Selling a horse as an eventing "prospect?"

I have a horse that I think would make a solid low level eventer (amateur friendly, competitive in the dressage ring, safe, obedient and just a little bit quirky).

I would like to market him to the eventing world, but his competition history is mostly in dressage. I’m selling for financial reasons, so I would probably like to list him quickly and without spending a fortune on training rides and competition fees. But I can set aside a couple hundred for training rides/XC schooling/showing if it helps me move him quickly.

I’ve schooled him over fences and hacked out in a big open field as well as through the woods. From what I can tell, I think he could be a good amateur friendly event horse, but I am not at a point in my life where I want to compete in eventing. He’s definitely amateur friendly dressage horse, but he’s not proven in the same way for eventing.

I don’t mind taking him myself for a formal XC schooling trip, but I really don’t want to go to compete at an actual event.

So should I:

  • List him as is
  • Take him out XC schooling, get photos and videos and list with those
  • Aim to have a trainer take him BN (or starter?) before I list him

For a horse that is already jumping, I would want to see pictures showing that he is confident and competent jumping ditches, water, and banks. They do not have to be big.

If you can do that yourself, then fine.

Or you can get an experienced eventer (whether a friend, or someone you pay) to do it, that is fine too.


it’s a sellers market.
the problem are usually prospective buyers who think they need that Olympic prospect for up and down lessons.


Ask a friend to school him over some xc and video it. People will want to see water, ditch and banks. Then a nice moving flat video and one of him jumping one or two larger stadium fences, either under tack or in a jump chute.


If I were shopping for a prospect, I’d be fine with XC schooling being his only experience. In fact, when I bought my horse 9 years ago, that’s all she had. She was 5 years old and the seller had only been working with her for a little while. She had videos from an XC clinic, and the horse had only competed at one dressage show.

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Get some nice video of him happily jumping some small cross country and stadium fences. Including a ditch and a water cross would be great.

I’ll agree with the above except the ditch. Unless the horse is naturally brave a bigger issue could be created if you are not reasonably xc savvy. (same with water actually). Depending on the price point, logs, jumps in a field and show jumps.


Depending on price point dragging some jumps into a field would be fine or even an arena and maybe some video of him hacking out alone. At the higher end schooling actual XC fences including the scary stuff like ditches and water. Honestly eventing prospects can range from barely rideable to has schooled all the questions through Training.


That’s a good point. I’m listing him for low fives. <$15k

I just have him priced based on how I would sell him as a dressage horse, but he’s an OTTB and I just think the market is a little friendlier to an OTTB in eventing world.

Indeed. If you, or the rider you have on him while you’re videoing, are not comfortable with water or ditches, better not to create a future problem. Some horses don’t blink an eye; some need a tactful introduction; some don’t want anything to do with it.

If you can trailer to a schooling facility with some lower level xc jumps, you can probably get enough shots to show general attitude and aptitude.


I also agree. I’m great with water from years of trail riding, but I’m terrible at (xc) ditches. I introduced my old horse to ditches years ago at a clinic.

He went every time for me because he was a saint, but I rode him backwards and caught him in the mouth every time. I’m certain I should not be introducing this horse to ditches under saddle.

We don’t have to get into the specifics of this particular horse, but I wonder why it’s not being marketed as an experienced dressage show horse that is polite to hack and can do a little jumping? To me the market of mature dressage riders is bigger than riders who want to make an eventer. I have seen several ‘wanted’ ads for the type. It makes me wonder if it has a ‘weird mouth’ for contact, can be unsafely cold-backed for an ammy, or never does a clean change. When I see ‘prospect’ in an ad, I expect to be able to see some work in that context, or else I believe the seller really has no idea and they just haven’t been able to make it work out in their own riding ring. I would learn which jumping questions are typical features for low-level xc and show jumping and show a few of them on a video with the understanding that prospective purchasers will want to try it themselves if they come to see.


Whether you are better off marketing him as a dressage horse or eventing prospect depends in part on his age. If he is young, you could do “dressage horse/eventing prospect”. If he is older, people will be less interested in him as an eventing prospect.

I thought I already commented my logic behind marketing him as an eventer on this on this thread, but I guess I didn’t.

He’s a (young) OTTB. He could definitely stay in the dressage ring, but I think he’d be more marketable to an ammy eventer than a dressage rider.

Most of the ads I see looking for a dressage horse, want something showing second. He just isn’t there yet. And also seem to not want a TB


I was commenting on how the horse would impress me as a dressage vs eventing type. It makes me wonder where he’d fall on a ‘0-10’ temperament scale :wink: If the ad is written well and the video caters to realistic low level dressage riders, I just think the market is better based on what I deal with every day.