5 Things to Mention in a Horse Sale Advertisement

Photo by Lisa Michelle Dean entry in the 2015 USDF Arts Contest.

By Chelsey Burris

Thanks to the internet, there are now many options for selling your horse.  Unlike the old times of trying to cram only the most relevant information into a small classified ad in your local newspaper, most horse sale ads now allow for you give potential buyers much more information about your horse.  Want to find the dream home for your former equine partner?  Here are a few things to make sure you include in the ad.

Age or Year of Birth – You may get so excited writing about all your horse’s accomplishments in the show ring that you almost forget one of the most important facts: his age!  Some buyers are looking for a very specific age range for their potential horse.  You don’t want to spend time fielding e-mails and texts; only to find out the person you were messaging is looking for a much older or younger horse than yours.  Put this in the ad right from the beginning to ensure interested buyers know if he’s in their ideal age range.  Don’t worry, there is no “bad age” on an ad.  Some folks are looking for a young, green horse to bring along on their own, while others are looking for a veteran. 

Horse Height – Some photos can have deceptive angles, and make your horse look much bigger or smaller than he really is.  Including his height in the ad will help potential buyers know if he’s a good fit for them.  Also, actually take the time to measure him.  Too many ads include the phrase “I haven’t taken the stick to him but I think he’s xx hands,” yet when you get to the barn to meet the horse, he’s nowhere near that estimate.  It only takes a moment to grab a friend from your barn and measure your horse, and it will greatly help your ad to have an accurate height.

Training Level – With age and height out of the way, you can start getting into all the fun and exciting things you and your horse have done.  What level has he been showing at?  How has he been doing advancing through the levels?  Have you done any clinics together?  Anyone seriously interested in your horse will want to know where he’s at in his training.

Vices – This is one that is often skipped in ads, but unfortunately, it benefits no one to leave this out.  It’s not always fun to describe your horse’s vices, but you are doing him a favor by doing so.  If you’re not transparent, he may not be a good fit for his new owner, and you may either have to deal with an angry buyer, or your horse may wind up changing hands again quickly, and to a home you didn’t select.  To ensure his long term safety, it’s important to mention his issues.  Does he have a habit of bolting when he’s scared?  Is he a little spooky in traffic?  The home that’s the perfect fit for him will be able to work with him on his issues, while sending him to a home that is unaware could put him or his new owner in serious danger. 

Contact Information for Pricing, if Price is Not Mentioned – Some ads will include the price right in the ad, but other sellers prefer folks contact them directly for the price.  If you don’t want the price to be public, make sure you include a way for interested folks to reach you!  You can make it easy on potential buyers by including an e-mail address and phone number, so that they can contact you in the way that’s most convenient for them.

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