Monday, December 21, 2009

Why must you take pictures of you lounging on your horses?




These horses are priced $9,500, $22,000, and $15,000. Guess which price belongs to which horse. You are going to get this one wrong!

Anyways, these pictures are pointless for sales ads. I can sort of understand the ones with the ribbons or the ones in the winner's circle, but just standing around? Okay, maybe a Foxhunter. Maybe it's a personal peeve, but I'm generally annoyed seeing pictures of horses being sat on like they were a really nice piece of furniture. It's fine for as a cherished memoir of you and your "heart horse". But for a sales ad? Ride or get off.

Review your own ads!

How about this one?

young with great potential $7,500
He's an eyecatcher!!

<----- That's the picture from the ad.

Yeah, real eye catcher. You're a real funny guy and you paid $25 for a picture ad with a picture that doesn't work. Laff.

Price to Bad Pictures Ratio

If you have a $25,000 horse, I would expect to see, at the very least, a properly groomed horse. If your ad only has one picture it should either be a very good conformation picture or a very good riding picture.

In the case of the former, it should be stood up in a breed appropriate stance. It should be wearing either a clean leather halter or bridle. Your background should not be distracting for example a manure pile or random pieces of cars/farm equipment that hasn't been moved in 30 years.

In the case of the later, a show picture is ideal, but a schooling shot is acceptable. Again, clean tack. Rider should be dressed in subdued colors and proper riding attire as to not distract from the horse. Walking or standing in tack is not acceptable! Trot, canter, or jump is preferable for english. Any action photo for western (other than walking) is acceptable.

What is not acceptable is a photo picturing your $25,000 colored Quarter Horse stud colt being round penned in a dirty breaking saddle whom was pulled straight out of the pasture!
Price $25,000
Location Wagoner, Oklahoma
Breed(s) Quarter Horse
Sex Stallion
Height ?
Color Perlino
Foal Date Jun 2008

These pictures would be acceptable, however, if the horse was not being marketed as a stallion prospect and price tag was at least one zero less. So the point is, if you have an $850 QH broodie, a grazing picture is fine, but it is not Okay to use a grazing picture for your $12,000 show jumper.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dangerous! Questional Parental Judgement.<id=0
Breed(s) Clydesdale
Sex Gelding
Height 17.2 hands
Foal Date Apr 2004

This horse is so cute! He seems like the most perfect giant, hairy pet, but this picture just made my heart sink. Dear unthinking parents, please know that your young child, toddler, or baby does not have fully developed motor skills. I worry most for the baby on the back. He is probably just learning to walk by pulling himself up onto furniture and then falling down after a few triumphantly clumsy steps. If that horse moves he IS falling off. He may take one or both of his cute blondy sisters with him. That horse's hoof if bigger than that child's head. Let's not play "versus".


Inappropriate equipment used by the inadequate trainer.<id=0
Price $7,900
Breed(s) Quarter Horse
Sex Mare
Height 15.1 hands
Color Grulla
Foal Date May 2003

6YO GRULLA DUN, Granddaughter of Shining Spark $18,000 invested 3 yrs w / trainer. Brains, Beauty & Breeding. Beautiful horse always makes a presence and stands out in a crowd, good around children and small animals. She rides both western and english as well as with a bit and natural. Excellent feet, good mover, very willing to please. Has both reining and dressage training and has been shown hunt seat price reduced over $6,000, asking $7,900 OBO to Good home only selling due to travel demands with company as she deserves to be with someone who can spend more time with her she is a wonderful horse.

I first have to wonder if this trainer gave her client permission to use this photo for an ad that will be posted on the internet for the whole world to see. All the photos of this horse are dressage related, so I am assuming (as most other people looking at this ad) that this horse is being marketed mainly as a dressage horse.

An elevator bit is never appropriate for dressage. Not even at home when no-one is looking! Completely illegal in the show ring. This bit is being used in it's most harsh application. Only one rein is being used attached to the last ring creating the most leverage, and there's also a curb chain if the former is not enough. There are very few reasons to use an elevator bit rigged up like this and none of them are to train the dressage horse!

The standing martingale. This is Ok to use at home. When properly adjusted, this piece of equipment may stop a high-headed bolter from taking off or could save your nose from getting busted by a head flinger. If a horse is going correctly on the bit or a neutral position, it won't come into play. It's like it's not even there. However, it is not properly adjusted in this picture. I think the trainer wants to get the horse's head down by keeping the martingale unacceptably short, but the neck piece is so high, it would be impossible!

This 6 y/o QH who isn't even a training level dressage horse is being sold with $18,000 worth of training. For that kind of money, in the course of 3 years I expect my horse to not only be on the bit, but starting 3rd level work and competing 2nd. I won't even bother talking about this "trainer's" position and what I think of said "trainer" but I will say is somebody is seriously getting ripped off!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Marketing Your Horse - The Fox Trotter
Horse Name J.A.K.S.
Price $30,000
Location Liberty hill, Texas
Breed(s) Missouri Fox Trotting Horse
Sex Mare
Height 15.1 hands
Color Palomino
Foal Date Jun 2005

The Missouri Fox Trotter. A gaited breed known best for it's namesake, the smooth Fox Trot gait. Unbeknownst to me, there are shows just for Fox Trotters that cover pretty much every discipline imaginable. I am impressed with how versatile this breed seems to be. However, if this is the reserve world championship jumper, they should stick to Fox Trotting. When I saw "world champion" I thought, What world? Not this world. Oh the BREED champion! Nice gate panels. The above picture is not a fluke; there isn't a flattering jump in any of the ad's pictures. For 30k, the market for such a horse must be very small and someone looking for a competitive jumper in the real world, this horse isn't going to cut it.

If you really want to sell your horse, it needs to be priced realistically to a large market of buyers. Many breeds can do multiple disciplines, but some are just made for them better than others. On a whole, the jumping world is dominated by Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods, and for good reason. They are good at it!