The Sales Process
When Alice knows a horse well enough to accurately represent it, she begins the sales process.
Frequently, she will know of several people looking for a new mount and can show and sell a horse by networking. If a match is not made this way, then she will begin advertising.
GOOD PICTURES ARE KEY TO SELLING HORSES
Owners should provide Alice with all the pictures they have. We use a lot of storage on our phones, taking pictures as horses go through evaluation and/or training. On tedious-but-necessary photo shoot day, horses are groomed, tack is cleaned, hooves are polished, and we break out the fancy camera to get high-resolution pictures of conformation, heads and feet.
VIDEOS GIVE THE BUYERS A SENSE OF HOW THE HORSE GOES.
Horses have a knack for going their best when there is no video camera around! Innocent bystanders at Shenandoah Sporthorses are often asked to video a horse who is working well. We video horses in the hunt field, on the trail and jumping cross-country. The resolution of phone videos is not great, but buyers can get a sense of how the horse goes. Once a week or so, we organize a video day with a rider, videographer and jump crew, and take high-resolution video updates of the sales horses.
ONCE ALL PARTIES AGREE THAT THE HORSE IS A GOOD CANDIDATE, A SHOWING WILL BE SCHEDULED.
Alice loves texting, but prefers to talk on the phone with a potential buyer (and their trainer, if applicable) so she can get the best-possible sense of whether the horse is a possible match. Shenandoah Sporthorses has a 100% disclosure policy, so all clients are advised of negative veterinary findings, past incidences of bad behavior, and any other information that may affect a horse’s suitability. If all parties agree that the horse is a good candidate, a showing will be scheduled. Alice blocks off several hours so nobody is rushed. Unless someone has a time constraint, Alice waits until clients arrive to get the horse ready, so they can see his/her manners as he/she comes out of a stall and stands on cross-ties to be groomed and tacked up. Alice will ride or arrange to have the horse ridden, unless a client or his/her trainer wishes to get straight on. After riding in the ring, we often go for a short trail ride, and if previous arrangements have been made we can load horses and haul out for a longer ride and/or cross-country jumping.
PRE-PURCHASE EXAMS AND TRIAL PERIODS
Pre-purchase exams (PPEs) are welcome on all of our horses by the vet of the buyer’s choosing.
It is our general policy that we don’t offer trial periods. In our experience, they are usually not worth the risk they present.
Luckily, buyer and horse can get well acquainted without a risky trial. Clients are welcome to ride horses at our farm as many times as they would like, and if they have to travel to do so they are welcome to stay in the cozy studio apartment on our farm.
Arrangements can be made for buyers to see the horse in different settings. We have transported horses to other farms for lessons, to the hunt field for test rides, and to local shows for clients to try in a busy warm-up ring.
Although we occasionally offer trials under very particular circumstances (usually involving junior riders) … if a trial period is a non-negotiable for you, we are not a good match.