Ridiculous Sales Ads

Over the last couple of months, I have been casually looking for a new horse, checking out websites and Facebook. Aside from the ridiculous prices at the moment, I am just shaking my head over what people put in sales ads / videos.

  • 4 minute video - 1/2 of it is at the walk
  • Horse has 3 good “gates”
  • Horse is “for sell” or we are only “saling” him because…
  • Obvious western pleasure horses - in a WP jog with peanut roller headset - listed as dressage horses (and not western dressage - they are indicating dressage dressage). Oh, and horse was described as having “floaty” movement (as he shuffles along in the video…)

And for the record - the misspellings and misuse of language were US ads, so not a result of translation errors.

Actual quote: “We will only show him in person no videos come see him and clinic on him that is the most honest way to present a sale horse.This boy is stunning and has previous clean pristine xrays on file within 2 yrs . We require riding videos of potential buyers before we schedule to try our horses under saddle.”

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Strange not to have video available yet require video. I like the idea of buyer sending a video; can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people show up to try horses dressed the part, spurs and all only to find out they were a weekly lesson rider looking for first mount and, oh, have not been on the horse for past year! And no, they did not feel the need to disclose that info when inquiring on a green but very sane 4,5,6yr old horse. They described themselves as experienced riders :wink:

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I’ve said this before several times: based on the Groundhog Day loop of situations the members of a couple FB groups find themselves in, the problem is that people don’t know what they don’t know. $20 says they’re objectively experienced riders compared to their sample group of horse people. The quality of their sample group is the issue. On one group, it is not uncommon to see someone explaining they “lack confidence” riding, yet they went & bought a 2yo stallion fresh off the Fells. Part of me wants to scream “WHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYY?!?!?!” But that’s not a productive response. And I do feel badly for them. They just don’t know what they don’t know.

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I was horse shopping a few months ago. A former Olympian asked me to send her a short video of my riding, so I sent a horseshow vid. That was the first time anyone asked me to do that, but I understood; I’ve sold a few horses in the past. Nice thing is that she called me within a few minutes after I sent it!

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As I have been shopping for several months, I agree and can add:

  1. Enough of the videos only showing the horse going back and forth along the long side! These are very edited because they have to turn and go the other way, somehow…
  2. No transitions in videos shown, often edited 15-20 times in a 3 minute video.
  3. Is the horse market so “hot”? I am still seeing the same overpriced horses still for sale the last 4-6 months. Many are green 4-5 yr olds under saddle for high 5 figures, no show record, nice WB’s but nothing spectacular
  4. Sellers who respond to EVERY ISO are with their same horse. But cannot be bothered to read the ISO ad or even have a nice photo or clear video, basic info, etc. A proclamation of FEI quality, a head shot, and a far away video of the horse putzing around.
  5. Just SAY it is a Dutch Harness Horse…don’t think just saying Dutch is enough. You think we cannot tell from the video?
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Finally finished an 8 month long search and what has
annoyed me the most in videos is when they include
subtitled explanations throughout. For example,
one seller described their horse as walking calmly on a
long rein when in the video I see a tense, short rein and
stiff nervous jigging. Do they think that people are blind?

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actually when we were looking I offered to send videos of our riding. If the horse want appropriate I didnt want to waste my time. It did save me from going to see at least 1 horse.

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Take that as a compliment! I can understand that the seller wants to make sure it is an appropriate fit and doesn’t want to waste time on someone who thinks they are an experienced equestrian because they’ve gone for a trail ride on a rented horse a couple of times. The thing I found weird was that the seller would not reciprocate and give a video of the horse. Unless you’re local (and they were advertising on DreamHorse, so they were getting more than local exposure), who is going to travel potentially across the country to try him out? For an 18-year old horse I might add. Name of horse not given to be able to look up show record. Actually, no mention of show record - only mention of “3 - 4th level dressage trained” and the key phrase “school master.”

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The west coast lady who sold me my horse bought a New Jersey "Dutch Warmblood’ based on photos. Then she had him hauled all across the country only to find out he is a Saddlebred.

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If a person is buying a horse to do a certain “job,” I guess the breed shouldn’t matter - EXCEPT for the fact that slapping a “fashionable” breed name on a horse jacks up the price. Obviously, if the horse was going to be used for breeding, that’s a whole different story.

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Yeah, that is obnoxious. When I was shopping a few years ago I inquired about a horse that was a 5-6 hour drive from me. The ad talked about only selling to a good, experienced home, so I sent them a nice email about my background, and even before/after photos of my current horse. All I could get for video was a 5 second clip of the horse trotting in a circle on the lead rope while the handler tried to video with his phone. I asked if they could at least get some canter video at liberty or on a longer line, and they said “Oh, you should just come see her.” Because wasting half a weekend and two tanks of gas is so much better than them taking 10 minutes to get a video they could share with all prospective buyers.

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Ain’t the free market a blast?!!

Really, yes, people have a WIDE variety of expectations, presumptions, defenses, tactics, “issues” etc. But I doubt anyone in the horse industry is hot for regulations, so……

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I’m not horse shopping but sales ads on facebook. Someone will put up an ad with one or two photos and then every reply to “price and video?” in the comments is “PM sent!” So you’ll have 40 comments with the same question and the same reply. Why on earth wouldn’t you at least attach the video so everyone can see it? What is the purpose of sending them in each individual private message?

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When I see this (and I see it often) I assume the horse is one of the following:

  1. Not as fancy as listed in the ad
  2. Not actually sound
  3. Not actually confirmed or schooling as advertised

I have yet to be wrong with this when I’ve asked for a video and been sent one. :wink:

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Indeed. Other explanations I’ve encountered:

  1. The only video they have is from an old trainer/different rider that is no longer affiliated with the horse - not the one that is marketing the horse now.
  2. The owner is posting the ad online, but doesn’t actually have all the info and is relying on the trainer to respond to inquiries.
  3. They only provide a teaser video, which leaves out everything the horse is bad at, and don’t want to be criticized publicly for it.
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On Facebook part of it might also be them trying to avoid getting their ad taken down.

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Yep, FB is an enormous pain. You literally can’t even put the price in the ad anymore if it’s numerical or you’ll get stuck in FB jail lol

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I have to admit that I’m not super irked by spelling errors like that because sometimes if English is a second language, the seller will still write the ad in English so they avoid any issue with Google Translate etc but they may not write everything perfectly.

But yes I see so many downhill shuffle-y horses being listed as dressage horses. I also see a lot of horses listed as hunters but in the video, they’re racing around over fences like a bat out of hell with the poor rider holding on for their life. Not that this is an unfixable issue, but I would be hesitant to advertise the horse as ready to win in the hunter ring

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I always thought the spelling errors are purposeful to avoid the add be taken down by FB?..

Haha yes, it couldn’t be said better :sweat_smile:

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I feel like there’s a clear difference between what people fluent in English do to get around FB rules (pink halter for sale five zero zero zero, description in comments) , how people fluent in English but with poor writing skills write (philly with good gates), and how people who have English as an additional language write (won’t try to imitate that).

As far as the quality of horses, I am not sure where you go these days to see quality prospects below the high end sites like Warmblood for Sale. I’m pretty used to seeing horses advertised as having scope and a cute jump but with photos of them hanging their knees over every jump. People just say whatever about their horses and you have to look at the photos, videos, and IRL to make up your own mind.

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