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to a professional to help her sell. He hasn’t been in serious work or professional training for months and her riding style has “detuned” him. She priced her Hanoverian using the “cost-plus” approach. More than year later she still pays feed, hay, shavings, insurance, shoes, advertising, farrier, vet bills and so on. Sellers need to remember that



“... if the horse is not in a training or

the price a horse sells for is not “cost-plus,” which is calculated by adding together what was paid for the horse plus all the board, training, showing, farrier, veterinary, insurance premiums and other expenses. Sellers also need to remember that if they have reached the decision to sell, owning the horse is costing them money every day that they continue to own it. Additionally, if the horse is not in a training or maintenance program, the value of the horse is depreciating. Other costs not considered by most sellers are the “opportunity costs” associated with either what else could be done with the equivalent money or the emotional costs of not having a horse you love to work with every day. Let’s say for example that my 2003 Land Rover is worth $8,500 or about 1/5 of what I paid for it and I figure I have spent another $10,000 in fuel, service, insurance, and interest on the loan. I really want a new truck and I want to sell it fast. I am only asking $40,000. If you are interested, please call me, it really is nice-looking and gas prices aren't going up that fast! But hurry...next month I plan to increase my price to $41,000. (You can easily see

Here’s a picture of my Rover, just in case you’re interested...

maintenance program, the value of the horse is depreciating.”



the problem with that kind of thinking!) Bottom line: If you decide

to sell, price the horse to sell not based on hope or wishes or expenses incurred to date. When in doubt, ask a professional to guide you in determining the best asking price.

SALE #3: THE SHORTENED LONG ROAD

Another example was a horse owned by an adult amateur

dressage rider. The horse was well trained through fourth level and schooling Prix St. Georges. He had a show record including numerous awards along with a temperament that any owner would be ecstatic to have. However, due to changes in circumstance, a decision was reached that the horse needed to be sold. She tried three avenues; word-of-mouth/internet

advertising, talking to a well-regarded local dressage trainer and judge and contacting our firm Impulsion Unlimited, a professional horse marketing farm specializing in dressage horses. The word-of-mouth and internet advertising produced

interest. At first she was encouraged by the volume of on-line page views, phone calls and the number of videos that she was mailing, but quickly became frustrated when she realized that all of this activity went nowhere and she really needed to get the horse sold. The dressage judge was impressed by the correctness

of the training and the accomplishments in the show ring. She “thought” she might have a buyer in her barn and suggested a price that was a bit “optimistic.” She suggested that if the horse was in training with her and shown out of her facility that the buyer would have a great chance of commanding a premium price that would more than offset the cost of her board. During the first few weeks at the ambitious price, the horse continued to draw high praise from all lookers but no buyer emerged. The seller experienced two challenges over the

next two months: the first challenge was that the well- meaning judge was spread too thin to market the horse effectively. She had a lesson program, a training program, horse shows to judge and clinics to teach. She oversaw the operations of her facilities too so there was not enough time to proactively find a buyer outside of

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