Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Hate Marketing

The Princess is up for sale now.  She's not on Dreamhorse quite yet, as I first wanted to tap into the local market.  We have a great Facebook page that is very community minded and made up of a bunch of folks involved with Eventing and Pony Club, so I started there.  Here's her ad:

2007 Registered Half Arabian mare for sale. Currently being ridden dressage and jumping up to 2’6. Has been out on trails and to schooling shows and handled it all marvelously. Super friendly, lovely mover, gets along with other horses. An uncomplicated ride for advanced beginners and up. Loves to jump. 

Currently being used in the lesson program and would make a good pony club mount.
Clips, bathes, loads. Tessa would be a perfect match for a small adult amateur or junior rider. 14.3 hands. $3,500. Also the cleanest grey horse (in fact the cleanest horse) I have ever owned! Located in Woodinville WA.

Video with Junior Rider (age 11) riding her:

Jumping Video:

And then I used this lovely picture of her.

The ad has only been up for two days, but so far nothing.  I've been watching other ads and it seems like the horses that sell quickly get lots of comments right away.  Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I'm concerned because she's an Arab and they don't have great reputations in the Pony Club/Eventing world.  It's funny that everyone at my barn loves her and always says how much they don't like Arabs, but they do love her.  And yet, she's not a completely atypical Arab.  I think I've just had more exposure to Arabs than most folks doing the eventing thing.

So, for those of you who have sold horses, what was most effective?  How long did it take?  Was Dreamhorse the way to go?

And if anyone knows of someone looking for a super cute partner, I'm flexible on price for the right home.


  1. She looks great! Man, when I was in Pony Club (all be it a couple decades ago) I felt like everyone had a half arab at some point. Seemed like it was the "go to" move up horse between everyone's pony and OTTB. :)

    While I have always relied on word of mouth/my personal network for selling horses, I have oddly never purchased one that way so I wouldn't be bashful about putting her on Dreamhorse. I'm sure she'll find a great home!!!

  2. I think she looks great too, my only red flag is 14.3. People HATE that size because you can't show in pony classes. Granted she's not a hunter, but I just think it's a hard size to sell. Not encouraging you to be dishonest, but if she can stick at 14.2hh (barefoot) or 15hh I would list her at that. I bet you will get better responses.

  3. Also wanted to add that I watched her jumping video. While she is very honest and cute over the jumps, she swaps the lead in her hind a few times (right at the beginning and around :43-:44 seconds). Some people may see that as a red flag for a weak hind end. I don't think a nice jumping video with simple lead changes is great, but I wouldn't post anything where she doesn't hold the proper canter lead. Just my 2c :)

  4. I bought both Dee and Page through Dream horse so go for it. I keep wondering if there is a good way to target the Arabian Sport Horse community because she'd be a perfect fit there.

  5. Lauren - Thanks!! She was sold to me as being 15 hands but we actually sticked her, barefoot at 14.3. If she needed shoes, I might be able to say she was 15 hands. I feel like since I already put it out there, it might be dishonest to change it now though. Also, thanks for the feedback on the jumping video. My trainer took it. I'm going to see if I can get out next week and take a proper jumping video of her that is better quality.

  6. She looks great. I am with you, I love the Arabs since I evented mine for years. Can't help on the sale side since I have not had to do that, but definitely try to target the Arabian Sport Horse people. What is her other half?

  7. I found both Pie and Red on Dreamhorse is OK too. Cute picture of her!

  8. Her other half (which isn't really a half so much as a small percentage) is a Paint Horse somewhere down the line.... Also, I just noticed on all my ads that I listed her year wrong. Sigh. She was born in 2006. You'd think I'd remember since that's the same year my daughter was born. :)

  9. Good pic, I would use another of a body shot. Also, the ad is too wordy. Ads are better kept short, simple, to the point.

    Something along the lines of:

    Stunning grey reg'd 1/2 Arab/(include other breed) 14.3 Mare. Suitable for intermediate to advanced riders. Would make perfect pony club/amateur mount. Would excel in (add disciplines). Show experience, uncomplicated ride on the flat, jumping 2'6 courses comfortably. Clips, bathes, ties, trailers, hacks etc.

    Good luck!

  10. I hate the phrase "typical Arab". I've owned and ridden Arabian my entire life, and their personalites run along the same spectrum as any other breed of horse from reliable and stoic to flighty to just-plain-crazy, but not a single one of them has been "typical" anything.
    *steps off of soapbox*
    The photo is lovely, and many of the riders I deal with these days recognize that all horses are individuals and evaluate a horse on its characteristics and skills before leaping to conclusions based on the breed.
    Sending good vibes your direction that she finds the right home! :)

  11. Another thing to think about, google. People may be googling your name or her name and finding this blog. You have been upfront and honest about your struggles with her, and that may be turning people off before they even think twice about contacting you.

  12. Being a crazy ayrabian you're going to be looking at people who want arabians. I would look at some marketing to arabian specific websites. 14.3 is a pretty average arabian side, but arabian people,like all other horse people, seem to think bigger is better. Some people have a bias against lesson horses. It can mean a grumpy and dull horse that is hammered in the mouth by people who don't know how to ride while they go round and round 7 days a week. Possible wear and tear as well as retraining. I would say something like "Tessa rides exactly the same for anyone, currently ridden by a 12yo she would make the perfect ponyclub mount."

  13. Thanks for everyone's feedback. Dragon, I had thought about this too. Is there a way to 'hide' this blog for a while without deleting it or should I scrap it and start over? Sigh. The perils of the interwebs.

    1. I know there are ways to make the blog private/invite only. I went through that with Cody. I did some major venting about his bad behaviour while he was with me. When I decided to sell him I took everything off of my blog (registered name mostly) that could people might find while googling his registered name. It took a few days but eventually my blog stopped coming up when I googled his name. In your case I think your best bet it to make this blog private until she sells (but please invite me! I love reading your blog!)

  14. Lots of good comments from everyone! I have only bought, not sold. but I think word of mouth helps and local sights. I wouldn't be discouraged that you have not gotten any response yet - there are so many horses out there for sale...hang in there :)

  15. You can make the blog private/invite only, but I don't think there's much hope in hiding your content. Really, if someone digs enough they will be able to unearth old posts even if you do make it private.