Where are people selling horses now?

Oh top over everything else I’m dealing with right now, I’m also in the market for a young prospect.
But the market is crazy. Or maybe people are crazy.
First off, where are people selling horses now? Just facebook? Pretty much every other sales site has died, and 90% of BigEq is behind a paywall now. (And, it seems as though there’s less on there) I hate facebook horse shopping. I can’t find anything because you really can’t search and so you just have to have the luck that the Facebook algorithm graces you with the correct ad. And now for some reason people aren’t even posting a vague price (mid 5, low 5 carrots, nothing) so you have to send them a message only to find out they are way, way over the budget, and you’ve wasted your and their time in asking.

After a sale fell through on NYE, I posted in desperation on Facebook to several sales groups. And the responses. Oh my. A poorly conformed warmblood cross with the only video being it running around a barb wire pasture being chased by a small dog. A person who wanted to know if they paid for shipping, if I’d pay 10k for their unbroke unhandled 9 YO mustang. I learned my lesson there; no ISO ads.

How are people doing this? Is it purely word of mouth now? Do you just send out 3000 facebook ‘price? Any injuries? Thanks’ messages? Are only billionaires allowed to buy horses now? I’m seriously considering going to Europe at this point, just because it would be cheaper than the horses I’m finding here even with import.

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Facebook seems to be the most widely used market place. Go to farm fb pages, trainer fb pages, area equestrian fb pages, other disciplin fb pages. There are so many listed for sale and you can easily weed out the ones you’re not interested in. Otherwise, searching websites.

Bigeq you have to pay to post an ad, and now paying to view ads will probably kill the website. Tbh, I listed a horse on the website and only for 2-5 inquires vs hundreds on fb.

Some will post amounts via emoji or “carrots” etc in their ads. FB has cracked down on animals sale ads so posters are trying get around that. But some posters also might not post price because they want to negotiate or want to not be on a firm price. Or the horse is $$$$$ ( maybe worth the ask or maybe overpriced).

I went to Europe, but prices have gone up there as well. As the important prices have also increased.

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I’m not sure where you’re located, but I know of a wonderful trainer out of Fort Collins, CO that starts BLM mustangs and OTTBs for careers in eventing. I could imagine that many of her restarts could be suitable for hunter/jumper careers. Mythos Training

Anyway, I would keep working your network of horse people.
Good luck in your search and hope you find the right horse!

If you are looking for a young prospect contact or look directly at the breeders or breeding farms websites. That was how I found my awesome young one recently. Many have babies and started prospects for sale.

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FB is definitely dominant as far as online ads go, but I think many sales are word of mouth. We’ve had horses listed on FB and our sales’ business website, but the vast majority of actual sales were done by our trainer getting the word out to her network.

It can be tricky to find a good trainer with a good network though, especially if you don’t ride with that trainer regularly. There are a ton of pros who advertise themselves as expert sellers, but in reality are not well-connected and the horses sit with them and cost money for months on end. Ironically, some of these tend to be more visible on FB and the sales sites because it’s something they can use to bring in more consignment horses. Many of the more prolific (and reputable, honest) sellers don’t use public FB posts very often because they don’t have to. They send a few texts or make a few calls.

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Nice horses? Warmblood sales. Facebook.

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As much as I hate to admit it (because I’m not a facebooker), it seems like FB is the primary source for horse sales. When I was horse shopping last year, I really had no choice but to join several FB groups (related to disciplines, breeds/types and even price ranges) just to get in the loop of seeing ads. There is also word of mouth referrals, but networking is tough if you’re not connected to a trainer who actively networks among fellow professionals.

I will jump in to gripe about this (and to answer the title very directly, “heck if I know!!”)

I have two of the nicest horses I have ever owned for sale (not at all what you’re looking for, so please do not take this as a “look at my horses!” comment!). Both are what I hear trainers say they are looking for all of the time! Since the whole COVID “time out” on horse stuff, I have had one hell of a time finding any platform where they might actually get seen. No lookers, no askers, nothing at all via the usual FB route. I have always sold horses this time of the year and have never had a problem getting generic interest. Both are in the higher price bracket, so that definitely impacts the appeal level and minimizes it to some extent, but still, a very surprising non-response from my usual channels!

