Sept 16 – The day I started spreading the word quietly
Oct 16 – The day I got brave and put up an ad online and announced it to the world
Nov 10- The day I sold my first horse
Nov 20- The day they picked her up
While I’m not calling it a “selling miracle”, I am calling it a Miracle nonetheless. I am SO pleased to report that Princess Claire has found her new home! She will be with a friend a few hours away out foxhunting and showing and helping preserve the Cleveland Bay breed. I am so fortunate to see her go to a home where she will be loved and cared for like she was here and ridden by an amazing rider. Now that I can sleep again and the stress ulcers can start healing (anyone have any UlcerGuard handy?) it’s time to reflect on what I learned.
1. Selling is Hard Work
Before you even put the horse on the market… get quality photos, videos working on ground and under saddle, pull that mane, bathe that horse, and get every bit of information ready. Work with your trainer and vet to make a reasonable ad that shows not only their capabilities and potential but that is realistic. Give the Vet/Trainer/Farrier a courtesy heads up about the horse as they may know a client looking or at least they can be prepared for the phone calls about the horse from potential buyers
2. Don’t expect the internet to do the work for you. Promote!
Claire didn’t sell from her ad on a major horse sales website, or a Facebook post, although I did those and more. Claire sold because I reached out to people personally and kept putting the word out. Done honestly from the heart to friends who knew I only wanted the best for her. And I kept at it. I kept reaching out and thinking outside my regular friends who are happy with their horses. I reached out to my old college riding team, my far away friends who I see at shows, people that would have my interests at heart. I took flyers with me everywhere I went – shows, gave them to friends.
3. Keep your horse in selling condition
That means keep riding 4+ days a week, keep them relatively clean for those last minute shoppers, keep the hind shoes on over the winter. People were in awe that when presented, Claire was at least 90% spot-free which is a white horse challenge.
4. Keep communicating
Communication was the key. Buyers are wary, you promise the moon and when the horse gets home it’s nuts! I was very upfront with everything amazing and less than amazing about my horse, I didn’t waste a potential buyer’s time if she wasn’t their type and they didn’t waste mine with tire kicking and then not communicating. I told her buyer when she planned to pick her up to allot daylight for loading as sometimes we need a while to load. I went over and wrote down feed and meds and shoes and quirks and how I fix those when I ride. We forget sometimes in selling that we want to see our horse shine in its next career, and the best way to do that is to share it all. I made a whole binder of vet records and other details but I wrote what was at least 5 pages on the story of my horse and the things she’s done and how to fix that left lead. Because I want the very best for my girl.
Claire is settled in at her new home and her new mom and FB fan club send me photos of her every few days, her playing or napping or rolling. And soon her riding!! I couldn’t be more thankful for a great home and more honored to have owned Claire. To have taken her so far in just 3 short years and to find her the home she’s always wanted.