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What do you like to see in a sale ad?

Ok, so I was reading the responses from this post (https://forum.chronofhorse.com/t/dont-stand-on-your-horse-in-a-sales-ad/775967), which is basically just you guys discussing things you don’t like in horse sale ads. Apparently a lot of things!

This got me thinking, what do you like to see? Please include what you’d like to see in the horse’s description as well as the video, and of course your big nonos! I want all the details.

Videos should be seamless and not of isolated jumps, movements, or interactions.

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A video of under 3 minutes showing transitions between walk trot canter and halt. Another video showing horse doing whatever he’s being sold as knowing. Dressage moves or jumping a small course.

A good still photo of conformation on level ground in good light. Prefer both sides, not distorted, feet visible squared up.

Any show videos.

Those are enough to let me say yes or no to further inquiry.

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Sans saddle too please! Seems in every ad featuring a western horse, the photos are of the horse in a honking big western saddle.

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if young horses, I like to see their parents also the horse being handled and at liberty

Not highly edited! Transitions with a horse that is NOT super sweaty and going both directions!

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Give me the basics up top, age, height, sex, and either asking price, or at least a guide price.

List of what the horse can do, and if it is maintenance free.

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There was a recent conversation that was along these lines that may interest you. It evolved into what people wanted in sales ads:

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Videos should be short but without a ton of edits. No endlessly trotting circles. Do a short workout showcasing whatever it is the horse can do.

Buyers might want other, longer videos (especially if they’re not local) but those don’t need to be in the ad.

Ad should state height, sex, age, breed, breeding (if young and/or yet to reach full potential), accurate summary of experience / competition experience including show name. Location and price.

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I like seeing pricing that is so high I am not temped we have enough as it is

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I agree with the above posters.
Ad should have a short but complete description of the horse, what the horse can do, any limitations, etc. Just because you are not paying by the word does not mean the ad should include that time Uncle Vinny who has never ridden before got on Dobbin and managed to get Dobbin to do these nine amazing things that no one else had done on Dobbin before.

Still conformation photos of all four sides. No artistic eye shots. No artistic cute kissable muzzle shots. Untacked horse on level ground conformation shots.

One short video that shows Dobbin doing general riding stuff that it is claimed Dobbin can do. Not highly edited. Walk/trot/canter both directions.

Additional videos should be available to show more detail of anything that Dobbin does. Dobbin at a horse show, Dobbin at the mounting block, Dobbin being caught in the pasture. All separate videos so that trainer who does not care if Dobbin is easily caught does not have to watch that video.

Videos should not have music. Videos should not have special affects.

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The thing I want to see that seems most likely to be edited out of videos is the transitions. Particularly the transition into the canter.

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For the love of god put your location in the ad.

My friend is looking for a lower level horse. Reasonable budget, she only wants to hack out on it. She doesn’t want to drive 3+ hours to look at a horse and quite frankly I don’t blame her! But I couldn’t tell you the amount of times she’s had to message to get a location only to say “no thanks”.

A single line of location at the end or the beginning of the ad (so it stands out!) can weed out a lot of useless messages.

Just my quick 0.02 on the matter.

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No music!

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No music, tacking up, feet picked up, tied or cross tied.

WTC and transitions, a couple or course of jumps depending on job I’m buying for. If dressage, some pieces of a test at whatever level advertised.

Pictures of horse without tack standing square and not on a hill please.

I’d love video of horse loading and unloading horse hasn’t traveled much.

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Obviously it changes depending upon the horse’s training etc. But for an ad to be helpful to include or exclude a horse: Horse statistics including age, height, gender, location. Pedigree if registered. What the horse has done/training. At least a general price category. A side view photo for conformation. A short video WTC with transitions and whatever skill claimed for the horse.

Beyond that depends upon the horse and circumstances and may be “upon request”. That might be show footage, photos of feet, or loading, etc.

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I want

  • A set of conformation photos that is well set up on level ground with no boots or saddle and not taken with the wide angle lens on your phone like my vet does for Coggins photos.
  • A front, back and side view of the legs and feet with no boots or bell boots on hard ground (both sides). Bend your knees and get the camera down to knee/ hock height so the photograph is more representative. If I drive 2 hours and the horse has a club foot you didn’t mention I will be very pissed off.
  • Horses walking and trotting towards and away from the camera in hand or under saddle on a loose rein.
  • A short clip of the horse moving freely. Under saddle is fine. Loose is fine too but not on the lunge, not in the distance in a 30 acre field, not wheeling and running up and down a fence line, not in a tiny round pen, not bucking and kicking and being wild. I want to see it move. And please don’t put big heavy boots on a green horse or one off the track and chase it with a stick and pretend they always move like that.
  • A short video of walk, trot and canter work under saddle at the level it is already trained. Sales video is not the time to get in a fight with your horse about going on the bit. If they don’t know that, fine, let them move out. Also lose the draw reins and martingale on the flat. This is probably the part where I stop watching most of the time- tense horse fussing and moving in a short choppy stride while the rider goes tug tug tug on the reins. What can I learn from that?
  • If you use a Pivo or similar make sure your horse is not the size of an ant. Better to get someone to video you.
  • Some jumping, sure. I buy jumpers. Make a nice video from the side at roughly the same height as the horse so I can see it properly. I definitely want to see several jumps in a row, unless it is very green. If you have a show video too or xc make a link to it or put it at the end with a date and venue.
  • Horse being ridden outside the arena- and this does not include jumping xc. Ideally walking on a trail ride, trotting or cantering alone across an open field, leaving and returning to a group of other horses, walking in traffic or farm animals, hunting, packing etc- whatever is the intended use.
  • The correct frame rate (60fps) for action and the correct video type and quality (1080, not 4k!) for online viewing. Ever noticed how many horses look a little jerky. hitchy in their stride online? Are they in real life or is it just the video compression and the slow frame rate it was shot at? who knows. Will I drive hours to find out? No.

My trainer bought a horse recently and she said one of the best things the seller had available (in addition to all the appropriate riding videos mentioned above) was video of the horse’s legs from all angles, standing squarely on flat ground. It was just a really nice effort that probably took the seller 10 minutes to put together, but gave everyone a sense of up close leg conformation.

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Oh, this is a good idea!

I still think all these things should be in separate videos so a person can do their initial look with out having to watch a 10 minute video.

Yessssss.

Edit: I had an OTTB that I turned out for the first time after I got him home. I put boots on all 4. Proud of my new horsie, I took pictures and all the comments were “OMG that hind end!!” No, people, he did not like the boots I put on the back and was snapping his legs because they felt weird.

Yet you see this allllllll the time in sales ads, from nearly everyone. I get putting the boots on to keep the horse safe, though.

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