Friday, November 5, 2010

Selling in a Buyer's Market

Having recently been a seller and someone who keeps a fairly close eye on the horse market, I feel I have a pretty good idea of reality.   With Izzy nicely rehomed, I had been thinking about my horse situation.  

I have a beautiful, athletic, smart 11 year old mare with something major wrong with her stifle and the very real possibility that she may never be sound again.  Once she foals in May, I will be doing some hard thinking about keeping her.  I neither need nor want a broodmare.  She'd be amazing in a therapy program as long as there was no riding her involved.  Her ground manners are impeccable.  I have Roxy, who while home for a training break generally lives at Jason's barn.  She's turning into a legitimate contender and for that reason I'm content to leave her be.

But I also at times crave the feel of riding a horse.  That was my biggest motivation to resume taking lessons.  I also have nothing at home I can just hop on and ride.  So when word reached my ears about a family I know, who was looking to sell one of their steady geldings before winter, I perked up.  Could be interesting.

And was it ever!  It never fails to amaze me in this horse market when people who are trying to sell just don't seem to care.  After the third or fourth time I was asked to reschedule viewing the horse (with very little notice I might add), I was kind of irked.  It did not appear they were too interested in selling.  So I decided I didn't need or want the horse nearly bad enough.

However, in telling my friend Jen, she thought we should go check it out.  She might be interested.  Gritting my teeth, I made arrangements and we went out and tried the horse.  I use the term tried lightly.  It was hands down the strangest viewing I'd ever attended - and I've bought and sold a fair amount of horses in my time.  We wandered out into the pasture where the horse was eating his cubes.  The husband of the owner (because true to form the owner backed out last minute) stood beside the horse.  We stood there for a bit - just standing around the horse - when I asked Jen if she'd like to see the horse under saddle.  At which point she looks at the husband and asks "Can we saddle him up?"  With overstated nonchalance, the man ambles off to get a halter, catches the horse, saddles and bridles him.  

Jen is a brand new mom via C-section so I hopped on the horse.  I did think it a bit odd he never even offered to ride the horse first but chose to ignore it.  Next I put the horse through some rudiment gaits - in total we're talking about a 5-10 minute ride with quickly fading daylight and horse unfriendly terrain.  As I'm dismounting I asked when the horse had last been rode.  Flabbergasted at the answer (a year), I gave a wide eyed look at Jen.  The horse had been good.  But simple reality says not all good horses have good days - especially with a year off.  And you'd toss someone who's never rode the creature on their back?  Gutsy move.

The other thing that left me slightly startled was the condition of the horse.  He was a bit light weight wise, had extremely bad scratches, could clearly use a deworming, and needed his feet done.  Um, are you trying to NOT sell this horse?

Jen, however thought she'd offer something on the horse.  When she called today the owner was incredibly rude to her.  Leaving both Jen and I with a sour taste in our mouths.  I was not impressed and now have no interest in buying the animal simply on principle.  The truly funny part, is I had decided if Jen decided the horse didn't fit with the program I was going to offer on it.  Reality says there's a lot of nice, plain jane horses out there.  And reality says there's horse owner who'd be happy with my disposable income and caring home.  But this one, this one just didn't seem to care - and that's their loss.

1 comment:

Country Girl said...

Heh - apparently they had someone else looking at the horse and just didn't want to be honest with me - hence the string along.