Selling horses tips for sellers
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Selling horses tips for sellers

Published by: Lisa Wright (4)
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Unless you
are in the business of selling and producing horses for a living, for most of
us selling our equine friend can be quite daunting. Moving him on to pastures
new and ensuring his future lies with a caring and responsible future owner is
quite a responsibility and if you’ve been forced to sell due to circumstances
then the decision to find the right person in a reasonable amount of time
becomes increasing important.   Selling a
horse can also be a tricky business and whilst there is lots of advice and
information out there to assist potential buyers, advice to support those
selling equines is often thin on the ground.
At what price?
The first thing you need to do is decide how much you are willing to sell your horse
for.  The valuation and pricing of horses is incredibly arbitrary.  Often it merely
comes down to what someone is willing to pay and what you’re willing to let
your horse “go for”.  A good place to
start is to search for similar horses and look at what they are being
advertised for.  Alternatively, we at have developed a model to review and report on the average
advertised price of horses by breed, age, height and gender that are listed on
our website.  Please click on
for more details.  Please note these
prices are the “average advertised prices”. 
We do not have data on the actual sales price.  Make sure you list the asking price.  Unless the horse is expensive (and then state
Price on Application, POA), I think it is unfair and I am personally put off an
advert if there is no list price as I’m expecting the seller to “try it on” and
they’re testing the market to see what they can get for that particular horse.
Next there
are some general factual de tails regarding your horse that any potential buyer
will need to know.  These include details
such as Type, Breed, Age, Height, Gender, Colour and Region – where you and
your horse are located.
Provide a
good, accurate photograph which is representative of how your horse looks
today.  If you have a great photograph of
your horse show jumping but they haven’t show jumped for a few years, then
putting that particular photo up can be misleading. If you have a recent video
of your horse competing or just working at home, if it shows your horse in a
positive way – include it as it will give prospective buyers a good insight
into how your horse moves.
Other information that may prove useful
to prospective buyers would include, listing who your horse would be most
suitable for (ambitious teenager, mother/daughter share, first time owner), any
talents your horse may have, include any winnings or points.  Good to load, shoe, clip, traffic etc.  Also any special qualities your horse may have
– what makes them stand out?
At the end of the advertisement make sure you have included a phone
number and an email contact if possible. You may also include a website for
further information, photos, etc. (I always look for websites because they
usually have multiple listings of horses for sale and you can get a good idea
of what is selling in the marketplace. They also include good links.)
Now that you have composed your ad or ads, determine where to place
them.  There are essentially four main
Web. The web is the most popular and cost effective outlet for
advertising horses these days as you expand your exposure 1000 fold. Click on
for information and comparisons of the main equine websites.  From here you can also place an ad with any
of these sites.
Local/Regional newspapers, equine magazines and newsletters.  Again these can be very helpful and
inexpensive and can be effective at reaching certain groups of horse people.
Fliers. Design your own ad or  flier with the horse’s photo(s) and place at
tack and feed stores, barn bulletin boards, coffee shops and keep a pile with
you in your car to pass to anyone who might be interested.
Word of mouth. Still number one in trustworthy information and very
popular means of selling horses on. And what better way to sell a horse –
through people you know! Tell everyone you know you are selling your horse.
Send all of your friends an email with the flier attached and ask them to
distribute them.
What next?
Once you have you put your horse on the market, you will either get
phone calls or emails inquiring about your horse.  Make sure that you answer any questions
honestly as you don’t want to waste yours of the buyer’s time. If all goes well
and the buyer is still keen then you can set up an appointment for them to come
and see your horse.
Once you have the appointment confirmed do the following:
Make sure you are organised, that your horse is clean, well presented
and ready to ride.  Ensure that you have
all relevant paperwork such as passport, vaccinations, and worming information
and that you have your mobile phone at hand just in case they call to ask you
for directions!
Have your horse thoroughly cleaned and looking beautiful when they show
up. Your horse should be shiny, mane and tail combed out, and feet oiled to
look their best. Keep them naked to show off the horse’s conformation to the
potential buyer. Your tack and saddle pad should be clean and easily
When the buyer shows up greet them and introduce yourself and then offer
to introduce them to your horse. I would much prefer if the seller would go
into the stable and bring the horse around to meet me and introduce us
properly. If the horse lives outside, bring him or her in to a protected area
where the buyer can take a good look at them. You should have your horse ready
for inspection when the buyer arrives.
The buyer will probably have lots of questions. Answer any questions
positively but honestly and if you are not sure tell them you will get back to
them with the answer. For example, if it is a veterinary related question and
you would rather the vet provide a response then say so.
If the buyer still has nothing to say, you can take charge of the
meeting and offer to tell them a few good points about your horse. Most people
want to know why you are selling your horse and this should be answered
honestly. Buyers understand all of the reasons to sell a horse, even if it is
“we just don’t get along and he deserves to be with someone who can bring
him along and realise his full potential.“
Allow the buyer to watch you tack up your horse. Unless the buyer says
differently, you should always ride your horse first.
If you feel uncomfortable or are worried by the buyer’s capability as a
rider, do not be afraid to say that you don’t think the horse is for them.  If is far better that your horse is well
matched thereby increasing the chances of a successful partnership rather than
knowing that the match could end in disaster. 
You owe it to your horse to ensure he goes to a good home.
However if it all goes well and the buyer likes your horse the process
will evolve to a point where you discuss money. If the buyer asks you if your
price is firm you may say yes and explain why the price you set is fair. Or you
may say there is some negotiating room if you are willing to be flexible within
a couple of hundred pounds.
The buyer must make an offer for you to consider for the sales process
to begin. You may accept the offer and begin discussing the pre-purchase exam
or you may say you would like to think about it and get back to them tomorrow
with an answer. The ball is in your court once the first offer has been made.
You may go back and forth several times until a final price is agreed upon and
that final price is payable only if the horse passes the pre-purchase
veterinary exam.
There are two types of pre-purchase veterinary exam (two-stage and a
five-stage exam).  Insurance companies
will often insist that a five stage examination is carried out on equines over
a certain purchase price.  It is the
buyer’s responsibility to organise and pay for this veterinary pre-purchase
If the pre-purchase exam goes well and your horse passes, you may then
ask for payment. You should not release the horse to them or the shipper until
you have the cash or their check has cleared the bank. You should create a bill
of sale and/or a letter of agreement transferring ownership of the horse and
all of his/her papers to the new owner.
The buyer should make all of the shipping arrangements and be
responsible for all shipping charges. Once the horse gets in the trailer it is
their responsibility.
Little extras that you can offer are to go out on the trails with them
on your horse and you riding a borrowed horse; set up another appointment and
give them a free riding lesson on your horse; provide references for them to
contact who can provide further support of your horse’s worthiness; offer to
take them to lunch or have coffee to discuss horses.  Ask them to keep in touch and let you know
how your horse has settled into their new home. 
Lisa Wright - About the Author:
Lisa Wright is
one of the founders of is the Uk's 1st Equestrian
search engine that brings together horse advertisements from the main UK
publications into one convenient place. Currently has over 15,000
horses for sale. Registering with will allow you to save your
searches and your favourite horses so that you can re-visit at a later date if
Lisa Wright has
over twenty years experience of working with horses. She currently owns a
couple of horses and regularly completes at local and county shows.
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