Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Selling horses

Wow, I really jinxed it when I announced that spring had come. Yesterday and over the night we got 9 inches of snow!!!! And it is still snowing. I went out to take some neat flowers in the snow pictures, but I couldn't find my flowers! Only the tall tulips had parts sticking out.

I dug down a couple inches to find the tulip buds resting snugly waiting for the sun to come out.

Isn't this sign ironic now?

So, I listed Sassy for sale a couple days ago. Selling a horse is the hardest thing ever! I've never done it before. And I'm not even attached to Sassy. I didn't let myself get attached because I knew I didn't have time for her and couldn't keep her. Even so, I still care about her well-being as an animal that deserves a decent life. So, thinking about all the possibilities of where she could end up in this poor horse market makes me shudder. But we can't feed her forever if we aren't going to use her, so she must go. She has unique color and a nice temperament going for her...unfortunately, she doesn't have the training level that will fetch a good price and guarantee her a safe future (if there ever is a safe guarantee for ANY horse once they leave your hands). She is 6 years old. She was started as a 4 year old, worked with a lot, and given about 30 rides. Then her owner got ready to head off to college, so she sold her to my nephew, who is 20 years old. He rode her once, bareback, then got a motorcycle and never looked at her again. She stood out in the pasture the whole summer of her 5 year old year. Now she's 6, and still green. My nephew said that she is not the deadbroke horse that he needs. Of course she isn't...she's only been ridden 30 times, and now she's had more than a year what kind of price do you think I can get for her? Even if she was practically free, is anyone interested in this market?

Well, right after I listed her, I got 3 responses. One via email and then 2 people texted me (texted!!!!). What? I didn't expect that...guess I'm old fashioned! But if you are seriously interested, wouldn't you give me a call instead of text me? Almost every one of those people asked if she bucks or rears...well, she never bucked nor reared during her initial training and 30 rides, and I told them so. I told one person to call me to discuss a possible sale, and she said she would right after she picked her son up from school...did I hear from her? No. The other texter said she would be available to talk on the phone after 3pm. I called her at 4pm and left a message. Did I hear from her? No. The email person never responded to my answer that the horse had never bucked nor reared. I also did a little background research on the two people that contacted me over my phone. I punched their numbers into Google. I found a bunch of listing that they had placed to sell various horse related items and horses. One person listed a well-bred horse, stating that she needed to sell her because the horse needed about 2 more months of training to get her to the teampenning horse that she needed and she did not have the time to do that because she just had a baby. That horse was listed for sale in March of 2011. So, now this person is interested in Sassy who I clearly stated was still very green? Weird. The other person had about 5 horses listed for sale in the last year or two, all between $400 and $1000. I suspect she may be a dealer/trader and be looking to make a buck on Sassy. I feel terrible thinking of where she might end up if she went to this person...but if I'm too picky, I'll never get her sold and I'll have to feed her another winter! What do I do? I really have no actual proof that these people are dishonest or have selfish intentions. And of course, by writing this on my blog, I'm spilling it all out to the world about my suspicions...but I never misrepresented Sassy in her ad, so I'm not worried, and if these people are really interested in her and have good intentions, they will not be offended that I looked them up. And anyway, I'm sure I'll never hear from them. It's easy to inquire about a horse via texting, but not so easy to actually declare that you are truly interested by calling me.

I had wanted to work with Sassy a bit this spring before I listed her for sale and get some really nice pictures of her saddled and being ridden, but alas, the weather has not allowed for that! I wanted to do this in my round pen, but we have not been able to get it set up. The ground is still too wet to work (I want to put a good sand base down), and then there is the little problem of all the snow. Ugh. Has anyone else had this much anxiety over selling a horse that isn't even their own?

1 comment:

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I feel your pain. I was in the same situation with Dove last year. It's really hard. I think the only thing you can do is go with your gut instinct on who is right for her. Some people are good liars but you can only do what you can do.

With her color I think you might have a lot of people interested who really have no business with a green horse. Like the lady who just had a baby. She's probably in love with Sassy's looks and not being realistic about what kind of horse she needs.

I'd start by asking high and see what happens. You can always come down in price, and maybe it will discourage some of the looky-loos.

It might also help to put in your ad that you only accept phone calls.