So you have decided to sell your horse. You should do everything possible to find him or her the best home you can. There are several things to consider, among them the asking price and how to make your horse stand out among the thousands of others being offered for sale. Consider the questions that you as a buyer would ask about your horse if you were the one purchasing the horse.
Asking Price. You have to decide a fair market value for your horse. Do your homework and find out what similar horse's are selling for, evaluating your horse's experience or training in his specialty area, age, achievements in competition, etc. Be sure you are comfortable with your asking price.
Marketing Your Horse. You have many choices when advertising your horse to specific markets. There are many equine publications, as well as, local newspapers with "Horses For Sale". TWHBEA's Voice of the Tennessee Walking Horse has a classified section. Word of mouth is another good way to spread the word that you have a horse for sale. Let your horse buddies know that you have your horse for sale and ask them to pass it along to their other horse friends. Don't forget to post a notice at your feed and tack store and let your farrier, veterinarian, local equine club members and 4-H groups know what you have for sale. One of the best ways to advertise your horse today is on the internet through online equine classifieds. Check out TWHBEA's Online Classifieds that are free to all members and available for anyone around the world to explore. Whichever methods you choose to promote your horse, you should always have a good photo of him. Plain text ads do not generate the interest that ads with photos or videos do. The more information you can give about your horse the better chance you have of getting serious responses to your ad. When taking photos, present your horse in the best possible light, both figuratively and literally. Position your horse so that he is standing square on all four feet with his ears perked forward and looking alert; or in action with rider comfortably mounted showing a good gait. Have your horse well lit and not in silhouette. Your photos should accentuate the most favorable traits of your horse and be in focus!
Your Ad. The title of your ad is important if you want to get noticed. Put your best selling points in the title: "3 Year Old, Bay Gelding, TWHBEA Versatility Futurity Champion". This is your chance to make sure someone clicks on your ad! You might want to add the price here also, along with other great qualities: "Priced at $4,000/ Reining/Works Cattle/Gentle".
Buyers want to know specifics such as (1.) age, sex, height, weight, color, breed ( even if it's mixed, list them). (2.) What the horse is trained for: showing, trail riding, dressage, equitation, versatility, driving, etc. (3.) Who the horse is suitable for: all riders, experienced riders only, youth, adult amateurs, professionals. (4.) Manners: loads quietly, clips easily, safe for children, no vices. (5.) Asking Price: It is good to list the price. You may add "OBO" (or best offer) if you wish to be flexible with your price. If you have a very expensive horse you may ask that they contact the seller for the price.
Contact Information. Make sure you have your contact info available at the end of your ad. A telephone number along with an email address, if possible. You want potential buyers to be able to contact you easily.
Above all else when listing your horse in an ad, be honest in describing your horse, his ability and character. If buyers find you honest and forthright, they will come back for more horses and send their friends to you.
Be Patient. Sometimes it may take weeks or even months to sell your horse. Don't give up. It is good to update your ads with fresh titles or new info. Change your photos from time to time to draw interest.
The Presentation. When you get an inquiry about your horse, answer all questions up front, positively and honestly. Set up an appointment for them to come and see your horse. Give good directions and have your cell phone ready in case they call for further assistance. Be on time and neatly dressed, as you are a reflection of your horse and presenting yourself as a horseperson and caregiver. Be prepared to ride your horse and have any paperwork available that they may ask for, such as pedigree, vaccination and vet records and shoeing schedules. Have your horse clean, shiny and looking great when they arrive. Have him clipped, mane and tail combed and feet oiled to look their best. After introducing yourself to the buyer, introduce him to your horse. You go in the stall and bring your horse out for the formal introduction. Your buyer will more than likely have many questions, but if not, tell them all about your horse and why you are wanting to sell him. Let the buyer watch you saddle and bridle your horse and you should always ride your horse first. The buyer should always sign a liability waiver and wear protective headgear before mounting your horse. Riding in an enclosed area at first is recommended and give your buyer riding tips about your horse so they will feel comfortable with each other. After the ride, answer any questions and begin cooling your horse out.
The Sale. If the buyer likes your horse he will begin the process of discussing money. The buyer may ask if your price is firm and if the answer is yes, explain to him why the asking price is fair. If the price is negotiable, the buyer may make an offer and the bargaining begins. If you accept the offer and a final price is agreed upon, then you can talk about pre-purchase exams and shipping arrangements. The buyer is usually responsible for those expenses. You should not release the horse to them until the cash or their check has cleared the bank. You should create a bill of sale and send in the transfer of ownership to TWHBEA for the new owner. Give them all documentation on your horse, such as horse's health records, detailed instructions on feeding and care, vets and farriers in the area and contact info if they ever have questions.
Follow Up. You want to place your horses in a good, loving environment where he will become an ambassador for the Tennessee Walking Horse breed. You want your buyer to come back to you to purchase more horses and bring his friends. Call and check up on your horse. Ask how he's doing and if they have any questions. Do all you can to make your buyer feel comfortable and happy with his purchase and your horse comfortable and happy with his new owners and home.