Sunday, April 6

Tricks of the Trade When Marketing Riding Horses

Source: Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food

As the snow melts off the Prairies, many horse enthusiasts are turning their thoughts to the upcoming riding season. Equine enthusiasts from all disciplines and competitive levels will be marketing their animals to meet the needs of prospective buyers.

Adrienne Hanson, a Livestock Development Specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture, says regardless of the training level, breed, discipline or pedigree of the animal, there are a few tips that will make the acquisition process smoother for both buyers and sellers.

"There are many websites and newspapers specializing in marketing horses that can maximize exposure to a specific target audience in an effective manner," Hanson noted.

The advertisement should be concise and accurate, outlining the horse's skills, ability, temperament, achievements and pedigree. "Potential purchasers will appreciate an honest and accurate assessment of the animal," she said.

Sellers will need to determine their asking price and tell buyers up front if they are willing to negotiate. Sellers should ensure they list a telephone number or Internet address at which they are readily accessible, and be available for questions or to co-ordinate viewing appointments.

Hanson says it is important that the buyers determine what they want and need in the horse. Assess the animal through e-mail and phone calls to define what is required in terms of purpose, breed, pedigree, training, temperament and price, prior to travelling for viewing and negotiations. The prospective purchaser should inspect the horse carefully and, in some circumstances, may want to arrange a pre-sale veterinary inspection for a full inventory of the horse's physical condition.

If the animal is not appropriate for the buyer's purposes at first glance, or if the mount appears ill or unsafe, the prospective purchaser should politely thank the seller and depart. "In most cases, the seller will respect your consideration in saving their time," Hanson said.

"The bottom line when buying or selling a horse is that honesty and openness is important, as in any arrangement where an item or service is being purchased," Hanson said. "The sellers maintain their professional reputation by properly presenting an animal for sale, and the purchasers obtain an optimal product to use and enjoy."

For more information, contact:
Adrienne Hanson, Livestock Development Specialist
Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
Phone: (306) 848-2380
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