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Selling a Horse in a Sagging Economy

Question: I am looking to sell my horse and not sure of how I should go about it. I have been told that horses are not selling and that I won’t make any money, do you have any suggestions?

Answer: It’s true that the horses market is down, and you will have to work a lot harder to make your horse stand out in the crowd. Remember that you are trying to impress the potential buyer as if he or she is a judge. The first impression is the one that will last in their mind when they are comparing your horse to other potential buys in the market. You are not going to go to a car lot and look at cars that are covered in mud, have a dirty interior, and look as if they haven’t been taken care of, the same thing goes for your horse.

Being able to sell your horse is a matter of elbow grease and a bit of your time. With digital cameras being to norm, it makes taking the photos a pretty simple task, remember that it will take more than one picture to get the perfect shot. There have been times that I have had to shoot 500 pictures to get the 1 or 2 shots that I needed. The beauty with the digital camera is that you get to see the picture at that moment, and if it is not what you need you can delete it, no sending them off to be developed.
Most buyers are looking for more than one shot, they want to see the horse from both sides, a head shot along with shots of the horse's legs.


Bath: Make sure that your horse has been freshly bathed and groomed. This means shampoo and conditioner, I prefer to use products from xtreme designs that are herbal and all natural. Clip the bridle path, muzzle and ears. This will give the impression of nice, clean, and pretty head. Apply a thin coat of baby oil around the eyes, to the inside of the ears and on the muzzle, this will highlight the pretty features and add an extra dimension of depth.

Feet: Make sure that the farrier as freshly trimmed or shod your horse prior to taking pictures. This will let the potential buyer see the correct angles and conformation of the feet and legs. Also apply a coat of hoof black or polish to their feet for that extra finished look.

Tail: make sure that the tail had been washed and conditioned and the dead ends have been trimmed off. This will not hurt your horse to trim off the dead ends, after all you go the hair stylist to have the same thing done.


Halter: If you are going to take photos of your horse with a halter be sure that it is properly adjusted to fit their head. Don’t use a rope halter since they fit too sloppy, see if you can borrow a silver show halter for the day from a friend or go buy a new nylon halter that fits. If neither of these options work use one of your show bridles that fit, that is better than an ill fitting halter that give the impression of a bad head. If you have no other option take the photos all natural with nothing on their head, always better than a piece of equipment that doesn’t fit.

Saddle: If you are going to take pictures of your horse wearing a saddle, don’t. Most buyers will want to see their topline and you will just have to take more pictures. If you are riding and taking action shots, then the saddle will be fine. Always a show pad for the pictures and not you work pad, it just shows that you care about your horse's appearance. Always be sure to clean and wash all of you tack before taking pictures, it shows that you care about the little details.

Legs Wraps: Always shoot all of the conformation shots with no leg wraps. Use polo wraps or splint boots when shooting action shots, this will allow buyers to see the horse's legs. And remember that white always looks pretty and clean.

As Always; Ride Hard, Be Safe, Have Fun – Steve Kutie