplishments
under their belts it is a good idea to have an album of photographs
or a video available to show the buyers when they arrive.
For homebreds it is a good idea to have photos of the sire
and dam if they are not available to be seen on property.
When the buyers arrive your horse should be in its stall,
well groomed and ready to show. Your tack should be near at
hand so you don't need to waste time trying to find it. Most
buyers will want to see the horse without tack first, then
under saddle. If your horse is hot and needs to be longed
or ridden before the buyer arrives, spend time well in advance
preparing him, then bring him back into the barn to meet the
clients. Be honest with them about your preparation of the
horse, to do otherwise is dishonest and could lead to disaster
if the client buys the horse and becomes injured because they
did not know what the horse was really like.
Take your time with the clients, but be aware that they may
have other place to go and be on a time limit. If they are
interested go ahead and show them your other horses, but many
buyers are focused on the horse they are looking at and have
no desire to see the rest of the farm.
By presenting your farm and your horse at their best you
increase the chance that the buyer will not only want to purchase
your horse, but that they will be willing to pay the price
you are asking. A poorly groomed horse at an unkempt facility
only makes buyers want to dicker with the price and may completely
turn them off before they even truly look at the horse. Taking
good care of your horse and your clients will give you the
best chance for a successful sale.
About the Author
Lydia V Kelly is a writer for www.HorseClicks.com,