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Preparing to sell your horse: A tale of trust and full disclosure

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  • Published on Tuesday, May 1, 2018
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You have decided to take the plunge and sell your horse. From there on and very quickly, get ready to receive inquiries even if your ad is completely filled in. You will have to manage the flow of requests while preparing your horse for the sale and be vigilant in many ways. Among other things, you will have to ensure the seriousness and moral honesty of the potential buyer. Here are some essential tips.

Prepare your mount for the potential buyer

Allow time for the buyer to estimate your horse's potential before he has even seen it, particularly through the writing in your ad. On the first day encounter, the horse should be perfectly "groomed" from mane to tail. Do not forget to put on hoof oil. Make sure your horse is in good physical condition (at the risk of disappointing the buyer). You’re selling a trained horse? Make sure he can be lunged correctly. You’re selling an unbroken horse? He must have a minimum amount of education. Is he comfortable being clipped? Is he used to cars, to external and unexpected noises? Can you shoe him easily? Does he load easily into a horse box or lorry? If the horse spent a month in the meadow and put on a little (too much) weight, indicate it in the ad. There is nothing more disappointing for a buyer than to go to visit the purchase for the first time only to realize that the horse has nothing of the mount shown in the pictures and boasted about in the text of the ad. Also, even at a distance, try to estimate the level of the rider interested in your horse.

Initiate a quick and effective sales process

Give your horse every opportunity to seduce the buyer and try to make the sales process as fast and least stressful as possible for the animal. It is easier to sell a horse accustomed to different riders and less likely to react with apprehension. A horse used to only one rider will not be confident and communication with a stranger will prove more difficult to establish. Make sure your horse responds well to orders and inform the buyer of his level of dressage. Do not be surprised if some potential buyers ask to see the horse being lunged or ridden before they purchase it. Thus, they can judge if its behavior is adapted to their expectations or if, on the contrary, it lacks practice. If you do not have a suitable place to demonstrate your horse's abilities, choose a suitable place to showcase his or her abilities and potential ... an indoor or outdoor sand arena for a sports horse, a field for a leisure horse.

Entrust your horse to the purchaser personally

It is up to the seller and the purchaser to agree on who will transport the horse; however, it is preferable that you are present at the moment of the delivery in order to see the new home of your ex companion ... and to keep in touch to see how he’s getting on, at least in the early days. You will also be able to judge if your horse is well taken care of in the horse box, if he easily accepts to go inside. Make sure the horse remains calm and quiet once inside and can be easily handled. An excited horse or a horse that’s unwilling to interact with humans will demotivate a potential buyer.

Finalise the sale

If the buyer wants to reserve the horse or if you have agreed to a trial period of a few days then do not hesitate to ask for a deposit.

Determine a sale contract (a trial period is possible), choose the mode of transport, by the owner or the buyer.

The RODI conclusion

  • Do not stress your horse before selling it: changing owners can be complicated.
  • Choose well and inquire very openly about the new buyer.
  • Ensure that the marital status and health record are up to date.
  • Make sure that the horse is well turned out on the day of the visit.
  • In your ad, describe precisely your horses temperament and the work for which he is intended, all accompanied by photos or videos.
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