Very sad that Exchange H/J is out as an option for now. That used to be the only “pay for” route I would go for with ads.

I can only imagine that trying to buy a specific thing is as hard as trying to sell a specific thing!

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I can only assume selling is just as difficult because of all the very desperate people practically begging me to buy their horse. Ones that don’t even fit the criteria even remotely.

What happened with Exchange? Their page is still up and getting updated but I feel like I saw a FB post about it having issues.

To the OP, if you haven’t posted an ISO ad on FB, try it - you will have to sift through the responses, but it will turn up some things that aren’t posted or are in ads that you haven’t run across. Depending on what your definition of a prospect is, for horses that are already going, I think a lot more people are buying and selling in central locations like Ocala right now. Buyers can make one trip and try a bunch. The market does seem crazy still, but remember asking price and selling price can be very different! Just be up front about your budget range and you might find that people are more flexible than you think about wanting you to come see the horse if you are ready to buy and have cash in hand (ie, not wanting a lease purchase).

Horses already on the site are still on the site, she’s just not accepting any new horses. She’s in the process of rebuilding, so hopefully she’ll be back up and taking new horses again soon.

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The trick with Facebook is to find a couple of enabler friends who like looking at ads, tell them what you’re looking for, and set them loose.

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Since you mentioned the algorithm, anyone else think trainers should become less reliant on Facebook? I predict it will be gone in 5 years. Young people aren’t joining and so Zuckerberg is stuck relying on ads which turns off users. I am glad Exchange is coming back!!

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So I did do an ISO, and I got the most insane responses. A few were actually matching the criteria, but I got about 20 PM’s of horses that were not anywhere near the criteria I posted, and about 5 of those were just absolutely bonkers. One person started sending me (I can only assume) drunk messages at 2 AM about how wonderful the horse is and how I need to buy it now. Another person trying to convince me their 14.1h 18 YO QH was just the horse I needed and clearly could be the next jumper star.

And I hate confrontation, so after politely declining and the kept messaging me, well, I stopped responding. :grimacing:

I need some of these people!

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As a seller and a buyer, Facebook. I’m a sucker for BigEq yet I only ever manage to get 3-5 inquiries per horse. I actually put my last horse on the West Coast-centric ProEquest and got some decent inquiries, so I will likely keep up my subscription there, same for EquineNow.

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I went thru FB hell and back looking at horses. I went direct to the bigger Irish sellers and American breeders, slogged through ehorses.com and warmbloods-for-sale and contacted I think every trainer in the USA multiple times who sells eventers. What ended up getting me a horse was an agent - she sent me a slew of horses I wouldn’t have seen anywhere else and I ended up buying one I absolutely love.

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Ughh that’s frustrating. I’ve been lucky, I’ve had good success with the FB ISO posts, and I agree with whoever said it helps to have enabler friends who like to sift through ads!! Both of the last two horses I bought, we found through Facebook, and we got some great leads through the ISO post.

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Could you send me the name of the agent you worked with, please? :slight_smile:

Interesting reading this post…I am a breeder, and sometimes have either young horses OR foals for sale but usually not both (this year and last are exceptions). It seems if I sell a foal, that creates a gap a few years on where when people are looking for young horses, well…I already sold it as a foal. They want young horses, not foals, so a few years after that, I have all young horses, no foals, and “young horses are too expensive, do you have any foals?” Without a consistent and available marketplace for various ages of their production, breeders have a hard time keeping the pipeline to buyers in the various sport disciplines open. This is not made any easier by the fact that many disciplines are really walled off from each other in separate silos. It’s even hard to maintain an ongoing relationship with young horse riders if you have gaps in your program…Scaling up and breeding a lot more is an obvious answer, but back to the marketplace problem…it’s not easy no matter which side of the buyer/seller picture you are on.

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